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Extensive Reading Foundation 2017
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 2016, an international jury have chosen the winning book in each of the 6 categories: Very Young Learners, 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.

Very Young Learners Winner & Finalists

The Bully

The Bully  Winner  

Authors: Herbert Puchta & Gunter Gerngross  Illustrator: Lorenzo Sabbatini
Charlie isn't very nice to the other children. They're scared of him. Then it's his birthday. Charlie invites all the children to his party. But no one comes. Charlie is sad, and is sorry. He begins to be nice to the other children. And they start to like him.
Jurors' Comments: The story is one that all children can relate which is having to deal with the class bully. This graded reader uses lower level vocabulary to tell a compelling tale of how a bully has a change of heart. The story teaches moral lessons such as respect, friendship and kindness. Also, students can have a chance to reflect on their behavior toward others and be aware of the consequences of unkind act. The best quality of this book is the suggestions on how teachers can get students to act out the story, either as TPR activity or as class drama performance. It also provides before reading and after reading activities. The after reading activities are not the usual reading comprehension exercises; they use critical thinking skills and allow students to personalize the language. Illustrations are colorful and beautiful.
Voters' Comments: My older students loved this because they could really sympathize with the characters and it is something that they see often here at school.
Series: Thinking Train Readers Level A (Starter)  Publisher: Helbling Languages  ISBN: 9783990454046  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
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The Animals of Kung Fu Panda

The Animals of Kung Fu Panda

Author: Fiona Davis  Illustrator: Dawn Wilson
Do you love Kung Fu Panda? Meet the real animals the film characters are based on in this starter level reader.
Jurors' Comments: Even students who haven't seen this popular movie have heard of it and this can help create an instant connection with students who are less enthusiastic about reading. The way the reader naturally connects the animal characters in the movie to the real animals in the wild is a very interesting way to blend story telling with the real world This reader is very visually attractive with the characters in the scenes of the movie next to stunning photographs of the animals in the wild. It also contains factual information about these animals. However, in this book, it says that Tai lung, a snow leopard, is bad. Though it is referring to the character in the movie, we still need to be very careful with the information we share with children even if it is only a fictional character.
Series: Scholastic Popcorn Readers Starter  Publisher: Mary Glasgow / Scholastic  ISBN: 9781910173794  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
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I Can See You

I Can See You

Author: Paul Shipton  Illustrator: Steve Cox
Rosie, Ben, Alice and Clunk are playing a game. The children look and look, but where's Clunk?
Jurors' Comments: All children love playing hide and seek and this graded reader brings this to life on its pages. This story brings together vocabulary taught in many young learner classrooms (such as numbers, prepositions, and furniture in a house) and the interactive component of having to find where the children are hiding will hold the students' attention. Teachers who wish to expand on the story will have little trouble convincing their students to play hide and seek in the classroom in English. Words are easy and comfortable to read. Repetition helps the readers to naturally perceive the meaning of the language. The illustrations are attractive. Letters are clear and big enough. The book contains picture dictionary, activities and ideas for a project.
Series: Oxford Read and Imagine Beginner (A1 / Beginner)  Publisher: Oxford University Press  ISBN: 9780194709071  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
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Young Learners Winner & Finalists

School Adventures 3

School Adventures 3  Winner  

Authors: Jason Wilburn & Casey Kim  Illustrator: Jaehwan Jung  
Jack and Bella go on mysterious adventures while reading classic stories.
Jurors' Comments: This engaging comic style book is unique in the way that the characters are magically pulled into books and become the characters of three classic stories; Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and Around the World in 80 Days. Each story told is true to its original classic tale, and so it enables children to become familiar with the well-known literature while they enjoy reading it. Each character is illustrated in a lively and expressive way, which provides huge support for comprehension. Also, an audio CD of the story is attached to the book.
Voters' Comments: An excellent book, interesting story and wonderful illustrations. The students loved it the minute they saw it. They enjoy comics very much. Great activities and a full picture dictionary. Vocabulary was easy to explain. The students were eager to read it!
Series: e-future Graded Comic Readers School Adventures: Low Intermediate  Publisher: e-future  ISBN: 9791156803140  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
Clunk's Brain

Clunk's Brain

Author: Paul Shipton  Illustrator: Matteo Piana
What was wrong with Clunk the robot? Ben, Rosie, Max, and Grandpa didn't know where he was, and his brain computer was turned off. So how did they find Clunk, and why did they go to the junkyard?
Jurors' Comments: This original story is about a children's robot mistakenly taken away to be re-used or recycled. The reader will empathize with the children, their grandfather and even the robot itself as they try to retrieve the missing parts and rebuild the robot: Good balance of fantasy, reality and humanity. The text, written in a natural style with no awkward expressions, is easy to read clearly separated from the original illustrations which provide visual appeal and language support on each page.
Series: Oxford Read and Imagine Level 4 (B1 / Pre-Intermediate)  Publisher: Oxford University Press  ISBN: 9780194736978  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
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The Emperor's New Clothes

The Emperor's New Clothes

Author: Hans Christian Andersen, Adapted by: Mairi Mackinnon  Illustrator: Olga Demidova
Jurors' Comments: This is a must read classic story for children that shows people sometimes focus on too much their own worlds and seem silly. It is well retold by the author of this version, and is written in easy English according to the CEFR level 1. The book is well illustrated and the way letters are arranged makes the typeface design clearly legible. Another important plus point is that it includes a QR code to scan and listen to the story online in British or American English.
Series: Usborne English Readers Level 1  Publisher: Usborne Publishing  ISBN: 9781474924603  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
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Adolescents & Adults: Beginner Winner & Finalists

Sherlock Holmes: The Dying Detective

Sherlock Holmes: The Dying Detective  Winner  

Author: Arthur Conan Doyle, Adapted by: Lesley Thompson  Illustrator: Giorgio Bacchin
'Come quickly, Dr Watson', says Mrs Hudson. 'Sherlock Holmes is dying!' Sherlock Holmes was trying to solve a murder. But now he has a terrible illness, and he is not his normal self. Can his friend Watson help him? Can the strange Mr Culverton Smith help him? Or will Sherlock Holmes die?
Jurors' Comments: Sherlock Holmes mysteries can be rather complex, but this retelling's skillful combination of simple language and clear storytelling provides a very readable, but still compelling narrative. Gorgeous illustrations support understanding at every turn, and fans of Holmes and detective fiction at any level will find this a worthwhile read.
Voters' Comments: This book is good. The art is good, and Sherlock is so cool.
Series: Dominoes Quick Starter (Beginner / A1; 250 Headwords)  Publisher: Oxford University Press  ISBN: 9780194249720  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
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Stop that Musketeer!

Stop that Musketeer!

Author: Denise Kirby  Illustrator: Paul Fisher Johnson
At Abby and Dean's school, there is a costume party to collect money for a history trip to France and Italy. During the party Abby discovers that the box with the money is missing. At the same time Dean sees a man in a musketeer costume and notices that the man has the money box! Dean tries to talk to him, but the man runs away. Who is the mysterious musketeer? Can Dean and Abby stop him?
Jurors' Comments: This engaging, easy to follow mystery will hold readers' attention to the end. The clear story telling, generally appropriate language level and helpful illustrations of key scenes will help even low-level learners to understand and appreciate the story, making for a rewarding reading experience.
Series: Hueber Lekturen Level 1  Publisher: Hueber Verlag  ISBN: 9783191129965  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
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Adolescents & Adults: Elementary Winner & Finalists


Egghead  Winner  

Author: Michael Lacey Freeman  Illustrator: Zosia Dzierzawska
Hello! My name is Michael, and this is my secret diary. Well, it's not really a secret, because I want you to read it. This is my story, but it's also everybody's story. Look at the picture on the front of this book. That's me! I'm going to school, and I'm not very happy about it. The other children are not very kind to me. But I've got a very special friend who always helps me. Do you want to know more? Well, open the book and read it. I hope you enjoy it.
Jurors' Comments: A touching and wonderful true story about friendship, bullying, school and family. Reading this book is like reading a diary, with beautiful pictures and small drawings.
Voters' Comments: The very good thing about the book is that it is about a very relevant theme, bullying and surviving it. Students involved in discussions eagerly while trying this in class as many could identify with many of the situations themselves. Going beyond language, it is very motivational for learners who are insecure in many ways.
Series: ELI Teen Readers Stage 1 (A2/Elementary)  Publisher: ELI Publishing   ISBN: 9788853621016  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
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Football Forever

Football Forever

Author: Andrea Sarto  Illustrators: Kanako Damerum & Yuzuru Takasaki
Tino wants to be a famous football player, and now is his chance - he is playing in his first game for an important team! But not everyone wants to help him. His father won't come to watch him play. His team captain, Lenda, thinks he is a bad player. And what about the other team? Their captain is very big - and very mean! How will Tino do? What will happen to his friends, and his team? What will his family do? And who will win?
Jurors' Comments: A captivating and well-written story about football which arouses much amusement and excitement. With its appealing illustrations, the book is like a lively broadcast of a real thrilling football game.
Series: Dominoes 1 (Elementary / A2; 400 Headwords)  Publisher: Oxford University Press  ISBN: 9780194609135  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
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Adolescents & Adults: Intermediate Winner & Finalists

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Rain, Rain, Go Away!  Winner  

Author: Nicola Prentis  Illustrator: Franco Rivolli
In a dystopian future where access to clean water is controlled by the Keepers, thirst is a part of everyday life. Kailani, a young girl, goes into the desert, to the Edge, to find water for her sick brother. If she fails, he might die.
Jurors' Comments: Rain, Rain, Go Away! Takes on a serious subject: worldwide water shortage, but tells the story in such a way that the reader is pulled into the mystery and terror of the dystopian society portrayed in the book.
Voters' Comments: I liked this book because it is similar to the Divergent series and the Hunger Games.
Series: Black Cat Reading and Training Step 3 (B1 / Intermediate)  Publisher: Black Cat Publishing  ISBN: 9788853015518  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
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School Adventures 4

School Adventures 4

Authors: Jason Wilburn & Casey Kim  Illustrator: Jaehwan Jung
Jack and Bella have further mysterious adventures while reading classic stories.
Jurors' Comments: School Adventures 4 drops two characters into three well-loved stories. The Wizard of Oz, The Time Machine and Robin Hood all work very well with the graphic novel format.
Series: e-future Graded Comic Readers School Adventures: Low Intermediate  Publisher: e-future  ISBN: 9791156803157  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
What's So Funny?

What's So Funny?

Author: Paul Shipton  Illustrator: Carl Pearce
A mysterious gas is escaping from a hole in the Happy World tanker. Soon, everyone is laughing, but they don't know why. What will happen when the laughter stops? Can Grandpa find a cure for the laughing illness before it's too late?
Jurors' Comments: What's So Funny? uses an adventurous plot line with well-thought-out characters to look at the ethics of major corporations. The artwork is delightful. It made me laugh as much as one of the characters in the book.
Series: Oxford Read and Imagine Level 6 (B1+ / Intermediate)  Publisher: Oxford University Press  ISBN: 9780194737326  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
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Adolescents & Adults: Upper Intermediate & Advanced Winner & Finalists

The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice  Winner  

Author: William Shakespeare, Adapted by: Clare West  Illustrator: Thomas Girard
In sixteenth-century Venice - a city of wealthy merchants and bankers - money is all-important. Bassanio is penniless, but his great friend Antonio offers to help him by borrowing the money that he needs. To do this, though, Antonio must make an arrangement with an old enemy that puts his life in danger... The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, and it has been performed all over the world. It is retold in this Bookworm not as a play, but as a story.
Jurors' Comments: A great introduction to the world of Shakespeare. The narrative is powerful, well-paced and poetic, and the story and its themes of love, revenge, greed and generosity are timeless. The Bard himself would be proud.
Voters' Comments: This version of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice was retold well so that the essentials of the original are clearly conveyed and the pacing of the book is brisk and engages. The many characters were distinct so that readers wouldn’t get confused. A strong point is that the book contained some scenes that could be acted out, though that’s not necessary for ER, it was a plus.
The book is very interesting. I especially liked the fact that up to the end the events could not be predicted, which makes the reader to read it in one breath. This is a story that is presented in a humorous way, and I was especially impressed by wit of the main villain, Shylock. The book features a range of different characters. I found it very interesting that I read the book in English, with ease, understanding a big part of it, but I also learned some new words and phrases. In that way the book has contributed to enriching my vocabulary.
Series: Oxford Bookworms Library 5 (B2) (Upper Intermediate)  Publisher: Oxford University Press  ISBN: 9780194209717  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
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Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Author: William Shakespeare, Adapted by: Robert Hill  Illustrator: Paolo D'Altan
The most famous play by the world's most famous dramatist begins with Hamlet's return to Denmark after the sudden and unexpected death of his father, the King. One night the ghost of the old King appears to Hamlet and tells him that he was poisoned - by his brother! The ghost makes Hamlet promise to take revenge, but will Hamlet be able to keep his promise?
Jurors' Comments: Black Cat's new adapted Shakespeare classic, Hamlet, is an excellent new reader for ER enthusiasts. The beautiful illustrations along with the high quality of the writing make this story of family crisis and courtly intrigue come alive. This edition also provides useful historical information to situate the story, and comprehension activities between the chapters for those interested.
Series: Black Cat Reading and Training Step 4 (B2 / Upper Intermediate)  Publisher: Black Cat Publishing  ISBN: 9788853015525  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
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A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

Author: Charles Dickens, Adapted by: Peter Viney  Illustrator: Gino D'Antonio
For 18 long years, Dr Manette was a prisoner in France. His crime? He knew what two evil French aristocrats did. Now he's free and living in London with his beautiful daughter, Lucie. Lucie marries Charles Darnay, who has a dangerous secret of his own. But it is time for revolution in France and they must all travel to Paris, where the shadow of the guillotine falls over them all.
Jurors' Comments: Set during the tumultuous times of the French and American Revolutions, Dickens' fictitious account takes the reader on a journey to the heart of the action in both London and Paris. Whilst maintaining the central themes of resurrection and social justice, the text is accessible and digestible to the language learner.
Series: Garnet Oracle Classics Level 5 Intermediate / B1+  Publisher: Garnet Education  ISBN: 9781782603122  Publication Date: 2016  Format: Paperback
Previous Winners & Finalists: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006
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