I am teaching myself Spanish. I walk to work every day - one hour to the University - and use my MP3 player. This series of books is excellent to boost my comprehension. I listen to the CD in the morning and then read the text in the afternoon. CD is by real native Spanish speakers - talking as the Spanish do -- unlike some commercial products which speak too slowly and distinctly, this is great practice for listening to actual people in Spain. I went to Spain this summer for 3 months and the practice I got with this book (and others in the series) really helped. Super and an excellent value for the money.
I use this in my Spanish 4 level Spanish HS class. They like the story. It's a real sad story but it is also a fun story to act out. I had my students pick a chapter to film. I like the fact that we can listen to the story too. I had my students buy their own copy but told them that the CD wasn't nec. as I used mine in class. This version is the best version out there. There are other versions that are way longer and more difficult. This was a nice length.
This is a great way to learn Spanish. I love this series. When you are using the right level, it pushes the ear to develop and helps the brain piece together the grammar that is hard to learn in a textbook.