Authentic Spanish books can be hard to find on a local level, but offer a special treat for students. Unlike books that have been translated from English into Spanish, Spanish literature written by Spanish and Latin American authors provides students with a layer of cultural authenticity and insight into Spanish culture, traditions and history.
This is why third-grade teacher Laura Rodriguez was so excited to purchase books during her recent visit to Mexico. She and several classmates at a local university were traveling to an international book fair in Guadalajara in connection with a library science course. Mrs. Rodriguez saw the visit to the fair as an opportunity to add more authentic Spanish literature to the School of Dual Language’s library, which lacks books in this category. Principal James Tohme provided her with a budget and librarian Cathy Gross gave her a list of the kinds of books that were most needed.
Mrs. Rodriguez purchased 70 to 80 books appropriate for a wide range of ages and reading levels. Her classmates carried some of the books in their luggage so Mrs. Rodriguez could avoid paying an extra luggage fee. The books, which represent authors from a variety of countries, are now at the School of Dual Language where they are being catalogued. Once processed, they will be available for students to check out.
“I think the students will learn a lot from the Spanish in these books,” said Dr. Tohme. “Our students will be able to see the authors reflected in themselves.”