Poor Ana – by Blaine Ray (Level 1 – Book A)
The easiest novel that exists in English – for first-year students.  A vocabulary of only 300 words.  Ana is a 15-year-old girl who leads a tough life in a small city in Mexico.  Her mother is always on her.  Her family doesn’t have much money, but her best friend’s families have more money.  She’s extremely jealous of them.

When she gets an opportunity to go to California, she goes to Los Angeles, where she lives with a very nice family that has conflicts similar to the ones in her own family.  Her view of her life changes radically.  When she gets back home, she sees everything in a different light.

Poor Ana is short and easy.  When they read it, beginning students discover that they have actually learned a significant amount of English.  Level 1 – Book A.

Chapter Three B

Ana smiles because the family is nice.  Susan speaks a little Spanish and Ana speaks a little English.  The two can communicate a little.

“This is my friend, Jana,” says Susan.

“Hi,” says Ana.

“Hi,” says Jana.

The three girls go to Susan’s bedroom.

“Do you have a boyfriend? How old are you? Do you like school? Do you like American music?”

Ana says, “Please.  I don’t understand.  Speak slower.”

“How old are you?” Susan repeats very slowly.

“Fifteen,” Ana says.

Susan smiles because Ana understands.

“Do you have a boyfriend?” Jana asks.

“No, I don’t have a boyfriend,” Ana answers.

“Do you like school?” Susan asks.

“Yes, I like it.  I have a good school.  I like my school in Mexico,” says Ana.

“Do you like Justin Timberlake’s music?” asks Jana.

“Justin Timberlake is very famous.  I like his music,” says Ana.

“Does your family have a car?” Susan asks.

“No, my family doesn’t have a car.  I’m unhappy that my family doesn’t have a car.  I have two friends.  Their families have cars.  My family doesn’t have a car.  My family doesn’t have much money,” Ana tells them.

“Most families in the United States have cars because they need a car to go to work.  In Los Angeles, we don’t have a very good transportation system.  Most people drive a car to work.  They sit in a car for hours because there’s so much traffic.  There are a lot of problems because we have so many cars.  The United States uses a lot of gasoline.  It’s a big problem.  Everyone has a car, so our country uses too much gasoline.  It’s a problem,” says Jana.

Ana says to her, “Please, repeat.”

Jana repeats everything, and she speaks very slowly.  Ana smiles because she understands there are problems in the United States.  She understands there are too many cars in the United States.  Ana is surprised that it’s a problem that there are too many cars in the United States.

Ana is surprised to see the Martin’s house.  It’s not very different from her house in Mexico.  It’s a little bit bigger, but it’s not very different.  Ana is surprised.  She’s surprised that all of the houses in the United States aren’t big.  She’s surprised that the Martin’s house isn’t big.  The house has a living room.  It has a kitchen and three bedrooms.  There’s a bathroom, but it’s not a big bathroom.  Ana is surprised that the bathroom is not very big.

Two of the bedrooms are small, and one bedroom is big.  Susan sleeps in one of the small bedrooms and Paul sleeps in the other one.  The parents sleep in the big bedroom.  Ana is going to sleep in Susan’s bedroom.  Ana is happy to sleep in the bedroom with Susan.

Ana asks them questions about the United States.  “Do you have school here in the summer?”

“Yes, in California a lot of kids go to summer school.  That’s when they can take an extra class.  The regular school goes from September until June.  There are regular classes nine months of the year,” Susan answers.

“What do you study in school?” Ana asks Susan.

“I study Spanish, English, Math, Science and United States History,” says Susan.

“What are your friend’s names? Do they go to your school?” Ana asks both of them.

“Jana is my best friend.  We spend a lot of time together.  We go to the same school.  I’m happy Jana is my friend,” says Susan.

Jana says, “Susan is my best friend too.  She likes to go to my house.  We do a lot of things together.  We study together.  We play tennis together and we listen to music together.  We also talk about boys.”

Jana tells Ana, “We have another friend.  Her name is Veronica.  She goes to our school too.  She’s a good friend.”

Jana goes home, and Ana and Susan talk for three hours.  Ana only understands a little, but she’s happy to be in the United States.  Ana likes her new family.  She likes the United States.


Poor Ana is published by:
Blaine Ray Workshops, which features TPR Storytelling products and related materials.
Command Performance Language Institute, which features Total Physical Response products and other fine products related to language acquisition and teaching.
Cover art by Pol (www.polanimation.com)
First Edition published June, 2007.
Copyright 2007 by Blaine Ray.  All rights reserved.  No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from Blaine Ray.