I teach first-year high school Spanish and I use Pobre Ana near the end of the course. I could use it earlier as well.
The chapters are short. The story contrasts life in California with life in Tepic, Mexico, all through the eyes of Ana.
Ana is from California and doesn't think her quality of life is adequate since she doesn't have a new Mustang, et.al. However, once in Mexico she sees that relationships and the things she can control (like knowing Spanish well) are more important.
The story is a good language learning tool, especially the obviously necessary use of the indirect object pronouns throughout with all the "she said to them", "he said to her" tags.
I would have… Read more