Inside All Graded Readers (165)
Retold by Jennifer Bassett
France, 1815. Jean Valjean leaves prison after nineteen years. These are dangerous and troubled times, and life is hard. Valjean must begin a new life, but how can he escape his past, and his enemy, Inspector Javert?
This story for Bookworms is loosely based on the famous novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, one of France's greatest writers. The novel was written in 1862, and the story has been retold many times - in a musical, in plays for radio and theatre, and in more than fifty films for television and cinema.
In Sweden, nobody wants a troll to come into their garden, but how do you stop them? On a lonely road at night in Oman, Abdul's car breaks down and he takes a ride with a stranger, but perhaps it is safer to walk. In England some young people play a scary game, and in Asia, a soldier returns home - at last.
Every country in the world has stories about ghosts and spirits and monsters of one kind or another. Some people believe in ghosts, and some don't - but everyone enjoys a good ghost story.
When did you last meet a polar bear, or go to a magician for help? These stories offer many different experiences. Some are strange, some are scary, some are sad, some are blackly funny. A few are shocking - when Lin Lin returns home for a funeral, she learns a dark and terrible family secret which may destroy her.
Bookworms World Stories collect stories written in English from around the world. These stories are from Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, and Trinidad.
Thousands of years ago, people looked out across an ocean and asked themselves, 'What is on the other side?' And the bravest of them began to travel and find the answers - beautiful islands, frozen lands, different peoples . . .
And there are still interesting questions about the oceans. How do they change our weather? Why does the water go up and down twice a day? Why do most animals and plants live near the land? And what can possibly live at the bottom of the ocean, thousands of metres down, where there is no light? Surely nothing can stay alive in a place like that ...
'It's a good place for gold,' said people in the 1840s, and they came from all over the world. 'It's a good place for a prison,' said the US government in the 1920s, and they put Al Capone there on the island of Alcatraz. 'It's a good place for love,' said the hippies in the 1960s, and they put flowers in their hair and came to Haight Ashbury. And San Francisco is still a good place - to take a hundred photographs, or see the Chinatown parade, or just to sit in a coffee shop and be in this interesting, different city . . .
Shirley Homes is a private investigator. She is clever with computers, and knows London like the back of her hand. She laughs when people say, 'Was Sherlock Holmes your grandfather?' Sherlock Holmes, of course, was not a real person, but, like Sherlock, Shirley has good eyes, and good ears. And she knows the right questions to ask.
And in the Lithuanian Case, the right questions are important. Because Shirley must find a missing person - Carrie Williams, aged fifteen. Where is she? Who is she with?
Right now, all over the world, people are using energy. As we drive our cars, work on our computers, or even cook food on a wood fire, we probably do not stop to think about where the energy comes from. But when the gas is gone and there is no more coal - what then?
Scientists are finding new answers all the time. Get ready for the children whose running feet make the energy to bring water to their village; for the power station that uses warm and cold water to make energy; for the car that saves energy by growing like a plant ...
Imagine an animal with teeth as big as bananas - and a brain as big as an orange. Or a flying animal with wings as wide as a small plane. Think about a tail that could knock a man's head off, or a mouth with hundreds of teeth. Is it any surprise that people are interested in dinosaurs?
Nobody has ever seen a living dinosaur, but millions of us go every year to stare at the bones of these enormous animals. In books, films and games, we can't get enough of the secrets of the dinosaur world ...
Greg is a porter at the Shepton Hotel in New York.
When a girl with beautiful green eyes asks him for help, Greg can't say no.
The girl's name is Cassie, and she says she is an artist. She tells Greg that her stepfather has her sketchbooks, and now she wants them back.
Cassie says her stepfather is staying at Greg's hotel . . . so what could go wrong?