My Name is Maria Isabel


My Name is Maria Isabel


My Name is Maria Isabel

Alma Flor Ada

Publication Date: 09/01/1995
Themes: Latino Culture, Immigration/Moving, Self-Esteem, Ethnic Orientation
Age: 7-10 years old
Pages: 64 pages


For María Isabel Salazar López, the hardest thing about being the new girl in school is that the teacher doesn't call her by her real name. "We already have two Marías in this class," says her teacher. "Why don't we call you Mary instead?"

But María Isabel has been named for her Papi's mother and for Chabela, her beloved Puerto Rican grandmother. Can she find a way to make her teacher see that if she loses her name, she's lost the most important part of herself?




Reviews from other readers:

"My name is Maria Isabel is written by Alma Flor Ada and illustrated by K. Dyble Thompson. It was published by Aladdin Paperbacks in 1993.

This wonderful book is about a young girl named Maria Isobel who school in a new town. She is worried because she is starting late in the year and doesn't want to be the odd one out. Although Maria is a mixture of excited and nervous, she ends up leaving school feeling very frustrated. Her new teacher has decided to call her Mary instead of her name, Maria. Throughout the book Maria struggles with being able to adjust to her new school (and new name). She wants to play a role in the school play but the teacher does not relate to Maria because she is always zoning out in class. Maria wishes the teacher could just understnad that the reason she is always "zoning" is because she can't get used to responding to a new name. She is very proud of her name and does not identify with the person her teacher expects her to be. The problem is resolved at the end of the story as Maria finally finds her voice and expresses to the teacher her unhappiness.

As a teacher of ELL students, I was particularly enthralled by this book. I found that it was very culturally relevant to many of my students and it made me think about how much I really should try to focus on stocking my shelves with more multicultural books. I felt ashamed as I read some of the things that Maria thought because I relized I had probably acted like the teacher at times. She was not trying to be mean, but did not understand that it could something as simple as not pronouncing the child's name correctly that makes the student shut down. It can be frustrating as a teacher to encounter ELL students who "zone" when you know they are more capable, but this definitely gave me a new perspective. I feel like, if I could relate so easily to this book, than my students could probably relate even more.

This book is recommended for ages 7-10 and I found that it would probably be best used in a second/third grade classroom for students of varying cultural backgrounds." -(NS) Becca,

Add To Cart