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Yo sé cómo hacerlo, by Joan Soriano and Karen Rowan

Yo sé cómo hacerlo, by Joan Soriano and Karen Rowan

$ 10.00 $ 12.00

Yo sé cómo hacerlo

La historia de Joan Soriano, el músico que toca bachata

Too young to be allowed to stay up late to listen to the neighborhood bands play, at 6 years old he hid under the chairs of the bachata musicians and listened all night long. Joan says that music ran in his blood and his heart beat to the rhythm of bachata. A self-taught bachata musician with dozens of albums, he has recorded with some of the most renowned Dominican musicians and has traveled the world performing with his band. This is the story of the tenacity of a boy who knew that all he wanted to be was a musician.

Yo sé cómo hacerlo, La historia de Joan Soriano, el músico que toca bachata is a novel for intermediate students of Spanish in the Fluency Fast series of readers. It uses a vocabulary of about 800 words, including 70 cognates and many previously known high-frequency words to tell a 9000-word story with past, present, immediate future, conditional and subjunctive. The vocabulary is high-frequency and includes the 24 highest-frequency verbs in Spanish as well as vocabulary commonly used by Joan Soriano and his family in the Dominican Republic.

This book is a collaboration between Karen Rowan and Joan Soriano after four years of interviews.

isbn 9781956170009

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Yo sé cómo hacerlo es una novela breve y fácil en español en la serie de libros de Fluency Fast para estudiantes de español del nivel intermedio. Lleva un vocabulario de aproximadamente 800 palabras, incluyendo 70 cognados (palabras similares en español e inglés) y muchas palabras familiares. Cuenta un cuento de 9000 palabras en el presente, el pasado, el futuro, el condicional y el subjuntivo. Usa las palabras más comunes, incluyendo los 24 verbos más frecuentes. También lleva el vocabulario común que usa la familia de Joan Soriano en la República Dominicana diariamente. 
Joan Soriano es un músico en la RD.  Creció en La Luisa, una pequeña comunidad rural, con 14 hermanos y padres que sembraban yuca (cassava). Sus padres no dejaron a Joan escuchar a los músicos que tocaban en La Luisa por las noches. Cuando tenía seis años, se escondía debajo de la silla de los músicos y escuchaba toda la noche. Joan decía que llevaba la música en su sangre y su corazón latía al ritmo de la bachata. Se enseñaba a sí mismo a tocar la guitarra y ahora tiene docenas de álbumes. Ha grabado álbumes con los músicos más famosos de la RD. Ha viajado por todo el mundo con su banda. Esta es la historia de la tenacidad de un muchacho que sabía que solamente quería ser músico.
Este libro es una colaboración entre Karen Rowan y Joan Soriano después de cuatro años de entrevistas. 

isbn 9781956170009

What people are saying about Yo sé cómo hacerlo:

Stephen D. Krashen

Review of Yo Sé Cómo Hacerlo, by Joan Soriano and Karen Rowan

To properly review Como Hacerlo, I have to discuss some ideas about learning, some old ideas that now appear to me to be correct and important. Como Hacerlo , in addition to being a compelling story and of real benefit to those wanting to improve their Spanish, is a clear confirmation of these ideas and is thus a very important book.

Some ideas:

IDEA 1: We each have our own path.

The Persian philosopher Rumi stated “the path hypotheses” perfectly: “Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” Melville emphasized the strength of the pull of the path: “The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails whereon my soul is grooved to run.” (from Moby Dick)

Como Hacerlo is told by Joan Soriano, who felt the pull of his path, the strong desire to be a musician, knew what instrument he was destined to master, and even what kind of music he should be playing when he was very young.

IDEA 2: We learn not by “study” but by solving problems that are part of our path.

Joan Soriano, in constructing and learning to play his home-made instrument, had a first-class education in music, as well as learning how to relate to others.

IDEA 3. Being on your path and learning while being on the path produces happiness. The “work” is often considered to be “fun.” It does not consist of “harrowing challenges … but rather tasks we find natural and interesting, tasks we were apparently born to perform" (Kurt Vonnegut, 1997)

Joan Soriano enjoyed (and continues to enjoy) a happiness few others have, the happiness of mastering his profession and the happiness of sharing his talent with others. Practicing his instrument and learning new songs did not require discipline. Nor does performing his music.

Idea 4: Being on your path fulfills an important purpose of your life.

Soriano earns a living from his music, but it is clear that loves to perform for others. It clearly feels like it is part of his purpose and produces a deep satisfaction. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” (Picasso).

The two most important days of your life: “The day you are born and the day you find out why.” (Mark Twain). “Finding out why” means finding your path. If somebody asks me how to find happiness, I can now say “Yo sé cómo hacerlo.”


Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 3, 2022
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 1, 2022

"This 'Joan Soriano' guy had to go through very hard times, didn't he?" - Asked my little niece Alondra, as I was reading the book to her a few nights ago. "Indeed he did, but he never gave up". - I replied.

Alondra is in 4th grade, and she won't be taking Spanish until she reaches 6th grade. However, she understood a lot of what I was reading to her, and now she's very eager to learn Spanish and she even wants to learn to play guitar.
This book is a treasure. I tells a beautiful story about a man's journey to become what he always dreamed of doing. The language used is simple to understand, even for beginner speakers. And one gets to learn about Dominican culture and bachata history.
I highly recommend this book to Spanish learners of any age. Joan Soriano has something to teach all of us.

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 26, 2022

I enjoyed expanding my knowledge by learning about Bachata and childhood in the Dominican Republic. The story of Joan is a bold one that I'm happy to learn about. The illustrations allow for colorful imagination and the glossary helped me to understand new Spanish words. I definitely recommend this book to anyone for a good read, or to develop your language skills.

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 27, 2022

Inspiring based on a true story novel to learn Spanish while getting to know the essence of an artist and a culture.

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 1, 2022

This inspirational story about Dominican Bachata musician, Joan Soriano's musical journey is a wonderful resource for Spanish language learners and teachers! Full of engaging text and illustrations, Yo Sé Cómo Hacerlo incorporates rich cultural aspects related to life in the Dominican Republic and Bachata culture and history. I met Joan Soriano in 2007 when I began filming the documentary film, El Duque de la Bachata, about his life and struggle to make it as a working Bachata musician. Now, during film screenings and Bachata lectures around the world I often share Joan's story with audiences. The story about a boy and his first little tin can guitar that went on to become a professional Bachata musician. I'm very happy that this engaging story is now in book form, wonderfully written and illustrated. Spanish learners and teachers, along with those interested in Bachata and Dominican culture will find this book of great interest.

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 30, 2022

This is an amazing life story, a true story about how a little boy from a poor farming family in the Dominican Republic learned to play the guitar and to sing bachata, the music of the poor people in his country. This was a kid who had the guts to leave his family at the age of 12 to go off to become a professional musician. And he actually succeeded at that young age. He went on to be famous not only in the D.R. but also internationally, and to have his own band, which is still playing today. As a reader, I could feel what life was like for him in the country and in a band. There is a real sense of life in a Latin American Caribbean country. This is a great book with superb color illustrations throughout.

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 3, 2022

This book held me entranced since page 1. What a story...truth is often more unbelievable than fiction! This true story is based on the life of Joan Soriano, a Dominican bachata musician. It's a rags-to-riches story, with a bit of rollercoaster excitement thrown in. The illustrations are stunning...and be sure to look closely at the cover illustration and see if you can find little Joan after the niños were sent "pa' fuera!" I highly recommend for fans of bachata, for mid to upper-level Spanish students, for anyone who wants a great story in Spanish!

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Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
Joy explodes

A pattern is beginning to emerge... I introduce a reader to Joan and Karen's book and joy explodes! The color illustrations, the theme of bachata, the musical setting in the República Dominicana, Joan's generosity in opening his life to language learners... it all comes together as MAGIC. I'm beyond grateful to Joan and Karen for this collaboration and hope that their model of joint storycrafting for language learners becomes widely replicated. This book is special beyond words!

Richard MacDougall
Yo no podia dejar de leerlo / I couldn’t stop reading it

A very interesting story about Joan Soriano, a Bachata musician, who through sheer determination and a passion for Bachata music rose from nothing to become world renowned.
I am an advanced beginner trying to learn Spanish. The compelling nature of this book with its humorous and heartwarming moments kept my attention and definitely increased my familiarity with the Spanish language. I would highly recommend this book.

Theresa Jensen
Fascinating true story

I read this book in one sitting, all the while listening to Joan Soriano's music. I was just immersed. I am now a big fan and feel the great desire to get my bachata on! My students are always asking for more about music, so this is a great addition to my FVR library. I love all the culture notes - colmados, using lips to "point", kids being left out of the adult festivities of music and dance, even vocabulary like getting a pela lol. I felt like I was whisked back to the Dominican Republic in the small community of Bobita (near Río San Juan). My goddaughter Luisauny has also told me stories that made me feel like this community was much like hers. Thank you for bringing Joan's story to life! I love all the touches like the excerpts with his words and the interview at the end. What a gift this is!

Here is my first reaction after reading it! https://youtu.be/TgcGrhBfGb0

Don't give up on your dreams!

This book is a treasure. I tells a beautiful story about a man's journey to become what he always dreamed of doing. The language used is simple to understand, even for beginner speakers. And one gets to learn about Dominican culture and bachata history.
I read it and translated it to my little niece. She understood a lot of what I was reading to her, and now she's very eager to learn Spanish and she even wants to learn to play guitar.
I highly recommend this book to Spanish learners of any age. Joan Soriano has something to teach all of us.

A fun and inspiring story that lead to one musician’s great success

As a teaching book, the writing in this novel is perfectly catered to Level 2 or 3 Spanish students looking to expand their vocabulary and understanding of the language itself. As a story, this novel is an excellent example of masterfully balancing historically informative content with a fun read. The collaboration between author and subject is clearly exhibited and the novel does a wonderful job in telling the story as accounted by Joan Soriano, adding much needed validity to the story itself. The mini-biography becomes more provoking with the realization that it is not actually a biography at all, but rather the product of careful and meticulous research working directly with Joan Soriano to do his story justice. Knowing that Joan Soriano himself told this story and verified the content throughout makes it far more interesting. It’s not just a story, it’s an account of actual events as reported by Joan, and it definitely shows. I highly recommend this book to Spanish learners and teachers. However, the content is also written in a way that makes it possible to engage fluent and even native Spanish speakers. It truly is a story that anyone can appreciate and learn from. You’ll inevitably fall in love with Joan’s story and growth, you’ll be inspired by his perseverance, and you’ll likely be motivated to pursue or improve at something important to you… just so you can say, “!Yo sé cómo hacerlo!”

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