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More high-interest novels for heritage speakers

HL course pathways docI am definitely wading into deep, and potentially hot water with these latest acquisitions… but at least they are not being placed directly into my FVR library for any student to grab. Not until I have read them, at least. These are some more books that I am acquiring for our HL Spanish course, an advanced IB course which (in my school) is being offered to reasonably fluent & literate heritage speakers. Non-heritage speakers of Spanish take the standard level course, a one year Spanish 4 class that prepares them for an exam. The HL course, on the other hand, is my baby: a two year sequence which in my hands is being molded into a FVR fanatic´s dream course.

Enough about that; the reason I am posting this list is that it might be useful for teachers of heritage speakers or for teachers who are looking for easy, addictive reading to improve their own Spanish. While previous lists of books that I have posted have focused on heavy issues such as immigration and gender roles, these books only have one thing in common: they are addictive reading. Or so it appears by the Spanish-speaking fan blogs that I scour. Also, because IB insists that the two major literary works that my HL students write about were originally published in Spanish, all of these novels were published first in Spanish. Let me be clear: I am sure there will be sex and violence somewhere in these books. Test drive before releasing to adolescents. Most of these authors come from Spain; if not I explicitly note it.

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Crime fiction

Trilogía del Baztán – Dolores Redondo Meira (The three books are El guardián invisible, Legado en los huesos, Ofrenda en la tormenta) I am excited to find a trilogy that is not fantasy for my students who dislike fantasy.

El lejano país de los estanques – Lorenzo Silva

La estrategia del agua – Lorenzo Silva (I am really looking forward to reading this for my own pleasure)

Abril rojo – Santiago Roncagliolo Author from Lima, Peru.

Sangre y Clorofila – Virgilio Rodriguez Macal (An older piece of action fiction, but one of the very few on any of my lists from Central America. Certain to contain outdated and sexist language and situations, probably will never make it into the hands of students).

Science fiction & fantasy

Memorias de Idhún – Laura Gallego García (This is a trilogy: La Resistencia, Tríada, Panteón) Very strong fan base.

La Estrella – Javi Araguz

La llave del tiempo – Ana Alonso (This is a large series: La torre y la isla, La esfera de medusa, La ciudad infinita, El jinete de plata are the first four books in the series). This was recommended to me by a teacher who uses this series in her upper level classes for non-native speakers of Spanish.

Young adult issues

Besos de murciélago – Silvia Hervás

Amaranta – Care Santos

Quién como Dios – Eladia González The only writer on this list from Mexico, this is historical fiction set in Mexico from a very popular contemporary writer.

El lápiz del carpintero – Manuel Rivas This was originally written in Galician (it is said to be the most widely translated work ever published in Galician literature, so sadly steer students away from writing about it for an IB external assessment. Attract student interest by pointing out that the author is the father of Martiño Rivas aka “Marcos” from El Internado.

Canciones para Paula #1 – Blue Jeans (Francisco de Paula Fernandez)

Mírame y dispara – Alessandra Neymar

5 thoughts on “More high-interest novels for heritage speakers

  1. Reblogged this on diane: allthingslanguage and commented:
    Super!

  2. Thank you for doing so. I am reading your Rumbo book and was initially worried about swearing, but It has an interesting plot and message.

    1. What a great book! For anyone reading these comments who might be curious, here is a link to my review of the book that Diane is referring to.

  3. I just finished the trilogy set in Navarra, murder mysteries and I would not use these with HS students. I loved the series but they include some pretty gruesome serials murders.

    1. Good to know, perhaps my search for interesting reading is taking me too far afield…

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