NOTA BENE: This page describes the novels themselves that are available. For information on HOW TO USE NOVELS, please visit THIS PAGE
In addition, please see my article on novels in Teaching Classical Languages (link to be posted as soon as the article is published )
Simple novels are now becoming available for Latin teachers to use with their students, and can serve as a great alternative or supplement to traditional textbooks. Most are between 25-60 pages in length, and restrict vocabulary to fewer than 250 unique words. Here is a list of currently available novels, with links to previews and purchase information, and an estimated/recommended minimum level. Note that it can also be very helpful to read the simpler titles in a year 3-4 AP class, either for beginning of the year review, as a confidence booster, or to fuel content-based discussion and writing, etc.
Novels, in approximate order of difficulty, starting with simplest
Rufus et Arma Atra
Agrippina, Mater Fortis
Rufus Lutulentus, by Lance Piantaggini.
Piantaggini has set for himself the goal of creating novellas that are truly readable by beginners, with a unique vocabulary count as low as 20 words. All three of these books can easily be read by first year Latin students, and teacher resources are also available through his website.
Pluto: Fabula Amoris, by Rachel Ash and Miriam Patrick (year 1-2)
Eurydice, a companion to Pluto. Also by Ash and Patrick
(I have created supplemental resources for this book, shared upon request. I usually read Pluto with my students at the end of Latin 1.)
Brando Brown Canem Vult, by Carol Gaab, translated into Latin by Justin Slocum Bailey (year 1-2)
Here is an example of a unit plan for Brando Brown. For additional tips and strategies, visit Keith Toda’s blog
Iter Mirabile Dennis et Debrae, By Christopher Buczek (year 1-2)
(I have created supplemental resources for this book, shared upon request. I read this book with my students mid-year in Latin 2)
Marcus et Imagines Suae Bonae. Lance Piantaggini and John Bracey collaborated on this translation of a beginners Spanish novel. (year 1-2)
Piso, Ille Poetulus, by Lance Piantaggini (year 2-3)
Cloelia, Puella Romana, by Ellie Arnold (year 2-3)
Available as a free download with teacher resources, at this website:
(I read this book with my students near the beginning of year 3)
Clavis Apollonis and Iter Icari, by William J. Simpson.
Available on Amazon, both of which have been reviewed there by “Jimbryan65”
Itinera Petri: Flammae Ducant, by Bob Patrick (year 3)
Older Latin novels:
Teachers have been writing these as supplements to textbook courses for some time. Because of the expectations that they be used in a similar way as textbook stories (=intensive reading), these books tend to be advertised to a lower level than is reasonable for students. As a result, most of these novels should not be attempted until late in year 2, or even year 3, especially in a FVR context.
Julia: A Latin Reading Book, by Maude Reed. MacMillan, 1924. Available free online, link available with other similar volumes here:
Daimon: An Adventure Story, by Richard D. Case et al. Longman, 1971 (out of print, still available used on Amazon. Contact me for a preview)
Ad Alpes by H.C. Nutting. Available as a free pdf online, but recently re-edited and updated by Daniel Pettersson, of Latinitium
CAVETE: Mere use of novels does not guarantee more engaged classes. Even modern language teachers who use novels have warned against simply reading a novel as if it were a textbook. These resources are meant to support a varied, interactive, and student-centered approach to teaching. Mike Coxon, Susan Gross, Carol Gaab, Mira Canion, Keith Toda, Cynthia Hitz, Martina Bex, Blaine Ray, and Carrie Toth are a few educators who have shared their insights and experience teaching with novels.
For more information on why and how to use novels in your Latin classroom, please visit this page