Well, don’t think that I have turned into a writer, all of a sudden.
For some reason, saying that I have written a book feels a bit too pretentious. It’s not a novel or a non-fiction book, so I can’t say I am an author. Let’s just say that I wrote an Italian practice book and this makes me feel super happy!
The idea for this book came one day while I was decluttering some of my old stuff at my parents’ house. I was getting rid of old notebooks, cards, and school assignments – my mom is a bit of a hoarder when it comes to memories, just like me – when I came across this old, battered, and much-loved quaderno delle vacanze.
When I was a kid in elementary school, every year the teacher would recommend an exercise book to work on over the summer. It was a colorful, happy, and light book full of simple exercises and assignments, a way to make us do some work in summer without feeling the pressure of actually studying. Needless to say, I loved that book!
I might have been a bit of a nerd but June was a great month for me because the summer holidays would begin but also because it was time for me to get a new quaderno to work on. I can still vividly remember the anticipation and the joy I would feel the first time I opened it and browsed through its pages. And how I loved doing the exercises while sitting in my grandma’s garden with my slice of pane e Nutella!
The good feeling I had while I was checking that book forty years later and the many memories of having fun while learning at the same time gave me the idea of doing something similar for my Italian students! And that’s exactly how Un’estate al lago is born. Un’estate al lago is an Italian practice book to be used over the summer that gives students the chance to read an easy story and practice Italian with comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, and creative writing exercises.
I wanted the story to be fun and enjoyable and this is why I decided to write a YA book. As much as I love more “intellectual” books, reading young adult literature is a pleasure because it is always entertaining and brings me back to my own teenage years. YA books are a perfect choice for a relaxing and summery read. Since I know nothing about teenage life nowadays, the book takes inspiration from my own adolescence and therefore it is set in 1995!
The book tells the story of Sabrina, a 17-year-old girl who lives in a small town but dreams of moving to London. She goes on holiday with her parents to Lake Garda and brings her diary to document her adventures. Un’estate al lago is basically her diary and tells the story of her dreamy summer on the lake. It is full of cultural and pop references – and full of slang and idioms too!
Un’estate al lago is divided into 9 chapters: each chapter is a diary entry of Sabrina, followed by exercises on reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, and creative writing. To give you a better idea of its setting, in case you don’t know Lake Garda, there are two chapters about the area as well. To help you practice listening, I have also recorded the audio files of the chapters. And there’s a special playlist as well!
Furthermore, to make it a more engaging experience, I have set up a dedicated email account to discuss the book. If you have questions or ideas or just want to share your thoughts about Sabrina and her adventures at Lake Garda, you can send me an email using the account you’ll find in the book – in Italian, of course! I thought this could be a great way to chat about the book together.
Finally, I have decided to do something fun and have a live Zoom chat at the end of the summer to discuss the book, the exercises, and the overall content. You will have plenty of time over the summer to work on your own and then we can gather together and chat about the book, which I am sure will be a great way to end the work you’ll do over the summer – and if you still haven’t finished the book, don’t worry, we won’t spoil anything.
You will find all details about the book and the link to purchase it on the specific page called Un’estate al lago. If you have questions or doubts, send me an email or just leave a comment here.