2013 LLL Awards

Announcing the Winners of the 2013 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 9th Annual Language Learner Literature Award for books published in 2012. 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

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow By Washington Irving. Retold by Casey Malarcher. Illustrated by Fabio Leone. Publisher: Compass Publishing; ISBN: 978-1-59966-678-5

Judges’ comment: Innovation and classic story-telling are mixed seamlessly in this story. The book includes a playlet for a class performance and wonderful illustrations.

On-line voter’s comments: It’s very exciting. The art is so dramatic.

Adolescent & Adult: Beginner

The Girl with Green Eyes Author: John Escott. Illustrated by Dylan Gibson. Publisher: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780194794343

Judge’s comment: Who is the girl with the green eyes? Why is she so interested in Mark? And is the man in the hotel really her stepfather? Find out when you read this story. Boy meets girl — with a difference!

On-line voter’s comment: I like the whole story because it is very mysterious.The following student comment was originally in Japanese:
This is a fast-paced action story. A young man was cheated by a beautiful girl with green eyes, in the commission of a crime, and placed on the wanted list. But with the help of his friend and a strange homeless guy, he took the sketchbook from the girl. I cannot stop reading with excitement.

Adolescent & Adult: Elementary

Les Misérables By Victor Hugo. Retold by Jennifer Bassett. Illustrated by Giorgio Bacchin. Publisher: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0-19-479440-4

Judge’s comment: This well-written retelling is an excellent way for beginner/elementary level learners to get to know this great story. We found ourselves involved in the story, caring about the characters. In particular, the “set-the-stage” sections help the reader quickly catch up on important events without creating an overly-complex narrative. The recent popularity of the film musical should increase students’ interest, and lead many to a rewarding reading experience.

On-line voter’s comment: This book uses easy words, so it was easy for me to understand. In addition, its descriptions and expressions were very clear. These let me feel the same feelings of several characters. I felt sometimes sad, sometimes happy. I love this story!

Adolescent & Adult: Intermediate

The Green Room By Robert Campbell. Illustrated by Valentina Russello. Publisher: Helbling Languages. ISBN: 978-3-85272-327-3

Judge’s comment: This is story about adolescents’ conflicts and growing up process. What makes it special is the clever way in which the author interweaves the main plot with the plot of the play-within-the story. This is a well-constructed narrative with a cleverly written plot that develops exploring parallels with Shakespeare’s work.

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

Manhunt By Richard MacAndrew. Map artwork by Malcolm Barnes. Publisher: Cambridge University Press; ISBN: 987-01-107-62455-1

Judge’s comment: This original murder mystery, set in a rural community, is a compelling read for crime story enthusiasts. Moving back and forth between the voices of the criminal and the police, MacAndrew draws the reader into the narrative. With clear, yet vivid language, the reader is able to participate in the problem-solving of the detectives as they unravel the mystery.

On-line voter’s comments: I would recommend the book as it is very interesting. It was full of suspense. The language was easy to understand and I was very keen to read as the storyline is awesome.

Young Learners

The Canterville Ghost By Oscar Wilde. Retold by Jane Cadwallader. Illustrated by Gustavo Mazali. Publisher: ELI Readers ; ISBN: 978-88-536-0769-0

Judges’ comment: Beautifully illustrated, fast-moving story of the Otis family and Sir Simon, the ghost. Do they just see past each other?

White Fang By Jack London. Retold by Jane Cadwallader. Illustrated by Gustavo Mazali. Publisher: ELI Readers. ISBN: 978-88-536-0771-3

Judges’ comment: Well-managed retelling of a classic story of love, respect, and loyalty between people and animals. We promise you’ll keep turning the pages quickly.

Adolescent & Adult: Beginner

The Little Match Girl By Hans Christian Andersen. Retold by Bill Bowler. Illustrated by Monica Armino. Publisher: Oxford University Press; ISBN: 978-0-19-424940-9

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.

Adolescent & Adult: Elementary

Gulliver’s Travels By Jonathan Swift. Retold by Janet Borsbey and Ruth Swan. Illustrated by Simone Massoni. Publisher: ELI Readers. ISBN: 978-88-536-0787-4

Judges’ comment: This is an excellent re-telling of the classic story, with good clarity and language control. Including several of Gulliver’s journeys, it goes much farther than some other “simple” versions in familiarizing readers with the scope of this important cultural point of reference, and with the thrust of Swift’s social commentary.

Marley and Me By John Grogan. Retold by Anne Collins. Publisher: Pearson Education/Penguin Readers. ISBN: 978-1-40-826376-1

Judges’ comment: A simply-told, true story about a dog by his owner, Marley & Me brings the reader through years of shared experiences to gain a feeling for Marley, his family and the bond that develops between them. Dog lovers, especially, will love this story and lose track of time as they read page after page.

Adolescent & Adult: Intermediate

The Case of the Dead Batsman By Peter Viney. Illustrated by Kay Dixey. Publisher: Garnet Education. ISBN: 978-1-90757-521-1

Judges’ comment: You may think, ‘Oh another Sherlock story!’… But this is a nice one indeed. It is very well-written with a master control of the language. It manages to be accessible without patronizing the reader. Sure there are clichés, but that is is part of Sherlock’s appeal. It has an interesting plot and good illustrations that help the reader.

Owl Hall By Robert Campbell; from an original idea by Robert Campbell and Lindsay Clandfield. Illustrated by Simon Williams. Publisher: Macmillan Education. ISBN: 978-0-230-42283-4

Judges’ comment: This is a very well-constructed story with a quite elaborate plot that develops in a very intelligent way. It builds on the tension and adds a couple of good twists that keep you hooked to the end. A page-turner!

Adolescent & Adult: Upper Intermediate & Advanced

One Day By David Nicholls; Retold by F.H. Cornish; Illustrated by Bruce Emmett; Macmillan Education; ISBN: 978-0-230-42235-3

Judges’ comment: One Day is a wonderfully well-written adaptation of David Nichols 2009 novel (which was made into a 2011 movie starring Anne Hathaway) about the friendship and romance between its two main characters, Dexter and Emma over a 20 year period. The very well-illustrated story is written in clear and easy English and told in episodic style, with each chapter visiting their lives on a different July 15th over a 20 year period. • F.H. Cornish’s retelling of David Nichols novel “One Day” successfully draws the reader into the complicated 20 year romance of Dexter and Emma. With good illustrations and accessible language, Cornish propels the reader through a series of moments, each on July 15th, in which Dexter and Emma are revealed—sometimes together, sometimes not—sometimes struggling, sometimes at peace. This episodic narrative allows the reader to consider many aspects of relationships and modern life.

Sherlock: A Study In Pink By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Adapted by Steven Moffat and retold by Paul Shipton; Scholastic; ISBN: 978-1-906-86193-3

Judges’ comment: Although Sherlock: A Study In Pink is actually an adaptation of an adaptation, in other words, it is a graded reader version of a TV script from the BBC adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1887 novel, A Study in Scarlet, which introduces us to the famous character of Sherlock Holmes, Paul Shipton does an absolutely wonderful job of capturing the atmosphere of the original novel, using easy English to build a sense of mystery and excitement that truly pulls the reader into the story. The book is also well illustrated and contains several fascinating “fact file” essays that connect very well to the story and topic. • Steven Moffat’s adaptation of the screenplay “A Study in Pink,” has retained both the suspense and the complexity of the original mystery novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The familiar character of Sherlock Holmes comes to life in this modernized crime story. The shifts between the perspectives of the main characters propels the reader through the chapters. The language is rich but not confusing and the pictures, front and end notes, provide sufficient support without distracting the reader from the story.

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