Thorndike Press Introduces First-Ever Spanish-Language Youth Large Print Titles to Support English Language Learners

New Collection Helps Emerging Bilingual Students Develop Reading and Language Skills; Accessibility Diversity and Inclusivity Strengthens Classroom Instruction

With nearly 3.8 million native Spanish speakers making up the vast majority of English language learners (ELLs) in today’s U.S. schools, Thorndike Press from Gale, part of Cengage Group, has released its first-ever collection of youth large print books in Spanish. Designed based on feedback from librarians and educators, these new Spanish-language titles support emerging bilingual students in their language development journey to acquire English proficiency as well as improves accessibility, equity and inclusivity for school districts. 

Simplify Reading for Emerging Bilingual Students 

Large print books can have a significant impact on ELL student language development. According to a recent study, conducted by Project Tomorrow, almost two-thirds of teachers reported that using large print text led to faster English acquisition by their students. Additionally, 42% of teachers noticed improved decoding skills in ELL students who read large print.

“Reading books with relatable storylines and characters helps kids connect” said Meg Medina, author of three titles in the new collection. “When books published in their home language are made available for use at school, students feel seen as part of the school community. They can stay connected to their own cultural background as they bond with their new classmates, regardless of language. The story of an awkward 7th-grader who can’t dance, gives them a chance to share, to empathize, and to practice the communication skills they need to thrive in our multicultural world.”

Thorndike Press Spanish youth large print books are specifically designed to help students develop their language skills. Providing students with accessible reading materials in their native language helps young readers improve their vocabulary, grammar skills, and reading comprehension—as well as helps teachers support emerging bilinguals of all reading abilities.

“By offering youth large print in Spanish, we create an inclusive environment that recognizes and celebrates linguistic diversity while ensuring all students have access to the same educational resources,” said Donna Gray, library coordinator at the New York City School Library System. “Making youth large print titles available in Spanish demonstrates a commitment to accessibility, inclusivity, and supporting diverse learning needs among our students. Ultimately, it enriches their educational experience and creates a more welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone.”

Accessibility, Diversity & Inclusivity for English Language Learners

The Thorndike Press Spanish youth large print collection contains 17 highly acclaimed books including 11 juvenile titles for grades 3-7 (ages 11-13) and six young adult titles for grades 8-12 (ages 14 to adult). All these new books fall into the fiction genre and are available in both English and Spanish. 

Some of the new Spanish-language titles include:

Spanish Middle Grade Titles

  • Estrella de mar (Starfish) by Lisa Fipps
  • La última cuentista (The Last Cuentista) by Donna Barba Higuera 
  • Merci Suárez se pone las pilas (Merci Suárez Changes Gears) and Merci Suárez no sabe bailar (Merci Suárez Can’t Dance), by Meg Medina
  • Tumbos (Tumble) by Celia C. Pérez
  • Fantasma (Ghost) and  Patina (Patina)  by Jason Reynolds 

Spanish Young Adult Titles

  • Antes de ser libres (Before We Were Free) by Julia Alvarez
  • Yaqui Delgado quiere darte una paliza (Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass) by Meg Medina
  • Yo no soy tu perfecta hija Mexicana (I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter) by Erika L. Sánchez
  • Las fuentes del silencio (The Fountains of Silence) by Ruta Sepetys

Thorndike Press Spanish youth large print titles are completely unabridged and printed in a 16-point font, using high-contrast black ink on high opacity paper. An inviting back-cover synopsis introduces readers to each book, and the text features expanded spacing between words and 1/3 more line spacing than standard editions. This enhanced readability reduces eye strain, allows readers to focus on the content rather than struggling to decipher individual words, and supports family literacy by making it easy to share one physical book and read together. Because the books are in Spanish, parents who are still mastering English themselves can still support their children’s reading. 

“We are thrilled to provide these Spanish youth large print titles to support English language learners. We believe in the power of inclusive literature to empower emerging bilingual students,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager at Gale. “By providing accessible reading materials in both English and Spanish, we are creating a supportive learning environment that caters to the unique needs of emerging bilingual students that improves literacy skills and fosters a love for reading.” 

All the new Thorndike Press Spanish large print titles, along with their English editions, are available through Thorndike’s website and all major wholesalers. Thorndike plans to release more Spanish-language youth large print titles later this year.

Thorndike will showcase its Spanish youth large print titles at the Public Library Association (PLA) conference, April 3-5 in Columbus, OH at Gale booth #2001.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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