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Extensive Reading Foundation 2009
Language Learner Literature Award Winners & Finalists

Every year, the Extensive Reading Foundation recognises the best new works of language learner literature in English. From readers published in 2008, an international jury have chosen the winning book in each of the 5 categories: Young Learners, Adolescents & Adults: Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate & Advanced, taking into account Internet votes and the comments of students and teachers around the world.

Young Learners Winner & Finalists

Farley the Red Panda

Farley the Red Panda  Winner  

Author: Sue Leather  Illustrator: National Geographic Digital Media
At America's San Diego Zoo, they have a new special animal. It's a red panda called "Farley". Life hasn't been easy for Farley. He's had some big problems. He also has some big changes ahead! What kind of problems did farley have? What's going to happen to him?
Judges' Comments: Aimed at older children at lower-intermediate level, the text combines narrative and factual information to win sympathy for the fighting spirit of a young animal and admiration for the helping humans.
Series: Footprint Reading Library Pre-Intermediate  Publisher: Heinle  ISBN: 9781424010585  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback

Amrita and the Trees

Amrita and the Trees

Author: Sue Arengo  Illustrator: Christophe Berthoud
Amrita loves trees, but can she protect them from the King and his men?
Judges' Comments: A compelling, realistic story with an important message, nicely balancing learner-friendly text with attractive artwork.
Series: Classic Tales Beginner 2  Publisher: Oxford University Press  ISBN: 9780194238908  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback

Big Baby Finn

Big Baby Finn

Author: Sue Arengo  Illustrator: Damian Ward
The story of Big Baby Finn and his encounter with the giant Benan.
Judges' Comments: A traditional Irish folktale with its warm mixture of ingenuity and cooperation, balancing text and artwork in an attractive style.
Series: Classic Tales Beginner 2  Publisher: Oxford University Press  ISBN: 9780194238946  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback


Adolescents & Adults: Beginner Winner & Finalists


Why?  Winner  

Author: Philip Prowse  Illustrator: Paul Dickinson
Alex is a soldier with a peace-keeping force in a poor country torn apart by fighting. He doesn't speak the language and is not sure why he is there. On patrol he comes face to face with the reality of what arms sales mean and pays the ultimate price. Why?
Judges' Comments: Serious issues are presented in excellent, understandable prose complemented by superb illustrations. A pioneering work of language learner literature.
Series: Cambridge English Readers Starter  Publisher: Cambridge University Press  ISBN: 9780521732956  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback



Author: James Bean  Illustrator: Paul Könye
Gary Kent is 13 years old and lives in Sydney near the airport. He knows all the airplanes that land there, all the airlines and all the flights - Gary is a "planespotter". One afternoon he is planespotting when a part falls off one of the planes. Flight number PP401 is in danger - and there is only one and a half hours before it is due to land!
Judges' Comments: An original and engaging adventure story for teenagers that keeps you thinking, "What will happen next?".
Series: Hueber Lekturen Level 1  Publisher: Hueber Verlag  ISBN: 9788466810289  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback

The Story of Coffee

The Story of Coffee

Author: Jennifer Gascoigne  Illustrators: John Dillow & Martin Sanders
Many people all over the world start their day with a cup of coffee. Black or white, espresso or filter – there are so many ways of preparing it. In this book you can learn more about the coffee plant and the history of this popular drink. And you can find a recipe for a frappuccino, too!
Judges' Comments: A gripping story that is just as gripping in its adaptation. The technical skill of structural and lexical control is first class, and the illustrations support comprehension.
Series: Macmillan Readers Elementary  Publisher: Macmillan Education  ISBN: 9788853008299  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback


Adolescents & Adults: Elementary Winner & Finalists

White Fang

White Fang  Winner  

Author: Jack London, Retold By: Rachel Bladon  Illustrators: John Dillow & Martin Sanders
White Fang; half-dog, half-wolf is raised in the wild but soon becomes the property of Gray Beaver, a Yukon Indian. Knowing only cruelty of man and the violence of nature, White Fang becomes the most savage and wild of dogs, until he is rescued by kindness.
Judges' Comments: A gripping story that is just as gripping in its adaptation. The technical skill of structural and lexical control is first class, and the illustrations support comprehension.
Series: Macmillan Readers Elementary  Publisher: Macmillan Education  ISBN: 9780230034402  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback

Cries from the Heart: Stories from Around the World

Cries from the Heart: Stories from Around the World

Author: Sefi Atta et al, Retold By: Jennifer Bassett  Illustrator: Kwame Nyong'o
From Botswana to New Zealand, from Jamaica to Nigeria, from Uganda to Malaysia, from India to South Africa, these moving stories show us that the human heart is the same in every place. Children, wives, mothers, husbands, friends all have the same feelings of fear and pain, happiness and sadness. These eight stories were winning entries in the 2004 Commonwealth Short Story Competition.
Judges' Comments: The best stories are very good indeed, and the adaptation is seamless and dramatic.
Series: Oxford Bookworms Library, World Stories, Stage 2  Publisher: Oxford University Press  ISBN: 9780194790840  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback

One Day

One Day

Author: Helen Naylor  Illustrator: Kathryn Baker
It was just a normal Friday evening in Moreland Road. Jason was listening to his iPod and couldn't hear his mother shouting. Nina wasn't sure how to tell her husband about her news. Maggie smiled as she thought about her holiday romance in Chile. Sam looked worried - money trouble again. Then that evening something happened which changed all of their lives.
Judges' Comments: This skillfully handled, engaging story with an intriguing final twist deserves the name literature.
Series: Cambridge English Readers Level 2 (Elementary/Lower-Int)  Publisher: Cambridge University Press  ISBN: 9780521714228  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback


Adolescents & Adults: Intermediate Winner & Finalists

Land of my Childhood: Stories from South Asia

Land of my Childhood: Stories from South Asia  Winner  

Author: Romesh Gunesekera et al, Retold By: Clare West  Illustrator: Arya Praharaj
"My brother preferred being with mother and me. He used to help us prepare vegetables in the kitchen or make the bread. But what he liked best was listening to my mother's stories." But those childhood days are long gone, and now a great distance divides sister and brother, children and mother. The stories in this volume of World Stories come from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Judges' Comments: These touching, engaging stories open up other worlds while making you think more about your own.
Series: Oxford Bookworms Library, World Stories, Stage 4  Publisher: Oxford University Press  ISBN: 9780194792356  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback

Dancing with Strangers: Stories from Africa

Dancing with Strangers: Stories from Africa

Author: Jack Cope et al, Retold By: Clare West  Illustrator: Kwame Nyong'o et al
"Sometimes I think this search is hopeless. So much has happened since I last saw my friends. Perhaps they have died or the rebels have taken them away. But I know I have to find Laker. I know she needs me." In a country torn by war, it is easy to stop hoping. All Atita has is an old photograph. She does not even know if she will recognize Laker after all these years . . .
Judges' Comments: This excellent, thought-provoking collection of short stories takes you on an emotional rollercoaster from sad to frightened to delighted.
Series: Oxford Bookworms Library, World Stories, Stage 3  Publisher: Oxford University Press  ISBN: 9780194791977  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback

Road to Nowhere

Road to Nowhere

Author: Pauline O'Carolan  Illustrator: Elizabeth Botté
Nick doesn't like his life on the farm, the hard work and long hours on top of school. His parents need him to contribute to the running of the farm. It is different on the neighboring farm run by Farmer Mason, there is enough manpower, but as Nick soon realises Farmer Mason's activities aren't entirely legal.
Judges' Comments: This well-written, exciting story deals with an important issue in an entertaining and believable way.
Series: Hueber Lekturen Level 4  Publisher: Hueber Verlag  ISBN: 9783193629715  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback


Adolescents & Adults: Upper Intermediate & Advanced Winner & Finalists

Nelson's Dream

Nelson's Dream  Winner  

Author: J.M. Newsome
Nelson Mbizi returns to his home in southern Africa after studying in Britain. When he tries to help a family of orphans he meets Viki, a South African TV presenter. The story of Nelson and Viki's relationship is told against a background of HIV/AIDS and government corruption on the one hand, and great good humour and wonderful music on the other.
Judges' Comments: A compelling story, with strong characters and a convincing setting, told in accessible and moving language.
Series: Cambridge English Readers Level 6 (Advanced)  Publisher: Cambridge University Press  ISBN: 9780521716048  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback

The Art Show

The Art Show

Author: Paula Smith  Illustrator: Elizabeth Botté
Sophie loves painting and drawing. She dreams of going to Art College to study, but her parents will not hear of it. But her art teacher Mrs. Pace is sure that Sophie is capable. After attending a private view Sophie is convinced that painting is the right path for her. She also becomes aware that she needs the support of her parents. A special exhibition could be the right solution ...
Judges' Comments: This is the kind of simple, fast-moving story that will make our students want to read more books.
Series: Hueber Lekturen Level 6  Publisher: Hueber Verlag  ISBN: 9783194429710  Publication Date: 2008  Format: Paperback

Previous Winners & Finalists: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006