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 Six

One night there’s a special dance at the high school.  The students usually have to pay when they go to a dance.  At this dance they pay with clothes instead of money.  Some of the clothes are new.  Some of the clothes are used.  Later they’ll have a clothing drive, and they’ll give all the clothing to poor children in another town.

There are a lot of people at the dance. A boy looks at Ana.  He walks over to her.  He asks her to dance.

“What’s your name?” the boy asks.

“My name is Ana.  What’s yours?”

“I’m Rick, Rick Lee.”

“Where are you from?” asks Rick.

“I’m from Mexico.  I’m visiting the United States for three months,” Ana answers.

“You speak English pretty well,” says Rick.

“Thank you.  I speak a lot more now,” says Ana.

“Do you know how to dance?” asks Rick.

“Yes, a little.  I like to dance, but I don’t dance very well.  And you?” asks Ana.

“I’m a dance expert.  I’ll give you dancing lessons.  In thirty minutes you are going to dance very well.”

They both dance.  Rick is a good teacher.  He teaches Ana to dance.  In thirty minutes, Ana is dancing very well.  They dance for two hours.  After dancing, Ana and Rick sit down at a table and talk.

“Do you have a girlfriend?” Ana asks.

“No, I don’t.  I go to dances and I dance, but I don’t have a girlfriend.”

“How many people are there in your family?” asks Ana.

“I have one brother and one sister.  I’m the oldest,” Rick explains.  “I’m fifteen years old.  My brother Rob is twelve years old.  My little sister’s name is Monica.  She’s only five years old.”

“There are five people in my family, too,” says Ana.  “I’m fifteen years old.  My brother’s name is Pablo.  He is fourteen years old.  My sister’s name is Marta.  She’s eleven years old.  What is your house like?”

“It’s a normal house.  It isn’t big and it isn’t small.  My house has three bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom,” explains Rick.  “My family has two cars.  Some of my friends have their own car, but I don’t.  It doesn’t bother me that I don’t have a car.  I would like to have a car.  Someday I will have a car.”

“I have problems with my parents,” Ana says.  “My parents yell a lot.  When I don’t do everything perfectly, my parents yell at me.”

“Ana, my parents yell too.  My Dad yells at me.  My Mom yells at me,” Rick explains.  “When I leave a book on the table, she yells at me.  Perfect families don’t exist.  All families have problems.”

“Really?  Great!  I don’t have a crazy family.  I have a normal family.  But my family doesn’t have very much money,” says Ana.

“Ana, that doesn’t matter.  My family doesn’t have a lot of money either, but we’re a happy family,” Rick says.

“Rick, I’m so happy.  I have a normal family.”

It’s very late.  Nancy looks at Ana and Rick.  She walks over to them and says, “It’s very late.  Let’s go home.”

“I’ll go with you.  My house is near Nancy’s house,” says Rick.

The three walk to Rick’s house.  They walk and talk.  They talk about many things.  They talk about friends.  They talk about the differences between Mexico and the United States.  They talk about their families.  In a few minutes, they are in front of Rick’s house.

Ana says to Rick, “Goodbye.”

She gives Rick a hug.  She’s happy.  She’s also sad because she’s going back to Mexico soon.


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.