Armando and the Blue Tarp School

Presented by: Chelsea Willems


Author: Edith Hope Fine and Judith Pinkerton Josephson

Illustrator: Hernan Sosa

Genre: Fiction (based on true events)

Theme: Equal Opportunity and Social Justice

Awards: Nominee- California Young Reader Medal (2009-2010) Nominee, Book Link's Lasting Connections List, Picture Book Winner: San Diego Book Awards, 2008 Paterson Prize Winner, Skipping Stones Honor Book, Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year List, Best of Year List: Cooperative Children's Book Center "Choices"

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Author and Illustrator's Background Information

Edith Hope Fine

Edith writes, "I'm crazy about books! I grew up reading books under the covers with a flashlight. I still read voraciously." Edith has two sons, as well as four grandchildren, and they all live in the San Diego area. She has taught school, tutored students, run after-school programs, as well as written for many media outlets. She has written a total of 16 books. Edith enjoys baking, swimming, and walking.

Judith Pinkerton Josephson

Judith lives with her husband, close to the ocean in California. She has two grown daughters and both work as educators. Judith has written many books for both children and young adults. She has also collaborated with Edith on four children's books.

Hernan Sosa (Illustrator)

Hernan Sosa was born in Argentina and raised in Paraguay. He graduated from the Colorado Institute of Art with a degree in visual communications. Besides illustrating children's books, he works as a graphic designer focusing mostly on magazines. He and his wife live in Denver, Colorado.

Illustrations (Done with masking fluid, watercolors, and ink)

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Multicultural Criteria

In the Classroom

Lesson Idea

Grade Level: 2nd Grade

Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.


The student will...

  • Describe what Armando did after the fire and explain why he felt the way he did

Lesson Plan:

  • The lesson will begin with the teacher asking students how would they feel if they lived in the city dump and had to dig through the trash in order to survive. The teacher will also ask the students how they would feel if everything their house caught on fire and everything they owned burned. (Be aware of family situations before asking these questions and adjust the lesson if necessary based on students' home life situations.)
  • The teacher will then read "Armando and the Blue Tarp School" out loud to the class. During the reading, the teacher should stop and ask questions about Armando and how he feels at different points throughout the book.
  • After finishing the book, the teacher will lead a class discussion about what Armando did after facing adversity throughout the book. (The teacher can also introduce this vocabulary word at this time.)
  • The students will then right a short paragraph about when they faced adversity and how they overcame it.
  • To further this lesson and create more of a project based activity, students can research (in teams) people facing adversity in the world like Armando. Students could then present their findings to their classmates and pick one group the class as a whole can focus on. Throughout the year, students can organize fundraisers or drives to help this group of people.


Fine, E., & Josephson, J. (2007). Armando and the blue tarp school. New York City, New York: Lee & Low Books Inc.