No one lives and incorporates culture and diversity like Jennifer Degenhardt. She finds beauty in the seemingly small things that are a portal into cultural significance and connections. Maybe unspoken, but she opens readers' minds to what is important in life and relationships while celebrating the richness of travel, an embrace of diversity, and enabling our students to step out of their American mindsets! My 8th graders very much connected with El Jersey due to age and interest, a great first chapter reader. She wove the story and characters so that my class was proud of their progress, not babied fr a level 1 book we read as a class. They said they like reading Spanish better than their English novels! ps ~ Know how useful the Teacher's Guide and available audio per chapter are!
Jennifer McKay, Spanish teacher
I'm 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
If you want an engaging, thoughtful, and sincere tutor, look no further than Jen Degenhardt! I had the privilege of working with her for a number of years, and I witnessed her strong commitment and enthusiasm firsthand. She's not only knowledgeable, but also dedicated to the students she works with.
This is a beautiful story. I'm happy to have it in my classroom library, especially for students who need to see positive representations of people like themselves in literature. It does have romantic themes but it is completely appropriate for students as young as 11, which is the age I teach (there is some hand holding). It takes on big topics in a comprehensible way and shows teen life in a way that kids can relate to. At the end of silent reading time this week one of my students who is reading it said, "There was a big twist in my book and I just want to keep reading!" That's a home run.
Rachel - Spanish teacher - from Amazon review
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.
Karen Rowan, Fluency Fast - Colorado
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
Profe is amazing! I have been lucky enough to work alongside Profe in her class a few times and to say all had a blast would be the ultimate understatement! She is patient and understanding and delivers her lessons with a maternal eloquence making all feel welcome. Her created material is incredible for new Spanish speakers and gives the student a way to learn that they actually get! I would explain her methods to the new Spanish speaker as "survival Spanish " which is totally functional. She is able to include art, and history into her lessons as well as cuisine from Spanish speaking countries! Her knowledge is vast and completely envelops the student with love and caring. If you or a friend has a child thst needs help with Spanish and want it to be fun and entertaining and delivered with ultimate energy than Profe is the one for you!! Jennifer Degenhardt A++++ Simply the best! A true fan.