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Easy Spanish Reader

Easy Spanish Reader
Author/Publisher: William T. Tardy
Emphasis: Dictionary
List Price: $10.95

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Product Description
A fun and easy new way to quickly acquire or enhance basic reading skills

These unique guides are based on the premise that the best way to learn a language is to start reading it, immediately. Suitable for raw beginners to intermediate-level language learners, the new editions of these popular titles feature engaging readings of progressive difficulty that allow learners to rapidly build comprehension.

Easy French Reader begins with the adventures of two friends, an American and a Parisian, as they learn about their respective cultures. This is followed by readings on the history of France, from ancient Gaul to the present. The final section features four abridged short stories by famous French authors.

Similarly, Easy Spanish Reader begins with the story of two high school seniors involved with their Spanish Club, followed by a history of Mexico, from the Conquistadors to the present, and an abridged version of the classic story of "Lazarillo de Tormes."

  • Progressive format makes it easy to quickly build comprehension
  • Marginal word glossaries conveniently present new words and phrases
  • Exercises challenge comprehension and build reading skills
  • Attractive new editions, fully updated and featuring appealing new artwork and expanded exercises

From the Back Cover

Learn how to read in Spanish--starting right now!

The Easy Reader Series books are unique, easy-to-follow guides based on the premise that the best way to learn a language is to start reading it immediately! Whether you're a brand-new beginner or an advanced-beginning learner, the new editions of these popular titles give you ways to dive into the language with engaging readings that progress in difficulty to match your growing reading skills. This process will allow you to rapidly build comprehension and confidence as you enjoy the stories.

Easy Spanish Reader begins with the story of two high-school seniors involved with their Spanish Club. As you read about their experiences, you'll discover the nuances of language and culture right along with the students.

The next section contains a colorful history of Mexico, from the Conquistadors to the present, including vivid depictions of Cortès's encounters with the Aztecs. The last section is comprised of an abridged version of the classic story "Lazarillo de Tormes," which allows you to practice your grammar and vocabulary skills on a great work of Spanish literature.

  • Progressive format makes it easy to quickly build comprehension
  • Marginal word glossaries conveniently present new words and phrases
  • Exercises challenge language comprehension and build reading skills
  • Fully updated new editions, featuring expanded exercises and answer key


Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 2 edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071428062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071428064
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review:

    4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Great Way To Practice Comprehension and Speaking
The beginning passages of this book are simple and relatively easy to understand even if you barely know Spanish at all, but by the end of the book the readings are more complex and challenging. This is a great way to get into Spanish if you know very little. My only complaint is that the exercises are fairly pointless because the answers are whole sentences straight from the text. However, the great passages and formatting make this book worth buying as an introductory Spanish text.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - A great review of Spanish if you need to brush up- like I do!
I studied Spanish for six years, with the last being the 1996-1997 academic year. I have tuned in to Spanish media and read a few Spanish language magazines. I wanted to return to the nuts and bolts of the language, with an affordable textbook. I picked up Easy Spanish Reader because it was affordable and promising.

Like any good student, I began with the first story about the two high school students. I regained my confidence with the language. The second part, a short history of Mexico, was fascinating and encouraging. I learned new vocabulary words. I was able to understand each passage, referring to my dictionary only a few times. The last section, the story of Lazarillo, was difficult. Not very difficult, definitely didn't frustrate me, but it did make me work on my comprehension. The Q&A, after each passage, focused on pulling information from said passage.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars - Teach yourself spanish reader
Dictionary does not have all the words. Have to use your own dictionary as well as there. Gets cumbersome.


Rating: 2 out of 5 stars - Incorrect grammar!!!

This book is often missing the correct usage of the third person indirect object pronouns "le" and "les". There are several instances in which its says "dar a alguien" where it should be "darle a alguien". This is very bad because I started using it with my students when they began to learn these pronouns. They noticed right away that they were missing.

p. 90: "entonces dijo a sus soldados" should be "entonces LES dijo a sus soldados"

p. 90: "y pronto estos ofrecieron su ayuda a Cortes" should be "y pronto estos LE ofrecieron su ayuda a Cortes".

p. 78: "La directora inicia la ceremonia y habla a los presentes" should be "la directora inicia la ceremonia y LES habla a los presentes".

p. 78: "Despues la directora entrega los diplomas a cada uno de los alumnos" should be " Despues la directora LEs entrega los diplomas a cada uno de los alumnos."

They're all over the place.


Rating: 2 out of 5 stars - There are better readers out there
My students hated this book. I read it years ago but it was far too boring for my eighth grade class. If you're looking for a reader, I'd recommend the Blaine Ray series. It's easy vocabulary; the first book uses only 300 words and has 9 chapters. I had my students read a chapter for homework and then we acted it out in class.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Great for Beginners
Great book for beginners. Although it is very basic, reading is very helpful when learning a new language.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Easy Spanish Reader
This is perfect for begineer's Spanish. The stories are a great introduction for middle or high school students (even college learners). The stories are a little more juvenial than the older grades, though each word in each story is found in an index in the back of the book. A good buy.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Fun for beginners
I'm just starting to learn Spanish, and this book is very fun for practice.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Great book
I love this book. It is great for extra practice in Spanish. The exercises are good for reinforcing what you have just read, and to make you think about the structure and grammar. It also has the answers in the back of the book so you can check your own work.


Rating: 2 out of 5 stars - Boring Spanish Reader
This review covers only parts I and II of the book, not the adaptation of Lazarillo de Tormes at the end, because, frankly, I didn't get that far before I gave up. (I might pick it up again, and if I still find it insufferable, I might skip ahead to that section and check it out.) It should be possible to find a similar adaptation online for free, anyway. Or, if you're in the mood for a challenge, of course you can see if you can read it in the original archaic Spanish... heck, I found one free online version in supposedly modernized Spanish with a side-by-side English translation. (I say "supposedly" because I haven't looked at it in detail yet.)

I bought this in the hopes that I'd have something easy to read. Well, it certainly is. It starts out a little TOO easy, reminding me of my lessons from Spanish I in high school. The language in the first part is very simple. Simple language doesn't necessarily mean boring language: just ask Dr. Seuss. The language gets more complex as you progress through the book. But no matter how simple or how complex it is, it's flat-out BORING. There are no jokes. There is no dramatic tension. There are almost no entertaining anecdotes; there was ONE that gave me a chuckle (while I simultaneously rolled my eyes): a character who starts talking about stamps and is apparently incapable of shutting up. But, in short, there is no incentive to keep reading. True, the focus is to study Spanish and not enjoy a good story, but who says you can't do both at the same time? I couldn't stand to read this stuff if it were written in English; reading it in a somewhat unfamiliar language only makes it worse.

The first part is about two students named Enrique and María, and their friends and family and school. This is a fine setting, because words for the situations that are likely to come up are a high priority for many students. But NOTHING HAPPENS. There's no story. It's a coherent and consistent narrative, not a random collection of sentences, but no matter how I try I just can't give a darn about any of the characters or anything they do. A good writer could put together a good story no matter how simple the language needs to be and no matter what vocabulary items he wants to put into it. Or, at least, one that doesn't make the reader want to fall asleep.

The second part is about the history of Mexico. The first half or so of that part focuses on Hernán Cortés and the Aztecs. It reads like an oversimplified history book. History isn't necessarily boring, but history books are usually not fun to read because they're so dry. Here's what I think is the, uh, highlight of the whole book:

"El pueblo azteca estaba tan enfurecido por la cobardía de su emperador que le tiró piedras. Una de estas piedras le dio al emperador en la frente y causó una herida grave. Algunos días después, Cortés mató al pobre emperador."

For those of you whose Spanish hasn't reached this level yet (and if it has, don't even bother with this book), it says this:

"The Aztec people were so enraged by the cowardice of their emperor that they threw stones at him. One of these stones hit the emperor in the forehead and caused a severe wound. Several days afterward, Cortés killed the poor emperor."

Please! This could have been FUN to read. I could have been held in suspense, wondering what the Aztec people were going to do, and after they hit the emperor, wondering if the emperor is going to make it... no, there's no tension or suspense at all. There's a book on programming (Writing Solid Code by Steve Maguire) that talks about how code needs to be as clear and simple as possible, rather unlike a mystery novel. But about that mystery novel, it says, "If you wrote, 'Somebody walked up and stabbed Joe,' you'd put your reader to sleep." A book on PROGRAMMING -- something that has very little to do with writing -- demonstrates a better grasp of storytelling principles than this book does. Doesn't the part I quoted above come down to little more than "Somebody walked up and stabbed Joe"?

The reason that this book doesn't get one star is that it does get a couple of things right. The text is easy to understand, and for words I don't know, there is usually either a quick definition in the margin or, failing that, one in the back of the book. If you have an urgent need to read something, anything, in Spanish that you can understand, it'll do the job. If you're intimidated by Spanish and want to build confidence, this book can probably help if you absolutely can't find anything better. But this book is strictly for studying, nothing else. If you're looking for any entertainment at all, look elsewhere!


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Best of its kind!
This book is fantastic. It's the best one I have seen like it. I made the mistake of getting the 1st edition though and I feel like I got ripped off. After I got the first edition I found out that there was a second edition for less than half the price. I'm still very happy with the book and feel like my understanding of Spanish is improving rapidly because of it.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Easy Spanish Reader
Easy to read and use, yet a useful teaching tool. I strongly recommend it for students who are in their second Spanish course.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - A Spanish teacher loves this book
Since I'm not a native speaker I had my class concentrate more on learning to read and translate Spanish. They pretty much liked this book. They were more interested in the stories about the two high school students Maria and Enrique than the history of the Spanish conquest or the story of Lazarillo de Tormes. The sections are short and accompanied by sets of questions to be answered as well as true false questions and even crossword puzzles. This book is very easy to read. The author uses mostly present tense and lots of cognates. My students were mostly 2nd year repeats and they were able to get through it.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Excellent practice and reinforcement
If you've had a semester or two of Spanish, and you truly want to learn the langauge, I highly recommend this book. The book begins with very simple words and phrases and progresses at a moderate pace to more difficult readings.

I tried other "beginner" books (such as "First Spanish Reader"), but I found them too advanced after only a few months in the classroom. Now, "Easy Spanish Reader" has helped me bridge the gap from my textbook to hispanic newspapers and short stories (and to "First Spanish Reader" again).

My edition (the second) has an answer key for the exercises (although you won't need it) and a pretty good glossary.

Hint: Re-read the passages every now and then, and make flash cards out of the few words you don't remember. You'll be surprised how quickly you can learn that way.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Easy Spanish Reader
I am very pleased with the Easy Spanish Reader. The book is in excellent condition and was delivered promptly. Thank you.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - A Top-Notch Reader for Beginning Student of Spanish
This second edition of Tardy's book is excellent for the beginning student, whether she be in a class or learning Spanish on her own. She will, however, need a dictionary and a grammar book on her desk as well, for Tardy doesn't define all new words and structures as they are introduced.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Outstanding way into a language
This is a terrific book for older children through young adults who are starting to learn Spanish. It moves seamlessly from raw beginner to reasonable reading levels, without talking down to the reader. Plus, being successful early on really motivates the student. The Spanish tutor that we work with uses it as the centrepiece of the lessons, spinning out vocabulary and grammer exercises from the text, and the interest level stays high for the children. We bought it on the strength of the other reviews on Amazon, and it has really lived up to the praise.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Easy Spanish Reader
This is the best book I've read for someone learning Spanish. It uses terminology within the 1st semester and has a very good grasp of which words need further definition. I highly recommend this book for anyone learning Spanish. It does not speak down to the student, but instead, gives the student credit for a good deal of intelligence and shows confidence in the reader. I give this book top marks and rate it at the top of it's class.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Easy Spanish Reader
A great book for beginning Spanish learners. Limited vocabulary helps the learner to build syntax skills. Highly recommended for anyone interested in learning Spanish or brushing up on rusty skills.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - GREAT way to increase all aspects of your Spanish knowledge!
I highly recommend this one. I used it as the sole text for a Summer Spanish Reading course. We introduced the vocab, and then read the chapters and discussed answers as well as words the students learned from context clues.

There are three sections, which allow you to take a breather, or continue to increase your vocabulary, grammar, and simply any part of Spanish - for your best results, be sure to read it aloud!

This is definitely geared to an avid reader - the junior high crowd at the youngest. For the younger student, try the workbook Flip Flop Spanish, or some board books by Wemberley or Boynton, as well as the classics like good night moon and Curious George translated.

Sra. Gose
Author of Flip Flop Spanish: Ages 3-5: Level 1 & Flip Flop Spanish: Ages 3-5: Level 2

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Muy excelente!
I love this book! Not only am I refreshing my memory of beginner level spanish vocabulario (Me llamo un ano tres estudiante espanol), but i am finally learning how to read more fluently in Spanish, and understanding it more coherently than i ever did before! It surprises me that they don't use this book in class for all grade levels of spanish students. Sure, for a second or third year student, it's a piece of torta(cake)! But, it's truly a great way to refresh the memory of simple vocabulary, and it's entertaining, unlike the very boring spanish stories that we had to read in class. I would recommend this book to beginners, second year, and third year students!


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Walking Right Into Spanish
Enrique and Maria are seniors at Glenview High School, learning Spanish and enjoying the activities of their Spanish club, los Aventureros. They have an enjoyable senior year, playing sports, going to movies, and even exchanging "e-mails" with students from Spain. As we say goodbye to Enrique and Maria their friendship is ripening into--well, maybe, something more. So, what will finally happen? You will just have to read the book to find out--in Spanish.

Two subsequent sections of the book comprise a brief history of Mexico--in full blood and gore--from the Aztecs to Vicente Fox; and a shortened adaptation of a classic 16th century Spanish work, Lazarillo do Tormes.

Easy Spanish Reader is based on the concept that you learn quickest by simply reading. The lessons are progressive so that you learn quickly, incorporating new words based on context. There are no tedious grammar lessons or vocabulary lists. No verb conjugations. Everything explains itself, except for a small number of marginal glosses for new vocabulary words. As other reviewers have noted, a certain rudimentary knowledge of Spanish is essential to use this book, but it can be minimal. The concept works, partly because English and Spanish share so many words and concepts. Exercizes after each lesson help to consolidate what has been learned.

The only flaw I could find is that the glossary at the back is incomplete. There are a few words you will just have to guess at. I enjoyed this book thoroughly, and I feel it has greatly enhanced my knowledge of Spanish. I recommend it highly. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Amo este libro!
I honestly love this book. One of the things I prize about it is that it is genuinely funny. Oh the chapter about Enrique's mala suerte...espero espero pero no el director ---is precious. The first time through I was just reading to hear the words and follow the story, but my second pass through I am paying attention to verb tenses and conjugations. Verbs (and other words) keep re-appearing in different ways throughout the text, in different contexts, and one comes away with sense of discovery and mastery


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Excellent for beginners to intermediate
I used audio learning (Pimsleur; Learn Spanish in your Car; Vocabulearn). This book was excellent to help me bridge my audio comprehension to visual/reading. I don't know why the 2nd edition is labelled "Abridged". The only difference I noticed is that the 2nd edition has an increased page count, and it has the answers to the exercises at the end of the book. I didn't notice any material removed.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Easy Spanish Reader by William T. Tardy
This is a great book for older teens as it starts with stories of college level students attending the University of Mexico. Later it evolves into some of the history of So. America. I just ordered a copy for my HS granddaughter in Oregon who is struggling with Spanish lessons.
I'm keeping my own copy of Easy Spanish Reader since I find it a very quick and enjoyable way to improve my understanding of Spanish. Also, will use the book as a reference while having conversations with my grandaughter. Should be fun and motivating for both of us.


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