Federico il pazzo

(Federico the mad) Book not yet available in English


After moving several times, Angelo arrives in a new city right before he has to start eighth grade. But school won’t be a piece of cake. In his class, there are the older Capa Gialla and his bullies, Giusy, who is cute and wants to be a mechanic when she grows up, and Federico the madman, whose real name is Francesco and has loads of strange ideas in his head…


This novel by Patrizia Rinaldi (2016 Andersen Award for Best Writer), illustrated in black and white by Federico Appel, tells a story of growth, friendship, courage, and search for one’s identity. These themes are developed starting from a change as important as moving to a new city (Naples). Here, Angelo not only has to build new relationships and friendships, but he also has to overcome the linguistic barrier of Neapolitan dialect that he cannot understand and that immediately makes him “different.” He also has to defend himself from the bullying of Capa Gialla and his gang. He will do so with courage and determination, seeking an alternative to violence and remaining true to himself. The author thus offers us characters, both female and male, that break with the most conventional and stereotyped representations. Giusy is strong and determined: she wants to be a mechanic, she can already drive and fix a car and does not want “to have a mass-produced brain.” Angelo is often afraid and isolates himself from the world but decides not to surrender to a future of violence. Federico-Francesco choses to experience his diversity as a benefit and makes it a weapon against bullies. The search for oneself, for one’s identity and for a place in the world, which is typical of every growing-up process, combines here with an attempt to overcome stereotypes and an appreciation of everyone’s diversity and authenticity. While presenting the sincere and profound friendship between two children who chose each other for mutual understanding, the novel underlines the importance and freedom to search for oneself and be oneself, not giving up what we are and courageously chasing our dreams, even beyond stereotypes and conventions. Sinnos also uses the highly legible font “Leggimi” (Read me) for this book.

Edited by: Centro MeTRa (Italy)

Author(s): Rinaldi, Patrizia

Illustrator(s): Appel, Federico

Series: I narratori

Publisher: Sinnos

City: Roma

Year: 2014

Pages: 123

ISBN: 9788876092688

Age Range: 6 - 10

Language: IT

Original Language: IT

Keywords: Bullying, Diversity, Friendship, Male characters, School

Also available in:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Keywords (OR)

  • Age Ranges

  • Languages