High school is the best time to learn and master a new language. Many high schoolers learn a new language like Spanish in anticipation that it would work in their favor during their professional lives. To get a hold of a particular language, one needs to indulge in as many books as possible to get a clear and great hang of the language.
Spanish literature has a large number of works, including novels which help the student understand the language better and help massively with fluency. To be able to be communicative and coherent in the language, students must actually see how the words are being used in sentences.
For all of the high schoolers who are learning Spanish, here is a list of the best Spanish Novels you can read to grasp the language better. But first, it would be fun to understand what benefits these novels would enrich you with.
Benefit of reading spanish novel for high schoolers
Reading books exposes students to a new voice, vocabulary, and style. Each author has a unique writing style and narration that provides a new linguistic approach and experience. This works amazingly well for students, as reading the language written by experts helps them abundantly.
The earliest Spanish works were a combination of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures written in the early 13th century. This made Spanish literature unique. Later Castilian, Catalan, and Galician expressions were touched by the authors making them yet unique again. These expressions only come to readers once they go through these Spanish books, which they may not likely otherwise have access to.
Moreover, when we learn a particular language, knowing how to use the words, how to frame the sentences comes way after we are fluent and understand the nitty-gritty of the language. Thus, reading Spanish novels would help students understand the various expressions, sentence formations, and how to use the words wisely.
When high school students go through Spanish novels will give the readers, especially high schoolers, wide exposure to various beliefs, customs, cultures, and forms of literature.
How to start reading spanish novels for a student?
The market today is flooded with lots of books in various languages. A large set of books in Spanish is available, but due to this variety, a student can get easily confused. This is why picking the right book becomes the need of the hour. To take you out of the dilemma of choosing the best book, here are a few ways to pick the best Spanish Novel for high schoolers.
- Get a topic that you are interested in.
Spanish literature and novels have a wide range of genres and topics. It would be best if you started with choosing the right topic or genre that you feel motivated to read. This way you can have a good start. Students should pick easily understandable topics and come into their interest zone.
- Choose a small book to begin with.
The study load on students of higher grades is way too much. They hardly have the time to indulge in books. At this point, making sure that you do not pick a large book would be a good idea. Remember that the start should be good, and it need not be hard and big. You can choose to start with shorter novels. Short novels, often called Novelettes, are easy to read and can be a great start.
- Select the right book.
This can be challenging but not too difficult if you know your area of interest well. As a student, don’t hesitate to pick a challenging book to start. If you are confident and feel that you can read it, selecting a challenging book is not a bad start. However, check whether the book is too difficult for you. Don’t choose too hard books to start, and this may end up you losing interest in that book. Remember that your focus is to understand the language better, and that can be done if you move in baby steps. That means picking an easy novel initially and then moving on to the more complex ones.
- Choose side-by-side mode books.
Today, Spanish and English side by side modes of books are also available. These books have English versions for each line of the novel written side by side for easy understanding. These books are a great start if you don’t have the fundamentals of Spanish literature. Thus, this tip works well for newbies who are new to the language.
- Choose the preferable tense.
Books can be written in both present and past tense. You may find Spanish books in both tenses. Select that book that has a tense that you may prefer to read. This plays a huge role in the lives of high schoolers who are yet to master the language.
- Choose the kind of book which has more than just language to teach.
High school is a pretty vulnerable age. Therefore, choosing a meaningful book, which teaches about life, and morals becomes important.
Best Spanish novels for high schoolers
1. “Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal” by J. K. Rowling
Translating to “Harry potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is the first part of the Harry Potter series. It is known as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” too. This popular book about a boy Harry Potter in his initial days in Wizarding School is a good pick to start with Spanish.
This book always works well with high schoolers because each student is well-versed with the Harry Potter story, and thus, understanding what the book says would be easy. Also, since most high schoolers prefer Harry Potter, it becomes an easy read for all.
2. “Los ojos de Carmen” by Veronica Moscoso
Translating to “The Eyes of Carmen” is an intermediate-level novella. It is written about a teenager who travels Ecuador and participates in a photography contest. Being there, he faces a lot of cultural challenges, but it all gets better when he meets Carmen.
This book is easy to read and can be a part of the daily reading time of a high schooler. The book is written in a conversational tone, uses simple grammatical structure with past tense and repetition. The book even has a full glossary at the end of the book so that students can comprehend it well.
3. “Esperanza Rising” by Pam Muñoz Ryan
A great book for high schoolers is the one that helps them get a hold over the language and simultaneously, gives them good learning. This book is one book that a student would remember all their life. The book is about Esperanza, who has everything that a girl wants until she and her mother flee to California, where she is forced into labor work. During her struggle, she finds her happiness, which she would cherish for a lifetime. The way she redefines herself teaches a lot to high schoolers.
The book is written in a lyrical fairytale style, which will intrigue the teenagers. The book’s writing style is quite different from the others, and books like these help students grasp the language better.
4. “Cajas de carton” by Francisco Jiménez
Translating to “Boxes of Cardboard: Stories of the Pilgrim Life of a Peasant Child,” this is an autobiographical tale of the author Fransisco and his family about their journey and life when they worked in the fields of California as Migrant Workers. The English title is “The Circuit.”
This is a great read for high schoolers as this is an autobiography, and the tone and the tense changes here bring in variety and is a must to understand for all the high schoolers. Teens who are learning a new language must indulge in an autobiography to understand the tone, tense, and the first person point of view of that particular language.
5. “Devolver al Remitente” by Julia Alvarez
This book is about Tyler, who meets Mari, and their struggle and journey with the migrant workers, the law, immigrants, Mexican identity, and their new life in the USA. The book starts with how Tyler’s father gets injured, and the family is forced to hire migrant workers.
This book would help you comprehend the language and teach you various things about the culture. After all, it is always a great idea to understand the country’s culture whose language you are learning. This novel takes the children on a rollercoaster ride, as it gives them hope, but getting the answer to the problems is not easy.
6. “La Ciudad de las Bestias” by Isabel Allende
Translating to “The City of the Beasts,” this book is the first of the trilogy. This book is a magical realist adventure novel with a commentary on politics. The genre cannot be directly defined
. , but this is a fine read where reality, fiction, myth, and fantasy coexist. The English title is ‘City of the beasts.’
This book is amazing for high schoolers as it gives an overview of Spanish politics and culture. The language of the book is pretty simple, and they get to understand the politics in Mexico briefly. The book keeps young adults in mind, and this can cast a spell on them because of the perfect blend of fantasy and reality.
7. “Copo de Algodón” by María Esperón & Marcos Rivero
Translating to “Cup Of Cotton” is a short historical fiction set in the Aztec Empire. This story revolves around Copo de Algodon, the daughter of royale. This book has a historical vocabulary pertaining to Mexican History. A teen who is understanding and trying to get a hold of a language must read various books to understand the language in depth. Hence, this book becomes a must-read for all high schoolers who are learning Spanish.
8. “Bajo la misma estrella” by John Green
Translates to “Under the Same Star” is the Spanish version of John Green’s evergreen classic, “The Fault in Our Stars.” The story is about two teens having cancer who fall in love. If you have already read this book in English, it may be easy for you to follow the narration. This light-hearted comedy would be a great read for students as relating to the characters’ emotions would intrigue them to read it further.
9. “…y no se lo tragó la tierra” by Tomás Rivera
Translating to “…and the earth did not swallow him” was written in 1971. It is a series of short stories and vignettes. If you want to take breaks or break the whole book into small chunks, this book can be a pick for you. Reason why this is a great book for high schoolers, as they do not have to commit to this book at a stretch.
All the stories shine a light on Mexican immigrants from Texan Fields. The stories are told from a child’s perspective, which makes the second reason why this is a great read for young adults. The book would give great insights into how white society discriminates towards immigrants.
Spanish literature is the source of diverse ideologies, cultures, and traditions. Reading them would make a high schooler a better person. If you are someone who is learning the Spanish language, these books would be great for you as these would help you to frame sentences, use the words wisely, and understand the tone better. Altogether, including these books into your reading stash would surely work in your favor! Before choosing a book, always remember to indulge in a book that solves more than one purpose. As a high schooler, you should be eager to learn more cultures, about politics, and social issues. A lot of these books would fill up your hunger for getting to know more about the world while making you a master in speaking Spanish.
An Engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor, and animal rights activist. I have more than 5 years of teaching experience and have worked closely with students with learning disorders. I have worked with special educators, counselors, and experts in dealing with common issues that students face during their academic journey.