It wasn't that many years ago when it was the norm for two, possibly three, Spanish readers to be published each year. Well, times are a changing, my friends, because in the last year there has been an EXPLOSION of books, hot off the press, written for language students. I expect that trend will continue, due in part to:
(1) Dr. Krashen's call for more books written for language learners and his advocacy for reading, citing studies that reading is a powerful method to increase proficiency in a language
(2) Karen Rowan's urging to budding writers to publish their works. She is promoting "How to Write a Novel" through webinars, sessions at iFLT and NTPRS conferences, Facebook pages and other online social media. Her sincere encouragement to teachers to write a novel is incomparable!
(3) Mike Peto's and Meg Villanueva's examples of how to publish your own novel. After publishing his first novel, Mike Peto wrote "While I am enormously proud of this novel, I hope it is obvious that the
main thrust of my work is to encourage more TPRS teachers to dream,
write, edit, practice with their classes, edit further simplifying the
text as much as possible and eventually publish their own class novels. ...do not let anyone intimidate you into thinking that a mere classroom teacher cannot publish a TPRS novel."
Mike Peto also has created a new website to track books written specifically by independent publishers to use in language classes called, CI Reading. The website includes readers available in Arabic, French, German, Latin, Mandarin, Spanish, and books for Spanish heritage readers. After checking the website, I found books that I want to buy to add to my ever-growing class library.
As proof of the recent book explosion, look at photos below of the books I have bought since summer vacation began, and there are (at least) two other novels that will be available this fall. The direct links to the novels are in blue and the webpages/blogs are in red.
Andrew Snider, @Reading633 on Twitter, announced to the iFLT/NTPRS/CI Teachers Facebook group last month that the above two Spanish novels, "Las tres pruebas" and "La vida loca de Marta" were available. I believe these are his first two novels. You can find them on his webpage, Reading 633, on the Spanish novels tab. While there, check out his blog on which he shares FREE stories, videos, and other materials for teachers to use with their students.
"Peter va a Colombia" is written by Craig Klein Dexemple, @profeklein on Twitter. It is his second novel, (the first is "El silbón"). You can find his books on the "books" tab of his webpage Spanish Cuentos. While there, check out his blog where he explains in detail some of the lessons he uses in his elementary Spanish classes, and check out the cool resources such as finger puppets and a poster of storytelling characters in his online store.
"Ataques de hambre" is written by Eric Herman. The book is a "Colección de los Cuentos Clásicos con Confesiones & Continuaciones" of the stories:
- Three Billy Goats Gruff
- Little Red Riding Hood
- The Three Little Pigs
- Jack and the Beanstalk
He retells these well-known bedtime stories in simplified Spanish and then branches out and writes the story from the perspective of the characters in the stories. If you like the story, "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs" (one of my favorite versions of the Three Little Pigs story - find it HERE on YouTube), then you, and your students, will enjoy Eric's book of stories of the characters' perspectives and confessions in the above listed classics. I bought "Ataques de Hambre" from Amazon HERE. He may have it listed on his webpage but I did not see it. Check his school webpage, The Edgartown School, for a multitude (I'm not kidding) of resources such as videos of Eric teaching his students, embedded readings, online resources, etc. etc. etc.
Meg Villanueva, @meggiev777 on Twitter, has published two books and you can find the one shown above at Amazon here. I was late to the party on this one because "El gato misterioso y otros cuentos", as shown above, is her first book which was published last year (?) and I only bought my copy this summer. On the back cover of the book, Meg writes "El Gato Misterioso is a book that can be easily read by Spanish 2, successfully read by Spanish 1 after second semester, and read with assistance from the first week of Spanish 1." It is a collection of stories written in the present tense and then repeated in the past tense. I need to buy her second book, "El cochino blanco y otros cuentos", to add to my class library. Check out Meg's blog, Let's Make a story!! ¡¡Vamos a hacer un cuento!! and her Facebook group, La Sirena Baila.
Katie Baker's second published novel, "El Ekeko: Un misterio boliviano", became available this spring (?). It is published and distributed through TPRS Publishing, Inc., which is also where you can find her first book, "La llorona". "El Ekeko: Un misterio boliviano" is "based on fewer than 200 high-frequency words in Spanish...making it an ideal read for beginning language students."
The last two books that I purchased this summer are written by two outstanding authors whose names ALL Spanish teachers should be familiar with because they have written and published MANY novels. They are also skilled and engaging presenters at state, regional, and national conferences such as CSCTFL, ACTFL, iFLT, and NTPRS.
Mira Canion, @MCanion on Twitter, published "El capibara con botas". She describes it as "An easy Spanish reader containing just 55 new vocabulary words and English-Spanish cognates", which makes it a perfect reader for elementary students and beyond. You can find "El capibara con botas" HERE, along with numerous other fantastic novels written by Mira, at her website Mira Canion. Note: She sells the books in packs of 5 on her website, so if you want one copy you can find it at Amazon, HERE, or you can always ask, (it never hurts to ask, right?) Mira if she is willing to sell it to you in less than multiples of five.
Carol Gaab, @CarolGaab on Twitter, has written and published a fourth book in the Brandon Brown series. It is "Brandon Brown dice la verdad" which is available, along with a seemingly endless choice of other Spanish readers, by Carol Gaab, Kristy Placido, Carrie Toth, and others, at TPRS Publishing, Inc. (There is also a collection of readers for French teachers and teacher of other languages.)
Finally, I need to include Mike Peto's book, "Superburguesas" which is available at Amazon here. It was published last year, but as I mentioned above, I believe Mike Peto helped bring about the "explosion of Spanish readers" by:
- self-publishing his novel,
- sharing with others how to do this, and
- encouraging others to do the same.
Mike has not mentioned this, as far as I know, but I wouldn't be surprised if he is working on writing another book. At least that is what we hope is awaiting us in the near future.
Mike shares his lessons, experiences, and thoughts on teaching on his blog, My Generation of Polyglots.
I'll mention it again, because it's an invaluable resource, check Mike's newest website CI Reading, to find books by independent publishers in several languages.
FYI - To be clear: I purchased these books with my own money and I did not receive any monies from the authors to mention the books on this blog. I am sharing the information and blog pages about the books and other materials because I know how beneficial it is for our students to have access to books written for beginning and intermediate language learners.