Announcing the Finalists for the 2017 LLL Award
Every year, the Extensive Reading Foundation recognizes the best new works of language learner literature in English. From books published in 2016, the ERF judges have selected sixteen titles of particular merit–the finalists. From these sixteen, the ERF will select one winner in each of six categories taking into account the votes and comments of students and teachers of English worldwide.
All finalist books can be ordered online from the independent Cambridge International Book Centre. In Japan, the finalists can be ordered thorough the ETJ Book Service: http://www.etjbookservice.com/extensive-reading-foundation/.
If you or your students read any of the books and feel that they are worthy of the LLL Award, vote for them at http://erfoundation.org/moodle31/course/view.php?id=7. Login with “visitor” for both the username and password. Voting closes on June 30, 2017.
The winning books will be announced a online and at the Extensive Reading World Congress, 4-7 August, Toyo Gakuen University, Tokyo. http://erfoundation.org/erwc4/ The judges’ comments are presented with the listing of each finalist book below, in alphabetical order within each category.
Very Young Learners
Juror’s Comment: 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.
Juror’s Comment: 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.
Juror’s Comment: 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.
Juror’s Comment: 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.
The Emperor’s New Clothes
Author: Hans Christian Andersen
Adapted by: Mairi Mackinnon
Illustrated by: Olga Demidova
Publisher: Usborne English readers
Series and level: Level 1
ISBN number: 978-1-4749-2460-3
Juror’s Comment: 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.
Juror’s Comment: 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.
Adolescents & Adult: Beginner
Sherlock Holmes: The Dying Detective
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Text adaptation by: Lesley Thompson
Illustrator: Giorgio Bacchin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Series: Dominoes, Quick Starter, A1, 250 headwords
Juror’s Comment: 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.
Author: Denise Kirby
Illustrator: Paul Fisher Johnson
Series: Robin Readers/Hueber Lektüren, Level 1, A1, 300 headwords
Juror’s Comment: 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.
Adolescents & Adult: Elementary
Juror’s Comment: 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.
Juror’s Comment: 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.
Adolescents & Adult: Intermediate
Juror’s Comment: 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.
School Adventures 4
Authors Jason Wilburn and Casey Kim
Illustrator Jaehwan Jung
Juror’s Comment: 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.
Jurors’ Comment: 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.
Adolescents & Adult: Upper Intermediate and Advanced
A Tale of Two Cities
Title: A Tale of Two Cities
Author: Charles Dickens
Adapted by: Peter Viney
Illustrated by Gino D’Antonio
Publisher: Garnet Education
Series and level: Garnet Oracle Classics
ISBN number: 978-1-78260-312-2
Jurors’ Comment: 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.
Jurors’ Comment: 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.
Jurors’ Comment: 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.