2012 LLL Awards

Announcing the Winners of the 2012 LLL Award
The Extensive Reading Foundation (ERF), an unaffiliated, not-for profit organization that supports and promotes extensive reading in language education, takes pleasure in announcing the winners of the 8th Annual Language Learner Literature Award for books published in 2011.

An international jury chose the winning book in five categories, taking into account the Internet votes and comments of students and teachers around the world. The judges’ comment is followed by reactions from readers of the book.

Young Learners



Uncle Jack and the Meerkats
By Jane Cadwallader; Illustrated by Gustavo Mazali (ELI Publishing), ISBN: 978-88-536-0627-3

Judges’ comment: This story is good for young learners because it is a nice mixture of adventure, fantasy and reality, with an animal conservation angle. It also has a cool family theme and intelligent child characters. Well-written, nice design and fun to read.

On-line voter’s comments: This book tells a very simple story,but it indeed teaches us a lot. What we learn from the book is that we should treat animals kindly and never try to keep them as pets.

I really like this book. It is quite worthy of being read by the youth. This book particularly makes difference in inspiring us to protect the animals and our environment.

This story has a brilliant educational meaning – protecting animals from being hurt by the cruel people and loving the whole world even anything alive.

Adolescent & Adult: Beginner



Arman’s Journey
By Philip Prowse; Illustrated by Paul Dickinson (Cambridge English Readers), ISBN: 978-0-521-18496-0

Judge’s comment: This original story is filled with adventure that compels the reader through to the end. The content is especially relevant for adult learners — touching on conflict, economics, prejudice, and romance. The illustrations are supportive of the meaning. There are no exercises to distract from the story.

On-line voter’s comment: It is good because it has unique background, and I enjoyed his journey, quite adventurous.

Adolescent & Adult: Elementary



Harry’s Holiday
By Antoinette Moses; Illustrated by Mikela Prevost (Cambridge Discovery Readers), ISBN: 978-84-8323-858-5

Judge’s comment: This is an intriguing book, with an excellent plot. The reader is kept on edge, wondering what will happen to Harry. Will he get to go on a holiday?

On-line voter’s comment: This is a very good book which reflects very common social problems. First Sometimes we are unwilling to tell others about something in our home,especially some shabby things. Second, nowadays, many companies just cheat consumers to believe them. And after i finish reading this book, i understand something. So it is a very meaningful book. It is much more profound than it appears to be. It has a happy ending which give us a sense of happiness and hope. The illustrations in this book is very good which go well with the whole story and can arouse readers’ interest in reading it. The cover of the book is also very good which reflects Harry’s strong desire to have a journey for his family. But, maybe it should strengthen the sense of happiness. Besides, the plot should be more complex so it can be more attractive. On the whole, it is a book which is worthy of being read.

Adolescent & Adult: Intermediate



A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens, Retold by Sean Michael Wilson; Illustrated by Mike Collins (National Geographic Learning Classic Graphic Novels), ISBN: 9781424042876

Judge’s comment: This version of A Christmas Carol is one graphic novel which has the rare combination of excellent artwork and skillful retelling that can engage readers from start to finish. Graphic novels have the potential to attract students who might not find regular graded readers appealing, and this is a good example of how to make a graphic novel work as a graded reader.

Selected Student Comments: Great artwork. Most of us know the story, but this was original, and the ghosts were excellent.
I found this book really amazing. I have heard of this book and have frankly tried to read this novella many a time but never felt like it. I have even seen the BBC movie version but never read the book. I should say that this Graphic Novel version is totally readable and this is the book that I read first in this series of books. I found the glossary with the pronunciation very useful. I would love to read the other classic comics in this series.

Adolescent & Adult: Upper Intermediate & Advanced



Joe Faust
By Frank Brennan; Illustrated by Redbean Design Pte Ltd (Layout and Illustration) (National Geographic Learning Page Turners), ISBN: 978-1-4240-1796-6

Judge’s comment: This is a gripping story, and a moral tale for our times that speaks across different cultures and societies. As one reader put it, this is a “good story that sends across a very important, influential message”. It is a clever up-dating of the legend of Doctor Faustus, relevant to us all. The Devil has many disguises…

On-line voter’s comments: The black and white illustrations set the mysterious, moody atmosphere of the story that is very relevant to a Western culture that equates success with wealth and power. This updating of the classic Faust story to focus on a young city trader at an investment company in NYC will generate discussion about values, relationships and personal goals. I liked attention to descriptive detail though I did not like the protagonist.

Finalists in Each Category

In addition to the winners, the following books were selected as the shortlisted “finalists” in each category:


Young Learners



Hooray for the Holidays!
By Dominique Guillemant; Illustrated by Alistar (ELI Publishing), ISBN: 978-88-536-0618-1

Judges’ comment: The lively, kid-friendly design and enjoyable beach theme attract young children. There are also fun activities that make kids think. Well written, nice fonts and excellent art.


Mansour and the Donkey
By Sue Arengo; Illustrated by Jamel Akib (Oxford Classic Tales), ISBN: 978-0-19-423854-0

Judges’ comment: The illustrations are awesome; the red, brown and maroon colours really capture the exotic essence of North Africa. This story of a boy helping his old uncle has a good moral and a nice ending.

Adolescent & Adult: Beginner



A Little Trouble in California
By Richard MacAndrew; Illustrated by Kevin Levell; (Cambridge Discovery Readers), ISBN: 978-8-483-23982-7

Judges’ comment: “This original story has a fast-moving plot with a number of surprising twists. The illustrations are helpful and the language is well-controlled. The story introduces a number of social issues that give the story relevance for young adult and adult readers.”


By Sue Leather and Julian Thomlinson; Illustrated by Redbean Design Pte Ltd (National Geographic Learning Page Turners), ISBN: 978-1-4240-4897-7

Judges’ comment: This original story is very relevant for young adults and adult students. Although there are quite a number of characters, the action focuses on the two main characters, whose personal differences are easy to relate to. The illustrations are well done and contribute to the comprehensibility of the story. Exercises are not disruptive since they are all at the end.

Adolescent & Adult: Elementary




Ask Alice
By Margaret Johnson; Illustrated by Jose Rubio (Cambridge Discovery Readers), ISBN: 978-84-8323-958-2

Judges’ comment: Alice writes an advice column for her high school newspaper. But who is Alice to give advice to her classmates on their problems? She has her own! The ending of this well-written story is a surprise.


Running Free
By Sue Leather and Julian Thomlinson; Illustrated by Redbean Design Pte Ltd (National Geographic Learning Page Turners), ISBN: 978-1-4240-4638-6

Judges’ comment: The story revolves around the all-too common situation of conflict between a father and son. The reader is quickly drawn into the plot, wondering how it will ever be resolved.

Adolescent & Adult: Intermediate



Call of the Wild
By Jack London, Retold by Rachel Bladon; Illustrated by John Dillow (Macmillan Readers), ISBN: 9780230408715

Judges’ comment: An interesting story. The author does well to keep the language relatively simple without sacrificing the feel of the story. Full of action from start to finish and this will appeal to young readers.


Noughts and Crosses
By Malorie Blackman, Retold by Karen Holmes (Pearson Education/Penguin Readers), ISBN: 9781408261293

Judges’ comment: The story is interesting, and the ending is compelling. The magic is in the plot – black people showing superiority over a white minority and this adds to serious thought-provocation. It will leave readers with as many questions as answers when they finish.

Adolescent & Adult: Upper Intermediate & Advanced



The Great Gatsby
By F. Scott Fitzgerald, Retold by Richard Larkham; Illustrated by Rodolfo Brocchini (ELI Publishing), ISBN: 978-88-536-0666-2

Judges’ comment: Richard Larkham should be very proud of his excellent adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece. Gatsby, the dreamer, lives in a magnificent house and can buy anything he wants — except for one thing…


Solo Saxophone
By Jeremy Harmer, (Cambridge English Readers), ISBN: 978-0-521-18296-6

Judges’ comment: A moving story of love and death during the siege of Sarajevo. A young reporter learns more about the beauty and the ugliness of humanity in a few short months than she has previously learnt during the whole of her life.

The winning books and shortlisted finalists are available for online purchase at the Cambridge International Book Centre: http://www.eflbooks.co.uk/reader_finalists.php

The ERF thanks the publishers who nominated books, the members of the Award Jury, and all the students and teachers who evaluated this year’s finalists. The nomination and voting procedures for the 2012 Language Learner Literature Award will be posted on the ERF website (www.erfoundation.org) later this year.

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To contact the Extensive Reading Foundation, email rday@hawaii.edu

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