Scarlet is the colour of sin, and the letter ’A’ stands for ’Adultery’. In the 1600s, in Boston, Massachusetts, love was allowed only between a husband and a wife. A child born outside marriage was a child of sin. Hester Prynne must wear the scarlet letter on her dress for the rest of her life. How can she ever escape from this public shame? What will happen to her child, growing up in the shadow of the scarlet letter? The future holds no joy for Hester Prynne.
Soon I felt something alive moving along my leg and up my body to my face, and when I looked down, I saw a very small human being, only 15 centimetres tall . . . I was so surprised that I gave a great shout. ’But that is only the first of many surprises which Gulliver has on his travels. He visits a land of giants and a flying island, meets ghosts from the past and horses which talk. An Oxford Bookworms Library reader for learners of English, adapted from the Jonathan Swift original by Clare West.
Tom Sawyer does not like school. He does not like work, and he never wants to get out of bed in the morning. But he likes swimming and fishing, and having adventures with his friends. And he has a lot of adventures. One night, he and his friend Huck Finn go to the graveyard to look for ghosts.They don’t see any ghosts that night. They see something worse than a ghost – much, much worse.
Life is always hard for the poor, in any place and at any time. Ethan Frome is a farmer in Massachusetts. He works long hours every day, but his farm makes very little money. His wife, Zeena, is a thin, grey woman, always complaining, and only interested in her own ill health. Then Mattie Silver, a young cousin, comes to live with the Fromes, to help Zeena and do the housework. Her bright smile and laughing voice bring light and hope into the Fromes’ house - and into Ethan’s lonely life.
"When we are happy, we are always good," says Lord Henry, "but when we are good, we are not always happy." Lord Henry’s lazy, clever words lead the young Dorian Gray into a world where it is better to be beautiful than to be good; a world where anything can be forgiven - even murder - if it can make people laugh at a dinner party. Oxford Bookworms Library reader for learners of English, adapted from the Oscar Wilde original by Jill Nevile.
"un gran libro"
Sara Crewe is a very rich little girl. She first comes to England when she is seven, and her father takes her to Miss Minchin’s school in London. Then he goes back to his work in India. Sara is very sad at first, but she soon makes friends at school. But on her 11th birthday, something terrible happens, and now Sara has no family, no home, and not a penny in the world.
Little Mary Lennox is a bad-tempered, disagreeable child. When her parents die in India, she is sent back to England to live with her uncle in a big, lonely, old house. There is nothing to do all day except walk in the gardens – and watch the robin flying over the high walls of the secret garden . . . which has been locked for ten years. And no one has the key. An Oxford Bookworms Library reader for learners of English, adapted from the Frances Hodgson Burnett original by Clare West.
Adapted from the classic by Lewis Carroll.... There, on top of the mushroom, was a large caterpillar, smoking a pipe. After a while the Caterpillar took the pipe out of its mouth and said to Alice in a slow, sleepy voice, "Who are you?" What strange things happen when Alice falls down the rabbit-hole and into Wonderland! She has conversations with the Caterpillar and the Cheshire Cat, goes to the Mad Hatter’s tea party, and plays croquet with the King and Queen of Hearts.
Dartmoor. A wild, wet place in the south-west of England. A place where it is easy to get lost, and to fall into the soft green earth which can pull the strongest man down to his death. A man is running for his life. Behind him comes an enormous dog - a dog from his worst dreams, a dog from hell. Between him and a terrible death stands only one person - the greatest detective of all time, Sherlock Holmes.
I like work. I find it interesting . . . I can sit and look at it for hours. ’With ideas like this, perhaps it is not a good idea to spend a holiday taking a boat trip up the River Thames. But this is what the three friends - and Montmorency the dog - decide to do. It is the sort of holiday that is fun to remember afterwards, but not so much fun to wake up to early on a cold, wet morning. This famous book has made people laugh all over the world for a hundred years . . . and they are still laughing.
When men find gold in the frozen north of Canada, they need dogs – big, strong dogs to pull the sledges on the long journeys to and from the gold mines. Buck is stolen from his home in the south and sold as a sledge-dog. He has to learn a new way of life – how to work in harness, how to stay alive in the ice and the snow... and how to fight. Because when a dog falls down in a fight, he never gets up again.
The Marquis lay there, like stone, with a knife pushed into his heart. On his chest lay a piece of paper, with the words: Drive him fast to the grave. This is from JACQUES. ’The French Revolution brings terror and death to many people. But even in these troubled times people can still love and be kind. They can be generous and true-hearted . . . and brave. An Oxford Bookworms Library reader for learners of English, adapted from the Charles Dickens original by Ralph Mowat.
I turned on the light, but there was nobody there. Then I saw something in the corner that made my blood turn cold. Scudder was lying on his back. There was a long knife through his heart, pinning him to the floor.’ Soon Richard Hannay is running for his life across the hills of Scotland. The police are chasing him for a murder he did not do, and another, more dangerous enemy is chasing him as well - the mysterious ’Black Stone’. Who are these people? And why do they want Hannay dead?
"liked it a lot"
Adapted from the Arthur Conan Doyle story "Silver Blaze".... Horseracing is the sport of kings, perhaps because racehorses are very expensive animals. But when they win races, they can make a lot of money too - money for the owners, for the trainers, and for the people who put bets on them to win.Silver Blaze is a young horse, but already the winner of many races. One night he disappears from his stables, and someone kills his trainer.
"One little known Sherlock's tale by A, Conan Doyle"
Based on the story by Arthur Conan Doyle.... Dr. Huxtable has a school for boys in the north of England. When the Duke of Holdernesse decides to send his young son there, that is good news for the school. The Duke is a very important person, and Dr. Huxtable is happy to have his son in the school. But two weeks later Dr. Huxtable is the unhappiest man in England.
When a large plane is hijacked, the Prime Minister looks at the list of passengers and suddenly becomes very, very frightened. There is a name on the list that the Prime Minister knows very well - too well. There is someone on that plane who will soon be dead - if the hijackers can find out who he is! And there isn’t much time. One man lies dead on the runway. In a few minutes the hijackers will use their guns again. And the Prime Minister knows who they are going to kill.
In the mountains of Transylvania there stands a castle. It is the home of Count Dracula – a dark, lonely place, and at night the wolves howl around the walls. In the year 1875 Jonathan Harker comes from England to do business with the Count. But Jonathan does not feel comfortable at Castle Dracula. Strange things happen at night, and very soon, he begins to feel afraid. And he is right to be afraid, because Count Dracula is one of the Un-Dead – a vampire that drinks the blood of living people.
The job was too good. There had to be a problem - and there was. John Duncan was an honest man, but he needed money. He had children to look after. He was ready to do anything, and his bosses knew it. They gave him the job because he couldn’t say no; he couldn’t afford to be honest. And the job was like a poison inside him. It changed him and blinded him, so that he couldn’t see the real poison - until it was too late. An Oxford Bookworms Library reader for learners of English.
Suddenly, there was a high voice screaming in the darkness: "Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!" It was Long John Silver’s parrot, Captain Flint! I turned to run . . .’But young Jim Hawkins does not escape from the pirates this time. Will he and his friends find the treasure before the pirates do? Will they escape from the island, and sail back to England with a ship full of gold?
Christmas is humbug, Scrooge says - just a time when you find yourself a year older and not a penny richer. The only thing that matters to Scrooge is business, and making money. But on Christmas Eve three spirits come to visit him. They take him travelling on the wings of the night to see the shadows of Christmas past, present, and future - and Scrooge learns a lesson that he will never forget.