Created by its-teachers editor Robert Campbell and Lindsay Clandfield, Owl Hall is an interactive reader. It can be used in the same way as a traditional reader but additional resources can be found online. At the Owl Hall website, students can read and comment on a blog written by Kara, the central character. They can also watch a video and find out more about the characters. Teachers can download a dramatised podcast version of the story to use in conjunction with the reader from Onestopenglish.
Owl Hall tells the story of Kara who arrives at Owl Hall with her mother and brother. As the story develops, we discover that everyone at Owl Hall has a secret – even the house itself!
Sounds interesting? Then follow this link to find out more.
Publisher: Macmillan Publishing
The Pickwick Paper
With celebrations already underway for the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth in 2012, it's the perfect time to bring Dickens into the classroom. The Pickwick Papers was his first novel and Black Cat/Vicens Vives have added it to their Reading & Training series of readers. These are aimed at teenagers and adults and are mostly adapted classics. Apart from the text, they include activities, projects, and web activities.
In Dickens’s first novel, Samuel Pickwick and three other members of the Pickwick Club decide to spend six months travelling around England observing the manners and habits of everyone they meet.
Sounds interesting? Then follow this link to find out more and download some sample pages.
Publisher: Black Cat / Vicens Vives
Just So Stories
Have you ever wondered why elephants have such long noses and why leopards have spots? Do you know why kangaroos hop around Australia? Find out how a clever young sailor tricked a whale and meet many other unforgettable characters in this version of Rudyard Kipling's famous stories.
Just So Stories is one of the titles in the Black Cat Green Apple series which includes adapted classics, original stories and non-fiction readers. Each book starts with information about the author and his/her times, activities for before and after reading a chapter, cross-curricular dossiers and Internet projects. Other new titles include Just So Stories, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Treasure of Franchard.
Sounds interesting? Then follow this link to find out more and to download some sample pages.
Just So Stories was a finalist in the Language Learner Literature Awards for 2011.
Publisher: Black Cat / Vicens Vives
The Time Capsule
Written by its-teachers editor, Robert Campbell, this reader is one of the finalists in the 2011 Extensive Reading Foundation Learner Literature Awards. Every year, the Extensive Reading Foundation recognizes the best new works of language learner literature in English. This year, the ERF judges have selected fifiteen titles of particular merit—the finalists. From these fifteen, the ERF will select one winner in each of five categories taking into account the votes and comments of students and teachers of English worldwide.
In The Time Capsule, Jan makes a time capsule for her History project and buries it beside the apple tree in her garden. Then one night during a terrible storm something strange happens. Jan travels through time. Is she in the future? Or is she in the past? And how can she get back to the present?
Sounds interesting? Then follow this link to download some sample pages and find out more.
Follow this link to find out more about the Extensive Reading Foundation Learner Literature Awards and to see the other finalists
According to its publishers, Fiction in Action: Whodunit is the world's first free-to-share commercial ELT textbook. The book, written by Adam Gray and Marcos Benevides, is available in a traditional print edition but it is also available under a Creative Commons licence, providing the option of downloading the book in PDF format for free or paying the price you'd like to pay.
The two editions are almost the same although the print edition has the advantage of being in full color with additional listening activities on an accompanying audio CD.
So what is Whodunit? It's a textbook designed to act as a bridge to extensive reading. The book consists of two original detective stories: The Inverted Eagle and Death on U Street. Over the 12 units that encompass the two stories, the book introduces students to the hows and the pleasures of reading accessible fiction in English. A special feature of the text is tasks that are not merely supportive of but intrinsic to the stories, enabling students to succesfully close each case.
Fiction in Action: Whodunit has won the 2011 ELTons Cambridge
ESOL International Award for Innovation and the English-Speaking Union
English Language Award.
Sounds interesting? Then follow this link to find
out more and to download the Creative Commons edition.
Follow this link to read an interview with the authors.