(For the Spanish version of this book, go to https://openpress.universityofgalway.ie/childrensfictioninspanish/)

This is the English version of your book above, your first textbook completely in Spanish. Yes, I am writing to you today, a Second-Year Spanish student at our college who has chosen to study Spanish at an undergraduate level. This module and the textbook for this module in your hands tries to replicate what Narnia’s wardrobe, Diagon Alley and the books of Don Quixote did in popular culture. This book wants to open a new world that you may not be familiar with, but is very close and within reach in any bookshop in a Spanish-speaking country. We want to give you the key to the world of children’s and Young Adult (YA) fiction in Spanish, but we are not going to stop there. We aren’t going to only open the door and go into hallways filled with old and new books. We are going to tread beyond the page. There is a huge territory to explore. That is why this book isn’t just called children’s and YA literature, but fiction for children and young adults.

The journey we are inviting you on is not a long term stay. We have organized 10 travel days and two rest days, in other words 10 lessons and two revisions, in which we are going to visit the landmarks, concepts and main methods used in the production and publication of children’s and YA literature. We are going to explore the avenues on which these works are published. We will visit comics, YouTube videos and Youtubers, fragments from books, series, films and cartoons, with several authors and topics. Our list is neither complete nor comprehensive because we would need an entire lifetime to comprehend the range of issues and areas of this super productive fictional worlds.

You are probably wondering what you need to bring on this journey. The list is very simple. What you need to bring with you is:

  • Willingness to play and learn – You are suddenly going to experience your inner child and remember how to play, do ridiculous things, laugh and not take things so seriously.
  • Energy and time – You are going to read and watch a lot, all of which is mostly in Spanish. You will need a lot of time to invest in this course, depending on your level of Spanish and how difficult you find reading or watching videos in your second language.
  • Motivation – This type of fiction can be more difficult than fiction for adults because it is heavily based on oral Spanish. You are going to need a certain amount of willingness to work on these texts, articles and theoretical concepts that we are going to use in order to understand this type of fiction a bit better.
  • Participation – This course would not make any sense if we did not share our experience with the primary sources. What matters is to be comfortable and share what we are experiencing with our classmates, when working with the materials for this module.

Like any trip we take on uncharted territories, preparation for each lesson will be essential. So, it is very important for you to read the articles, stories, books, video, etc., that we request for each unit before coming to class, so that the seminars we do on these materials are more productive, entertaining and participative.

In the index and contents of this book, you can see in detail what type of books, stories and formats we are going to deal with throughout the semester. It’s not an easy journey but you can rest assured, it will be worth it. Do you want to come with us?

To tickle your fancy, we are going to start with a TED video published to emphasize the importance of children’s literature in your own life experience:

(14.29) (CC-BY-ND-SA-NC)

We also invite you to read this fascinating article from The Guardian, which reminds us that children’s fiction can save lives: https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2015/sep/29/childrens-books-build-a-better-world-sf-said (CC-BY-ND-SA-NC)


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