Meet Josefina

Chapter Book

Bibliographic Information: Tripp, Valerie. Meet Josefina. Middleton, WI: Pleasant Co. Pub., 1997.

Plot Description:
Josefina is a nine-year-old living in New Mexico in 1824. Her mother passed away, leaving Josefina, her three sisters, and their father to tend the ranch and their home. Josefina is afraid of the family goat. The girls’ maternal grandfather occasionally visits with his caravan. Josefina hopes that he might bring her some courage. One trip, he brings his other daughter with him, the girls’ Tía Dolores. The family has a feast and tells stories. The goat eats a flower arrangement that Josefina had made for Tía Dolores, and she wrestles it back to its enclosure. Josefina realizes that she had courage all along.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 690; Accelerated Reader: 4.1

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This book is written in third-person, focusing on teaching the reader about how Mexican-American families lived in the 1800’s. There is an illustration every third or fourth page, usually small, but some a half-page or full-page depicting the text.

Content Area: Social Science: Mexican Immigrant History, 1800’s

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral; #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language; #7 Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #5 Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently; #7 Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great historical fiction book to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 3rd grade through 5th grade. It explores themes like family, dealing with grief, and self-worth.

Character Diversity:
Mexican-American characters.

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