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Extensive Reading Foundation 2012
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 2011, an international jury have chosen the winning book in each of the 5 categories: Young Learners, Adolescents & Adults: Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced, taking into account Internet votes and the comments of students and teachers around the world.

Young Learners Winner & Finalists

Uncle Jack and the Meerkats

Uncle Jack and the Meerkats  Winner  

Author: Jane Cadwallader  Illustrator: Gustavo Mazali
Six baby meerkats sad and far from home! Uncle Jack and the children come to the rescue! When Uncle Jack and the children find some homesick baby meerkats they decide to take them home to the Kalahari Desert. Getting there is easy in Uncle Jack's balloon. But the desert is a dangerous place. Can they keep them safe?
Judges' Comments: This story is good for young learners because it is a nice mixture of adventure, fantasy and reality, with an animal conservation angle. It also has a cool family theme and intelligent child characters. Well-written, nice design and fun to read.
Series: Young ELI Readers Stage 3 (A1/Beginner)  Publisher: ELI Publishing   ISBN: 9788853606273  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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Hooray for the Holidays!

Hooray for the Holidays!

Author: Dominique Guillemant   Illustrator: Alistar
Jack is on his summer holidays. He's at the seaside with his grandma and grandad. Alfie is Jack's dog. He's on holiday too! Follow Jack and Alfie in their fun adventures at the beach.
Judges' Comments: The lively, child-friendly design and enjoyable beach theme attract young children. There are also fun activities that make children think. Well written, nice fonts and excellent art.
Series: Young ELI Readers Stage 1 (Pre: A1/Beginner)  Publisher: ELI Publishing  ISBN: 9788853606181  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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Mansour and the Donkey

Mansour and the Donkey

Author: Sue Arengo    Illustrator: Jamel Akib
Enjoy this tale from Morocco and find out how the hungry donkey helps Mansour.
Judges' Comments: The illustrations are awesome; the red, brown and maroon colours really capture the exotic essence of North Africa. This story of a boy helping his old uncle has a good moral and a nice ending.
Series: Classic Tales Level 1 (A1/Beginner)  Publisher: Oxford University Press   ISBN: 9780194238540  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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Adolescents & Adults: Beginner Winner & Finalists

Arman's Journey

Arman's Journey   Winner  

Author: Philip Prowse   Illustrator: Paul Dickinson
Arman, a teenage refugee, makes an epic journey across Europe, often in the hands of people smugglers. He lives and works as an illegal immigrant in the UK until one day love comes into his life.
Judges' Comments: This original story is filled with adventure that compels the reader through to the end. The content is especially relevant for adult learners - touching on conflict, economics, prejudice, and romance. The illustrations are supportive of the meaning. There are no exercises to distract from the story.
Series: Cambridge English Readers Starter  Publisher: Cambridge University Press  ISBN: 9780521184939  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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A Little Trouble in California

A Little Trouble in California

Author: Lynda Edwards  Illustrator: Kevin Levell
Twins, Andy and Mary, are in California on holiday with their parents. Mary takes some photos with her new camera and the twins soon discover that someone does not want to be photographed. Why?
Judges' Comments: This original story has a fast-moving plot with a number of surprising twists. The illustrations are helpful and the language is well-controlled. The story introduces a number of social issues that give the story relevance for young adult and adult readers.
Series: Cambridge Discovery Readers Starter  Publisher: Cambridge University Press  ISBN: 9788483239827  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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Authors: Sue Leather & Julian Thomlinson  Illustrator: Redbean Design
As a new student at Brenton College, Bobby Harris has many things to worry about-but his biggest problem is his new roommate, Ash! Because of Ash, Bobby can't sleep, study, or work properly. The problem is, how does he tell Ash without losing a roommate and a friend?
Judges' Comments: This original story is very relevant for young adults and adult students. Although there are quite a number of characters, the action focuses on the two main characters, whose personal differences are easy to relate to. The illustrations are well done and contribute to the comprehensibility of the story. Exercises are not disruptive since they are all at the end.
Series: Page Turners Level 1 (Pre: A1/Beginner) (US English)  Publisher: National Geographic Learning  ISBN: 9781424048977  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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Adolescents & Adults: Elementary Winner & Finalists

Harry's Holiday

Harry's Holiday  Winner  

Author: Antoinette Moses  Illustrator: Mikela Prevost
Harry doesn't live a typical teenage life. His dad works away from home and his mother needs a lot of help, so he can't see his friends after school or at weekends. Then Harry sees a competition as a chance for his family to take a break. But the competition changes Harry's life more than he could ever expect.
Judges' Comments: This is an intriguing book, with an excellent plot. The reader is kept on edge, wondering what will happen to Harry. Will he get to go on a holiday?
Series: Cambridge Discovery Readers Level 1 (Beginner/Elem)  Publisher: Cambridge University Press   ISBN: 9788483238585  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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Ask Alice

Ask Alice

Author: Margaret Johnson    Illustrator: Jose Rubio
Alice is an Agony Aunt on her school website. Students write to her with their problems and she answers them. But how can Alice give advice when she's got so many problems of her own?
Judges' Comments: Alice writes an advice column for her high school newspaper. But who is Alice to give advice to her classmates on their problems? She has her own! The ending of this well-written story is a surprise.
Series: Cambridge Discovery Readers Level 2 (Elem/Pre-Int)  Publisher: Cambridge University Press   ISBN: 9788483239582  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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Running Free

Running Free

Authors: Sue Leather & Julian Thomlinson   Illustrator: Redbean Design
Charles "Chuck" Kingston is studying business so he can take over his father's company. But his father doesn't know that Chuck's real love is free running. When things start to go wrong, Chuck learns he can't run from his problems forever.
Judges' Comments: The story revolves around the all-too common situation of conflict between a father and son. The reader is quickly drawn into the plot, wondering how it will ever be resolved.
Series: Page Turners Level 3 (A1/Beginner) (US English)  Publisher: National Geographic Learning  ISBN: 9781424046386  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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Adolescents & Adults: Intermediate Winner & Finalists

Christmas Carol

Christmas Carol   Winner  

Author: Charles Dickens, Retold By: Sean Michael Wilson  Illustrator: Mike Collins
Mean and miserable Ebenezer Scrooge who only cares about making money has a rude awakening on Christmas Eve to how sad and lonely his life really is.
Judges' Comments: This is one graphic novel which has a rare combination of excellent artwork and skillful retelling. Potential to engage readers from start to finish.
Series: Classical Comics (B1-B2/Intermediate-Upper)  Publisher: National Geographic Learning   ISBN: 9781424042876  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild

Author: Jack London, Retold By: Rachel Bladon  Illustrator: John Dillow
The story of Buck, a domestic dog who is suddenly stolen and sold to gold prospectors. In this new - and hard - life, Buck's natural instincts are awakened to the call of the wild.
Judges' Comments: An interesting story. The author does well to keep the language relatively simple without sacrificing the feel of the story. Full of action from start to finish and this will appeal to young readers.
Series: Macmillan Readers Level 4 (Pre-Intermediate)  Publisher: Macmillan Education  ISBN: 9780230408715  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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Noughts and Crosses

Noughts and Crosses

Author: Malorie Blackman, Retold By: Karen Holmes
Sephy Hadley and Callum McGregor are two young people in love. But Sephy is a Cross, daughter of a government minister, and Callum is a Nought. In their world, Crosses and Noughts cannot be friends. Must they become enemies? Or is there hope for them - and for their unhappy country?
Judges' Comments: The story is interesting, and the ending is compelling. The magic is in the plot - black people showing superiority over a white minority and this adds to serious thought-provocation. It will leave readers with as many questions as answers when they finish.
Series: Penguin Readers Level 3 (B1/Pre-Intermediate)  Publisher: Pearson ELT  ISBN: 9781408261293  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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Adolescents & Adults: Advanced Winner & Finalists

Joe Faust

Joe Faust   Winner  

Author: Frank Brennan  Illustrator: Redbean Design
Joe is a young city trader, and he'll do anything to be successful. Anything. So when a mysterious man called Rey Todd offers him everything he's ever wanted, how can Joe say no? Of course, there's always a price to pay...
Judges' Comments: This is a gripping story, and a moral tale for our times. A clever up-dating of the legend of Doctor Faustus, relevant to us all. The Devil has many disguises...
Series: Page Turners Level 10 (B2/Upper Int) (US English)  Publisher: National Geographic Learning  ISBN: 9781424017966  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Retold By: Richard Larkham  Illustrator: Rodolfo Brocchini
Nick Carraway is drawn into the dark world of Gatsby - a world of hidden frustrations and superficial relationships which perfectly illustrates the "careless and confused" nature of America's Jazz Age.
Judges' Comments: Richard Larkham should be very proud of his excellent adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece. Gatsby, the dreamer, lives in a magnificent house and can buy anything he wants --- except for one thing...
Series: Young Adult ELI Readers Stage 5 (C1/Advanced)  Publisher: ELI Publishing   ISBN: 9788853606662  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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Solo Saxophone

Solo Saxophone

Author: Jeremy Harmer
In the early 1990s Katy, a young reporter, arrives in Sarajevo, a city under siege, and receives conflicting advice from two colleagues. 'Of all the wars I've been in,' a news cameraman tells her, 'this is the one where it's not possible to 'be objective'. You can't be objective about what's going on here.' 'This is not my war or your war,' an Italian journalist explains. 'We just report what we see, but we stay outside it. We can't get too involved. We mustn't get too near.' But Katy does get too near...
Judges' Comments: A moving story of love and death during the siege of Sarajevo. A young reporter learns more about the beauty and the ugliness of humanity in a few short months than she has previously learnt during the whole of her life.
Series: Cambridge English Readers Level 6 (C2/Advanced)  Publisher: Cambridge University Press  ISBN: 9780521182966  Publication Date: 2011  Format: Paperback

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Previous Winners & Finalists: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006
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