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3 Great Novels For Spanish Learners

Reading is important when learning a language, and pushing yourself to finish a novel or even a short story in Spanish is a good challenge. I’ve included three novels I recommend for beginners to intermediate, from authors with different styles.

“El principito” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Although this book was originally written in French, its simple story and sweet pictures mean that it’s easy to read in any language. Some people claim that the alien landscapes described in the book refer to Patagonia in Argentina, as Saint-Exupéry flew over the region many times during his time as a pilot.

A good book for practicing simple dialogue and the past tense, “El principito” is a manageable length for intermediate students and above.

Even if you’ve already read “The Little Prince” in English (or another language), you’ll find it useful to read again in Spanish. That way you can concentrate on the language, while enjoying the familiar story.

"Cuentos de la Selva” by Horacio Quiroga

In this whimsical collection of short stories by Uruguayan author Horacio Quiroga, the reader will learn new animal and plant vocabulary. Quiroga spent many years living in the jungle of Misiones, Argentina and used his experiences to bring the jungle to life in these short stories. Published in 1918, Cuentos de la Selva is wildly imaginative, and teaches the reader about the jungle. In his stories the animals are often main characters and the humans, when they appear, are alternately painted as allies or destructive enemies.

"Manolito Gafotas” by Elvira Lindo

This young adult novel from Spain is about a ten-year-old named Manolito, and his misadventures in Madrid. It is the first of a series of novels about a working-class kid in Carabanchel that inspired two movies in 1999 and 2004, and a TV series. It is a bit longer and perhaps more challenging than the previous two books. That being said, you can use the movies and the TV series to help, and reinforce what you read.

Bringing the context of a book to vocabulary learning helps you stay motivated and inspired. What are some Spanish books you have loved?

If you enjoyed this article please share it with friends and give my page a like on Facebook! I’m a Spanish teacher based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since 2007 I have been exclusively teaching Spanish to people from all over the world. Whether looking for an online Spanish tutor, or in person while visiting Buenos Aires, please reach out to me with any questions you might have!
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