Noches misteriosas en Granada

Book Title Noches misteriosas en Granada (Mysterious Nights in Granada)
Author(s) Kristy Placido
Illustrator(s) Irene Jiménez Casasnovas
Other Contributors Carol Gaab
Published by Fluency Matters
Genre Mystery and Adventures
Publication date 2011
#Ownvoices N/A

From the author/publisher’s website
Advanced Beginner

Total Word Count

Illustrations                    YES 
Glossary                          YES  
Guiding Questions       NO  
Context                            NO  

Races, Ethnicities, and Nationalities

Languages spoken

Sex and Genders

Senior – secondary character

Social classes
Middle Class
Sexual Orientation



Family Structures

Body Type

From the author/publisher’s website 

Kevin used to have the perfect life. Now, dumped by his popular girlfriend, Kevin leaves for a summer in Spain with his best friend, and his life seems anything but perfect. Taking classes he can’t understand, living with a very odd host-family, trying to get the attention of a girl with whom he has no chance, and dealing with a guy who has a dark side and who seems to be out to get him, Kevin escapes into a book and enters a world of long-ago adventures. As the boundaries between his two worlds begin to blur, Kevin discovers that nothing is as it appears… especially at night!

To what extent do the illustrations present positive and thoughtful representations of identities?

The illustrations present a non-curvy representation of identities. Both males and females are portrayed in a positive and thoughtful manner.

Knowing that Soraya comes from a moor ancestry (her father was a moor), the illustrator chose to portray the character as light-skinned.
We understand identities are complex and no single story represents the spectrum of identity-based experiences. Also, a text may address a stereotype, misrepresentation, or generalization without relying on it.

Does any stereotype, misrepresentation, or generalization affect any positive and thoughtful representations of identities in the text?

This section is for teachers who are working towards sourcing more texts within the four domains of anti-bias education. We are excited about reading all books and we understand that not all books are written for this specific purpose. 

Does this text work toward goals within any of the four domains of anti-bias education as defined by Teaching Tolerance
Diversity: Foster intergroup understanding

Kevin is an exchange student who goes on an adventure in Granada, in the south of Spain. There, he finds a lot of cultural elements that are different from his own culture. 

The book is ideal for young adults who like romance and mystery. It keeps the reader engaged chapter after chapter with a lot of interesting elements. In addition, it also tackles cultural aspects that can allow teachers to further develop different customs, traditions, and ways of living. For example, Kevin has a paella for dinner (p. 11), kisses their host on the cheek to greet her (p. 10), and is hosted in a cave house inhabited by “gitanos” in the area (p. 11).

On page 11, the narrator mentions that the cave house is not a “normal” house, however that is a narrow perspective: not normal according to who? What does a normal house look like? Also, knowing that Soraya comes from a Moor ancestry (her father was a Moor), the illustrator chose to portray the character as light-skinned.

It would be important for the teacher to explicitly acknowledge with the students that “gitanos” have been a marginalized group within Spain. In addition, the teacher could also expand on the importance of the cultural influence of the Moor people in all aspects of the southern Spain culture. Without contextualization, a reading of this story may lead the reader to a one-dimensional understanding of the “gitano” culture. 

3.18.2022 We previously identified the examples below as language imperialism.  By nature, authors of comprehensible readers create texts that maximize comprehension of the language for language learners whose first language is English, and this can result in unintended language imperialism when the author’s native language is not Spanish.  We acknowledge that this is a complex concept and that there are many forms of expression among speakers of any language – what appears to function as language imperialism to one individual may not to another for various reasons.  We are looking forward to growing our understanding of this concept through future research and dialogue.

There is some language imperialism:
p. 5 “Se dice: <<¡Soltera!>>” should be “dice: <<¡Soltera!>> because Kevin is not telling himself this information and it is not common knowledge information
p. 40 “los soldados guardan a unos prisioneros cristianos”. In this context, “guardar” is meant to be to guard, however, it means to put something away for storage.
p. 53 “su halcón le llega” should be “su halcón llega” because there is no further information about what the falcon brings. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close