Belonging to the genre of language learner literature, this is an easy Spanish reader containing just 270 new vocabulary words and many English-Spanish cognates.
Tension is mounting. Despite 500 years of the Spanish Reconquista, Christian Kings have managed to recapture only two-thirds of the Iberian Peninsula from Muslims. When Muslim leader Al-Nasir starts amassing troops from Africa, Christians declare a crusade to recruit and gather military forces in Toledo.
The epic 1212 Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa looms. With a call of duty and a sense of holy devotion Knight Templar Pedro Vega Garcia, whosesecrets run deeper than his battle scars, is eager to meet his rivals. However, his immediate challenge just may be his 16-year-old niece Clara and her insatiable curiosity about Islamic and Arabic cultures.
This book has 88 pages with 42 pages of photos of the settings in the book: Segovia, Toledo, Seville, Cordoba, and Jaen.
“Rabbi Michael Lerner notes that the political situation in the Mideast is unstable because the debate has been hijacked by extremists on both sides. Mira Canion takes a similar position in Rival, with respect to Muslim-Christian hostility in Spain. Her focus is the battle of 1212 of Las Navas de Tolosa. This novel is written in basic Spanish for Spanish students, but is a genuine historical novel and easily holds the
reader’s interest. A good book! I look forward to more.” Dr. Stephen Krashen
Sample: Chapter One, first two pages
“I’ve always been fascinated with stories of secret societies and such and have often come across mentions of the Knights Templar…This story reveals more about the mentality of the people behind the myths by giving insight into both the minds of the Knights Templar on the side of Christianity and to the Muslims with Islam as well…It was especially interesting when the differences began to blur between both sides…My only regret for this one is that the story ran out of words before I wanted to be done with it.” — Jamie L., high school student
“This was a story I would love reading in class. Not only is the story entertaining but it also contains history and culture from many different countries and religions such as the United States, Spain, Muslims, and Christians, which applies to a large amount of people in the world.” — Megan C, high school student
“…[i]t was very interesting and always had action involved in every chapter of the story.” — Lyndsey W., high school student
“I really loved the story Rival. Throughout my years in Spanish classes, I have read a fair share of stories and novel. This one, by far, is my favorite. Incorporating factual history into the plot helped to put the situation into perspective for me, and make the events feel more real. Many aspects of the story are relatable as well as believable… As the plot unfolded, my interest increased with the rising suspense. Ending the novel as you did was incredible.” — Gina, high school student
“Although your story revolved around religion, I surprisingly remained interestedthroughout it. I think the war aspect of it gave it an edge.” — Kelsey A., high school student
“The story of “Rival” taught me a lot about the battle between the Muslims and Christans in Spain. Without this story, I would not understand why the tragedy had happened in 2004…I thought you did an excellent job on writing this topic. I could tell you really put a lot of work into the research for this story.” — Eric J., high school student
“Through my few years of Spanish classes, I have been able to read numerous stories. Out of all of the stories, I believe your story has been the best read so far! The themes, characters, and the plot kept me interested throughout the entire time I read.” –Pavle C., high school student
“My favorite part about your book was that you portrayed the idea that is does not matter what religion a person believes in, we are all human and should be treated equal.” — Katie D., high school student
“This is not a story that I would usually read, but I was surprised by how much I liked it.” — McKenzie D., high school student
“I really liked the plot of the story. It helped me learn more about the conflict that was between Christians and Muslims. I honestly did not really know anything about this conflict, but after reading your book, I feel that I know so much more about why they did not get along.” — Elizabeth G., high school student
“So far, in high school, I have not found a Spanish story that has kept my attention. However, Rival kept me on my toes throughout the story but definitely at the end.” — Raven K., high school students