2016 LLL Awards

Announcing the Winners of the 2016 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 12th Annual Language Learner Literature Award for books published in 2015. An international jury chose the winning book in six 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.
All books mentioned on this page 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/.

Very Young Learners

Vera The Alien Hunter 2
Authors: Jason Wilburn & Casey Kim
Illustrator: Seungjun Park & Bioh Kang
Publisher: e-future
ISBN: 979-11-5680-112-2
Judges’ comment: The continued adventures of Vera the Alien Hunter keeps the reader turning the pages to see what will happen next. The stories are fast paced and interesting, with a touch of humour and wonderful cartoon-style illustrations.

On-line voter’s comment: I like this book because it is a combination of fun and imagination. The characters of the book are found in all the moments of the three chapters (stories). Reading this book has helped me in learning new words, not isolated words, but in context.


Young Learners


Vera the Alien Hunter 3
Authors: Jason Wilburn and Casey Kim
Illustrator: Seungjun Pak and Bio Kang
Publisher: e-future
ISBN number: 979-11-5680-113-9
Judges’ comment:
This compelling fiction reader for young learners is about a smart little girl who is an alien hunter. Her plight is to be constantly saving the world from aliens. The story is delivered in an interesting and innovative comic reader format. The drawings are eye-catching and the multiple illustrations over each spread help the reader to understand the story better. It is written in with appropriate and careful leveling and focuses on specific verb tenses, forms and sentences patterns that are repeated with very clear and easy examples of their usage.Reviewer’s comment: The book continues Vera’s adventures and her cat’s adventures who are trying to protect the Earth. The book is very well illustrated; the plot of the story keeps the reader in suspense.


Adolescent & Adult: Beginner


Sherlock Holmes: The Speckled Band
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Adapted by: Lesley Thompson
Illustrator: Giorgio Bacchin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 978-0-19-460905-0
Judges’ comment: The exciting plot and controlled language will keep lower-level students engaged with this well-written retelling of the famous story. Plentiful illustrations support understanding and contribute to a satisfying reading experience.

Reviewer’s Comments
Student 1: I was eager to know who the speckled band were and why they killed Helen’s sister. The language, vocabulary and grammar were easy to understand. I will encourage my friends to read this book since it’s about investigation.

Student 2: I love the secret of this story, the intrigue. The pictures are very good. You can see many details. The ending is very good. You can’t guess the secret until the end.



Adolescent & Adult: Elementary


Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Author: Lynda Edwards
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-1-910-17334-3
Judges’ comments:
“A thriller that keeps the reader totally involved. Very well written.”
“A delightful fantasy book with interesting plot twists. The book is truly an amazing read that wholly captures the reader’s interest.”

Reviewer’s comment:
Illustrations are on the dark side, but the story is interesting as a vehicle to stimulate interest in historical figures and in museums. I can imagine of the whole-class reading of this book followed by a field trip to a museum.


Adolescent & Adult: Intermediate


A New Song for Nina
Author: Fiona Joseph
Illustrator: Redbean Design PTE Ltd.
Publisher: National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781424046591
Judges’ comment:
This is a truly original story. The writing is so good you really feel you know the characters. The popular topics of love and music turn it into an exciting reading. There are very nice activities and readings at the back where they should be – it really FEELS like extensive reading!


Reviewer’s comment: There are a lot of simple stories about love between two people, but there are Nina and two men in this book. This relationship is more complex so it is interesting.


Adolescent & Adult: Upper Intermediate & Advanced


Battle for Big Tree Country
Author: Gregory Strong
Series editor: Rob Waring and Sue Leather
Illustrator: Redbean Design Pte Ltd
Publisher: Andrew Robinson, National Geographic Learning, Cengage Learning, Page Turners Reading Library
ISBN-13: 978-1-4240-4886-1
ISBN-10: 1-4240-4886-9
Judges’ comment:
This book with its human interest plot is well-narrated, engaging, exciting, and enjoyable to read. The characters are well-developed, and the modern-day issues together with twists in the plot make the story appealing to young adolescents. The language is contemporary and is pitched well in terms of reading level. The exercises are given at the end of the book, so they do not interfere with the enjoyment of reading.


Reviewer comment:
This book is a kind of argument against the forest destruction. I was really moved by those who tried to protect the nature and were prepared to sacrifice their life. This issue can be seen all over the world. We should think about the real situation.



Finalists in Each Category

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

Very Young Learners


A Letter to Roberto
Author: Jon Maes
Illustrator: Glenn Zimmer
Publisher: Compass Readers
Series and level: Level 1
ISBN: 978-1-61352-562-3
Judges’ comment:The book has themes that tend to be popular with children around the world – mischievous monkeys and an outing with a grandparent. The story embraces a kind of silliness that many very young learners will identify with. The writing is easy to read because of rhythmic repetition and correct word choice for the level. The illustrations are fun, and detailed enough to help the reader guess unknown words from the picture context.


Vera The Alien Hunter 1
Author: Jason Wilburn & Casey Kim
Illustrator: Seungjun Park & Bioh Kang
Publisher: e-future
ISBN: 979-11-5680-111-5
Judges’ comment:The book introduces a character that has some dimensionality and liveliness; her relationship with her monster hunting equipment seems just right. The unresolved conflict with the monster will keep young readers engaged with their reading. The language is usefully colloquial while staying simple.


Young Learners


The Ooze
Author: Kyle Maclauchlan
Illustrator: Hiroki Funayama
Publisher: Atama-ii Books
ISBN: 9781941140376
Judges’ comment:This story is about a strange new life called Ooze. It is a multiple-path adventure style and you, the main character, have to make choices on which page to read next depending on how you want to treat this life. The vocabulary is simple and the story is engaging with original full-color illustrations that help comprehension. Actually, this unique, fun and strange story is both entertaining and educational, because it can make readers think about animal rights and other important issues.


A Problem for Prince Percy
Author: Herbert Puchta and Günter Gerngross
Illustrator: Andrea Alemanno
Publisher: Helbling Languages
ISBN number: 978-3-99045-305-6
Judges’ comment: This is a cute fairytale with a twist about a poor prince who likes making other people happy. His problem involves trying to win the hand of a princess in a competition, and he must use all his ingenuity to do so. The story is suitable for primary age learners, with appropriate leveling that does not interfere with its flow. The use of superlatives adds a teachable grammar aspect too. Finally, its full-page color illustrations and large easy to read typeface add to its charm.

Adolescent & Adult: Beginner


The Lift
Author: Julian Thomlinson
Illustrator: Redbean Design PTE, Ltd.
Publisher: National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning
ISBN: 978-1-4240-4887-8
Judges’ comment: Controlled vocabulary and structure are skillfully employed in creating a high-interest story that will keep low-level readers involved with the characters to the end. Illustrations and character introductions support understanding.


The Railway Children
Author: Edith Nesbit
Adapted by: Michael Lacey Freeman
Illustrator: Zosia Dzierzawska
Publisher: ELI Readers
ISBN: 978-8853620125
Judges’ comment: Lower-level students ready to take on a somewhat longer text will enjoy the well-told episodes making up this heart-warming retelling of the famous novel.

Adolescent & Adult: Beginner


Author: Fiona Beddall
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-1-910-17360-2


Adolescent & Adult: Intermediate


The Eighth Sister
Author: Victoria Heward
Illustrator: Rodolfo Brocchini
Publisher: Black Cat
ISBN: 9788853015136E
Judges’ comment: This frightening story is all the more frightening because is it subtle, the intrinsic interest of reading the book is maintained through the witchcraft topic. The superior standard of editing recommends it as a successful reader.


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Author: Jules Verne
Adapted by: Rachel Blandon
Illustrator: Nick Harris
Publisher: Oxford University Press (Bookworms)
ISBN: 9780194237994
Judges’ comment: This is an exciting story retold by a talented writer. I have read many versions of this story over the years, but this one is the best.
The illustrations and layout of the book really suit this classic story.

Adolescent & Adult: Upper Intermediate & Advanced


Agnes Grey
Author: Anne Bronte
Retold by Helen Holwill
Series editor: Emily Kopiecze k
Illustrator: Giorgio Bacchin
Publisher: Macmillan Education
ISBN: 978-0-230-47023-1
ISBN: 978-0-230-47024-8
Judges’ comment: This story is well told and gripping and has captured the strength of the original in terms of plot, characterization and setting. The writer has taken into consideration the young adult reader and provides them with an engaging experience of authentic language in use. Vocabulary was mostly presented in glosses; however, several new words were presented in the text where a rich context provided clues to the meaning.


Moby Dick
Author: Herman Melville
Retold by Sara Weiss
Series editor: Paola Accattoli, Grazia Ancillani, Daniele Garbuglia
Illustrator: Arianna Vairo
Publisher: Young Adult ELi Readers
ISBN: 978-88-536-2031-6
Judges’ comment: The story is well narrated and engaging and encourages the readers to continue reading to the end. The language used is authentic and smooth, and the illustrations are interesting.


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 2016 Language Learner Literature Award will be posted on the ERF website (www.erfoundation.org) later this year. Back to the ERF main page
To contact the Extensive Reading Foundation, email exec@erfoundation.org

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