Children’s reading as entertainment and culture

He assures that at the age of six he wrote his first story. Over the years, he decided to study journalism to give free rein to his literary passion, cultivating different genres ever since. But Andrea Latorre has always been fascinated by children’s stories. And a fortuitous event triggered a few years ago that he dedicated himself to children’s reading as entertainment and culture. In its “Six Amigos” collection, a saga starring a group of friends from Alicante offers young readers not only adventures, but also a cultural, gastronomic and geographical immersion. He has just released his third book, “Six Amigos and the Ghost Galleon”, which is set in various locations in the province of Alicante. The following On December 16 at El Corte Inglés and on December 23 at FNAC in Alicante he will sign copies.

Why did you decide to write this saga?

It was really something fortuitous and very curious. The first book “Six Friends and the Mystery of the Abandoned Attic” I wrote it when I was 24 as a birthday present for my first nephew. Several years later I decided to submit it to a publisher and it was finally published. This is where I thought of continuing the collection and framing each adventure in a different autonomous community so that through adventure and mystery, make known the great wealth and cultural, gastronomic and landscape diversity that occurs throughout the country. So far there are three books. A located in Asturias, another in Andalusia, specifically in Granada and the third in the Valencian Community, being Alicantethe island of Tabarca and Alcoy the chosen scenarios.

What has been the response to previous books?

The collection appeals to my readers since it is about a group of friends who become little detectives by the circumstances surrounding his adventures. The fact that they read about adventures and mysteries set in their cities, recognize the settings and can imagine the action in places they know, makes them more interested and “addicted” to reading. A mother wrote surprised and very happy because her son or daughter had sat down to read and enjoyed it. It is very gratifying to receive the feedback. Sometimes they send me audios and it’s a great joy to listen to them, to know their opinion and to check that they liked it and that they ask you for a new story.

Andrea Latorre studied journalism to give free rein to her literary passion

What does a book like this do for them, beyond promoting reading among children aged 8 to 12?

Besides the entertainment naturally offered by a book of adventures and mysteries, the collection is a brush stroke of the different autonomous communities, show their culture, their traditions or their gastronomy, for example. This way I pretend arouse their curiosity to visit different places. Or, in case they can’t go, at least they know the great diversity we have with our different territories. For example, in the case of Asturias, you already know what a granary is, what it was used for or what its structure looked like. That of Granada explains the Alhambra, the Sacromonte or Guadix with its troglodyte houses, considered a troglodyte city. in Alicante “Six Amigos and the Curse of the Phantom Galleon”tells the story of the city, Lucentum and the castle of Santa Barbara, as well as that of the island of table with its pirate raids and the history of the island. It’s a way to find out what’s closest to us while reading and having an adventure.

What inspires you in the process of creating each of the books in the collection?

The first thing I imagine and create is the story itself, the mystery I want to happen and I already shape it by combining it with everything else on a cultural level. He is hard to decide what to show because we have such a rich country at all levels that it becomes difficult to select which scenarios and which part of the story you want to communicate. For me, the most important thing is that it is a fun adventureeven that bring tension and this happens even more in the third book, the one about Alicante. The action is more eventful than in the previous two since my characters have also evolved in each volume.

The collection gives a touch of the different Autonomous Communities

And on the content side, landscapes, cities, monuments? Are they personal experience or pure recreation based on what is commonly known?

So far, all three have been to places I already knew. I know Asturias quite a bit since I’ve been there several times and I’ve visited it well. I usually go to Granada at least once a year as it is one of my favorite cities. As for Alicante and Tabarca, of course I know them well since I was a child and Alcoy is my hometown. These are not personal experiences, but they are places that are important to me and that I consider good to pass on to new readers. Of course, not everything is real, otherwise the adventures could not happen, and I allow myself creative license where you have to imagine beyond what you see.

cookbook adventures

Why include a QR code with the traditional recipes of each region presented in the books?

Gastronomy is a characteristic of each region. For me, this is one of the important points on which I base myself when deciding to go on a trip to one place or another. And being able to know and appreciate the different dishes and flavors that each place offers you. It is part of the tradition and culture from the different regions, and I show in the books the most typical and traditional dishes. Trying new dishes is easier if the protagonists of the book you are reading do. Also, there is a growing interest in the world of cooking in which each time they start cooking with less age. It’s a way to motivate learn to cook traditional dishesfollowing the steps given in the recipes that appear in each story.

Alicante, the island of Tabarca and Alcoy. Some of the new plot scenarios. Because?

When I decided that I wanted the third book to be the one about my community, it was difficult to decide which scenarios to choose since there are many, very interesting and with a huge historical load and cultural. In the end I chose these three slots because they give a lot of play. Alicante is a city full of stories and legends and Tabarca itself is already mysterious for the fact that it is an island and for its history of pirates. alcoholknown for being the Town of Christmas, could not be missing in a story that takes place in the Christmas school holidays. It seems to me that all the boys and girls of Spain would be delighted if they went to see it, as well as the Royal Camp where Their Majesties remain encamped until the day comes. January 5. If it is a question of transmitting culture, of making known different places of the country to visit, I consider these three essential places within our community

books to educate

From journalism to literature. Examples of this transition are countless. Why in your case?

I have been writing since I was a child. In realitystudying journalism was a big part of that. Writing and I have gone hand in hand for as long as I can remember. As a child I wrote short stories, as a teenager I focused more on thrillers and as an adult I started with youth and youth literature. I suppose that as you get older you don’t remember that girl you used to behow happy you were to read voraciously those stories which made you a reader and, later, a writer.

His “Six Amigos” collection is a saga featuring a group of friends from Alicante

What were your childhood adventure stories?

According to age they were more one or the other. Enid Blyton was my favorite because she was passionate The Five, The Twins of Santa Clara, Malory Towers...But the fact of having brothers older than me made me discover from an early age the world of non-children’s literature itself. At twelve, I was reading Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins Clark, for example. When I was thirteen, I read “The Pillars of the Earth” and was passionate about it, although I continued to combine it with children’s literature, which I have always loved.

How can these types of books help teachers?

They can be a very good tool for to discover the culture and history of our country. In fact, the book of Asturias is included as reading at the CEIP Santa Clara de Cuéllar (Segovia) in the 5th year and the book of the Alhambra in the CEIP La Alcazaba of Granada, in the 6th year. These are easy to read books. They provide values ​​such as friendship, teamwork, respect for nature, as well as historical and cultural heritage, among others. Moreover, they already show cities that will be studied later. This is a good starting point because learning through adventure and mystery reading is more accessible. The fact that book-related activities can be carried out promotes their interest in reading and attracts their attention.


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