Jennifer Degenhardt, B.A., M.Ed., taught middle and high school Spanish for 24 years. She began writing when students in her classes were not “buying in” to the traditional textbook lessons. With the first story she wrote, Jennifer found that her students were more engaged, both with the language and in class in general. While her books highlight cultural, social, economic and political themes necessary for continued conversation, both in- and out of the classroom, all of them deal with identity to some degree and how important it is to know who you are. Jennifer is passionate about helping students learn more about themselves through storytelling and writing and is currently sharing this passion with her students at the college level at UCONN Stamford.
To further learn the why behind her writing, have a listen to the conversation she had with Scot Titsworth on his podcast, "Teaching Matters."
I am a 6th grade Spanish teacher and new to CI. This book is a great way to start at a beginners level where students will be able to understand the story and grasp the meaning of the story with the teacher's ability to implement CI at the start of the year.
Maestra Caballero, New Jersey
Jennifer Degenhardt has hit on a great formula with this book. Take high school age characters, add teenage angst, a dose of Facebook and texting, and finish it off with forbidden love and you have a wonderful recipe for a FVR/SSR novel. My students have enjoyed this book. It is written at a level that my Spanish II and higher students can read it independently, while my Spanish I students can read with assistance. The chapters are a perfect length for this setting and have just enough action to keep the plot moving forward. I have just added Jennifer's 2nd book "La Niñera" to my FVR library, and I am looking forward to her 3rd novel which I hear is coming out soon! Keep your eyes out for it!
Señor Sifert, Iowa
I finished Los tres amigos last night. It tore me up. I'll have to go back and re-read to think about level and vocabulary -- I didn't even pay attention. I thought about the story and how much I related to it. This is as much a book for the girl whose boyfriend breaks up with her (everyone) as a book about a boy who comes out. For girls -- we've all been the girl with the guy friend who turned out to be gay. It's really good. It's culture in a way that makes it the background of everything... I will be thinking about this book for a long time.... mostly that I didn't think there was an audience for books like this and now I know I was wrong and I couldn't be happier. Jennifer Degenhardt -- you are a groundbreaker and I hope a lot of the rest of us follow the path you've beaten.