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  Teenage life

The Ant and the Grasshopper and Other Stories by Aesop

The stories in this book are more than a thousand years old. Some are serious. Most are funny. All make you think.

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The Brave Little Tailor and Other Stories by the Brothers Grimm

You can read five fairy tales in this book. The stories take us to palaces and a tall tower. They take us into the dark forest. They lead us into fairyland.

 

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The Emperor's New Clothes and Other Stories by Hans Christian Andersen

An emperor loves clothes. A tin soldier falls in love. A duckling thinks he is ugly. An emperor gets a new toy. A soldier finds a magic tinderbox. A prince wants to marry. Read these six favourite fairy tales to find out what happens to them all.

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Folk Tales from Around the World

Folk tales are old stories. They started as part of family life. No one knows who first made them up. Usually older people told them to younger people. The five stories in this book come from different parts of the world.

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Heroes and Heroines

Heroes and heroines are people who do something brave or good. They do not run away from danger. They help people. In this book, we meet two heroes and three heroines.

 

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The Lion and the Mouse and Other Stories by Aesop

The stories in this book are more than two thousand years old. Some are serious. Most are funny. All make you think.

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The Little Mermaid and Other Stories by Hans Christian Andersen

There are four stories. In each story, the character has a wish. The little mermaid wants to be a real girl and marry a handsome prince. A little girl wants some food and to be warm. Eliza, a princess, wants to help her brothers who have been turned into swans by a wicked witch. A poor young prince wants to marry the emperor's daughter.
What happens to all these characters? Do you think they get their wishes? Read these favourite fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen to find the answers.

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The Monkey King

A magic stone cracks open like an egg. Monkey jumps out! In this book, you will read about Monkey's adventures.

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Peter Pan

Peter Pan is an exciting adventure story, with pirates, Red Indians, and a hungry crocodile. It is also a fairy story, with magic in it. The strange boy Peter can fly. He can talk to the fairy Tinker Bell.
Do you want to know more about Peter's adventures? Read on and find out.

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice is sitting by the river when suddenly a white rabbit runs past her. Then the rabbit takes a watch out of its coat pocket, and says it is late! She runs after the rabbit, and follows it into a large rabbit hole. This is how Alice's adventures in Wonderland begin.

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Emma

Pretty, rich young Emma Woodhouse is very pleased with herself when her closest friend, Miss Taylor, marries Mr Weston. Emma thinks that these two people have fallen in love because of her. She decides to find good husbands for her other friends as well. Soon her matchmaking begins to go wrong ...

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The Golden Goose and Other Stories

Three brothers go to cut wood. The two older brothers come home with nothing, but the youngest one is given a bird with golden feathers. Two sisters, one kind, the other horrible, get water from a spring. The kind girl becomes rich. Her sister lives alone and never speaks again. Find out what happened in these and other fairy tales.

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Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre does not have an easy life. Her mother and father die when she is just a small child. She goes to live with her aunt and three cousins, but they treat her cruelly. She is sent away to a boarding school at Lowood. She does well and grows up to become a teacher there. Then she moves to Thornfield Hall and falls in love with the mysterious Mr Rochester ...

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Little Women

The four March girls work hard while their father is away at war. Life is hard, but the girls still have time for fun. The girls all learn something, and grow up a little, while their father is away. When he finally comes home, his 'little women' have a few surprises for him.

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The Lost Umbrella of Kim Chu

Kim Chu lives with her family in Chinatown, New York. One rainy day, Kim loses her father's prize umbrella. Her grandmother is so angry that poor Kim can't go home until she finds it. The search for the lost umbrella takes her far away from home. Can she find the umbrella thief? And is Kim Chu brave enough to get her father's umbrella back?

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The Secret Garden

After the death of her parents, Mary is brought back from India to live with her uncle in England. She is sickly and spoilt, and her uncle's big, old house is strange and mysterious. Mary is told of a secret garden that has been locked up for ten years, and she is determined to see it. What does she find there?

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Tales from the Arabian Nights

A cruel king marries beautiful young women, but always has their heads cut off in the morning. However, his new wife, Sheherezade, is clever. Every night, she starts to tell him a wonderful story. She tells him about a robbers' cave, full of treasure; she tells him the story of Sinbad the sailor, of a genie in a bottle, of Aladdin and his magic lamp, and many more.

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Treasure Island

Jim Hawkins lives at an inn with his mother and father. One day an old sailor is killed there. In his bag, Jim finds a map of an island, with red crosses on it. Jim's friends, Squire Trelawney and Dr Livesey, say it is a treasure map. It shows where pirates have hidden their gold. Jim goes with his friends to find the gold, but they meet pirates on their journey.

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The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy and her little dog, Toto, are carried by a cyclone from her aunt and uncle's house in Kansas. When they come down, they find themselves in the land of Oz. There Dorothy begins an exciting journey with her new friends. They want to go and see the wonderful Wizard of Oz in the Emerald City. Only he can give them what they want.

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A Christmas Carol

A mean, lonely old man has an unpleasant surprise when he reaches the front door of his home on the night before Christmas. As he looks at the door knocker, it turns into the face of a friend who has been dead for many years! This is just the beginning of a long night in which Ebenezer Scrooge talks to his dead friend, and meets three other ghosts.

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The Golden Touch and Other Stories

Here you will read about a king who could make gold just by touching things; a young prince who killed a monster, but lost his father; a poor young woman who got into trouble by eating half an apple; a boy who loved flying so much that he flew too close to the sun; and much more. These are stories which can teach us about life.

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The Jungle Book

Mowgli, the man cub, is raised by Mother Wolf and soon becomes her favourite. He learns about the Law of the Jungle from Baloo, the old brown bear, and Bagheera, the black panther. But Mowgli is in danger. Shere Khan, the bad-tempered old tiger, hates him and wants to kill him.

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Lord Jim

Jim works as a waterclerk in the East. Everyone likes him, but he never stays long in the same job. He always leaves suddenly, and never tells anyone why he is going. He is a man with a secret. Wherever he travels, it seems he cannot hide from his secret. What is Jim's secret? What will happen to Jim? Read on and find out.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream and Other Stories from Shakespeare's Plays

One midsummer night, two lovers run away to the woods where they find two other lovers - and fairies and elves! Read how Viola dresses as a man to become the servant of a prince, and then falls in love with him. You can also read the famous story of the young lovers, Romeo and Juliet, who cannot live in peace, because their families hate each other.

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The Mill on the Floss

Maggie Tulliver is tall and beautiful, and she is clever. While Maggie's brother Tom works hard so that he can take over the flour mill which their father manages, Maggie's mind is on other matters.
Maggie loves the son of her father's greatest enemy. But the man who is expected to marry her cousin Lucy falls in love with Maggie.
Read this romantic and tragic story and discover Maggie's fate.

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Nicholas Nickleby

Nicholas Nickleby goes to London with his mother and sister Kate after his father dies. They are poor and ask a relative, Ralph Nickleby, to help.
Soon things start to go wrong. Ralph Nickleby decides he will do anything he can to punish his nephew, even if that means hurting the people Nicholas loves.
Read this exciting story, and find out how Nicholas saves his loved ones.

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Oliver Twist

Poor Oliver! He has no family, and no friends. Nobody cares for him. The only people he knows are thieves, and they want him to be a thief, too. Now the police have caught him for stealing. Oliver has done nothing wrong, but the judge does not believe him. He wants to send Oliver to prison. One kind old man thinks Oliver might be a good boy, and tries to help him. Find out how Oliver gets away from the thieves, and how, at last, he discovers the truth about his past.

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The Prince and the Pauper

One day two young boys meet. They look exactly the same, but there is one big difference: Tom is a poor beggar and Edward is a prince, the son of the King of England. The boys swap clothes, and Edward, now dressed in beggar's rags, is mistaken for Tom and thrown from the palace by his own guards. Suddenly Prince Edward has to live as a pauper in the streets of London, while Tom rules the country, enjoying being a prince. What will happen when the king dies, and the real prince must take his place?

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The Stone Junk and Other Stories

Most of the stories in this collection are about people, magic and gold. They also tell us what happens when people are too proud, too cruel, or too greedy.

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Stories from Greek Tragedies

The greed, courage, love and jealousy of the characters make these stories as sad and moving today as they were to the ancient Greeks. Read on to discover the strengths and weaknesses of humankind.

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Stories from Shakespeare's Comedies

These stories come from the plays of William Shakespeare. They are set in different places hundreds of years ago. They are comedies about love, with silly fights, plots, tricks, and disguises.

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The Talking Tree and Other Stories

Two boys, walking through a forest, suddenly hear a voice coming from a tree. The Talking Tree tells them to bring it food and drink. Scared, the boys do as they are told. Then they notice some marks on the ground, close to the tree. Is the tree really magic, or is someone trying to trick them? There are plenty of surprises in this unusual collection of short stories.

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Through the Looking Glass

A little girl called Alice suddenly finds herself in the dreamlike Looking-Glass world, where she seems to be a pawn in a chess game. If, as the Red Queen tells her, she can get as far as the eighth square, then she too can become a Queen.
Find out how Alice gets into this strange world, and what happens when she arrives at the eighth square.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Huck is only fourteen when he escapes from his bad-tempered and no-good father. Soon he reaches Jackson's Island, and finds himself sharing the island with Jim, a runaway slave. Together they put all their things on a raft and set off on what becomes a great adventure down the Mississippi River.
Will Huck be caught by his father? Will Jim ever be a slave again? Read on to enjoy the exciting and amusing story of Huck Finn and his friends.

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Running away from home; hiding in a dark graveyard at midnight; camping out as pirates on an island in the Mississippi; going to their own funeral; looking for treasure; and getting lost in a deep, dark cave, are all part of the exciting and amusing story of Tom Sawyer and his friends.

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The Canterville Ghost and Other Stories

The poor old Canterville Ghost is meant to frighten people, but the American people who live in Canterville Chase are not frightened by anything he does. Just when he doesn't know what to do, Virginia, the beautiful daughter of the family, comes to talk to him. In this and six other short stories, love and selfishness meet in different ways. The results are sometimes sad and sometimes funny, but always interesting.

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David Copperfield

Young David Copperfield's life starts to go wrong when his mother marries the cruel Mr Murdstone. David is sent to school, where the headmaster hits him whenever he can. Poor David is only happy when he is visiting the strange boat-house home of his nurse, Peggotty. When he runs away from school to find his Aunt Betsy Trotwood, however, things begin to get better.

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Fog and Other Stories

Polly is walking through the fog. She cannot see where she is going. She believes she can hear footsteps behind her, but when she stops there is silence. Is someone following her? Perhaps it is the tall man who was watching her earlier on the train ... Then she hears a deep cough, and a strange tapping sound. Is Polly in danger? In this, and other short stories, Bill Lowe presents us with some strange mysteries, and some surprising endings.

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Great Expectations

Pip is a poor orphan who dreams of becoming a gentleman so that he can win the heart of Estella, a beautiful but proud girl. Estella lives with a strange, rich old lady called Miss Havisham. Years later, it seems that Pip's dreams have come true. An unknown person is going to give him a fortune, so that he can be a gentleman. But who is this mysterious person? Is it Miss Havisham, or someone else from his past? When he finds out, Pip's troubles are only just beginning ...

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The Merchant of Venice and Other Stories from Shakespeare's Plays

Shylock, the moneylender, hates Antonio and wants to hurt him. He has an idea. He lends money to Antonio. If Antonio cannot pay back the money, he must give Shylock a pound of his flesh. From cold, dark Scotland to the blue sky of the Mediterranean, from the Danish court to the court of Britain long ago, these five well-known stories are filled with murder, madness and magic.

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The Red Badge of Courage

When Henry Fleming heard there was a war, he did not really believe it. He did not think there could be a war in his own country. However, he wanted to be part of it.
Later Henry finds out that war is not what he imagined. Would he run away, when the fighting got too fierce? Or would he stand up bravely and lead his companions in acts of great heroism?

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Silas Marner

The people of Raveloe are very curious when a lonely weaver, Silas Marner, comes to live in their village. He works hard to earn gold, but this seems to be all he cares about.
Then, one winter, everything changes. Silas's gold is stolen, and Squire Cass's younger son disappears. Then a stranger dies in the snow and a golden-haired girl appears in Silas's cottage.
What will happen to the girl, Silas and the people of Raveloe?

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Stories from Shakespeare's Histories

Henry the Fourth, King of England, has a son called Harry, who prefers to drink than win honour on the batterfield. Can the king persuade Harry to help him defend the crown against a rebellion?
Later, Henry the Fourth is dead and Harry is crowned Henry the Fifth. Does Henry the Fifth continue a life of playing and drinking, or does he become a king that England can be proud of?

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A Tale of Two Cities

Lucie thinks that her father, Dr Manette, is dead. Then she finds out that he is alive - he has just been released from prison in Paris. Lucie finds her father there, and goes back to England with him. When Dr Manette and Lucie return to Paris some years later, everything has changed. The French Revolution has begun, and the poor people are killing the noblemen. Lucie's husband, the kind Charles Darnay, is the heir of some of the cruellest noblemen, and he is in great danger. Only love and courage can save him ...

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Two Boxes of Gold and Other Stories

A young man who works for a bank is taking two boxes of gold from London to Italy. On the way, everything begins to go wrong. His travelling companions seem friendly, but are they all trying to help him? Or is one of them trying to steal the gold? Read this and six other stories by Charles Dickens. Some are amusing, some strange and frightening - all are full of surprises.

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The Great Gatsby

On Long Island, New York, the rich and mysterious Jay Gatsby has built a grand mansion. All summer, he gives wonderful parties there. However, Gatsby's only hope is that one evening the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan, will wander into one of his parties. When he finds out that his new neighbour, Nick Carraway, is Daisy's cousin, Gatsby requests a meeting with his former love.

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Mansfield Park

Fanny Price finds life difficult when she first arrives at Mansfield Park. Only Edmund, her youngest cousin, is kind and friendly. How will Fanny and the people around her order their lives? Will they find love and happiness?

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

A beautiful young man called Dorian Gray has his portrait painted. He prays that as he gets older, his face will never change and instead the face in the portrait will age. His prayer is answered. As Dorian goes on to explore the pleasures of London, the face in his portrait becomes wrinkled and twisted with cruelty and lust.

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Tess Durbeyfield is a beautiful and innocent country girl, living in a village in the south of England. Her simple life is suddenly changed when the family horse is killed, and Tess's father discovers that the family is descended from the old and noble d'Urbervilles. Tess goes to live with her relations, but finds they are not what they seem.

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The Diamond As Big As The Ritz & Other Stories

John Unger's friend, Percy, says his family is the richest family in the world. When John is invited to Percy's home, he discovers that his friend is telling the truth. However, he soon discovers that there is a dark side to this life of great wealth.

In other tales, a man tries to escape his past and get his daughter back, but his plans are spoiled by friends from his drinking days. A girl who teaches her cousin to be 'popular' with boys discovers that her pupil has stolen her young man, and so she takes her revenge.

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Kidnapped

David is a prisoner on a ship going to America. Then the famous Jacobite, Alan Breck Stewart, comes on board, and the ship's crew plan to murder him. Together, Alan and David escape to the west coast of Scotland. Here, David begins his long and dangerous journey home.

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Lorna Doone

Lorna Doone, a beautiful girl with soft white skin, grows up amongst a group of outlaws in the wild marshes of Exmoor in England. Her only friends are her faithful maid and her grandfather, Sir Ensor Doone. Sir Ensor is the leader of the outlaws and Lorna loves and fears him equally. John Ridd, a brave and honest young man, is determined to avenge the death of his father. His father was murdered by the outlaws.

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The Old Wives' Tale

Constance and Sophia are the two beautiful daughters of a draper. When she grows up, Constance marries the manager of her father's shop and works in the family business. Sophia, on the other hand, elopes to Paris with the dangerous Gerald Scales.

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Pride and Prejudice

Mrs Bennet desperately wants to find husbands for her five daughters. When two rich young men visit their village, everything seems to be going to plan. Mr Bingley is friendly and charming. But Mr Darcy seems to think he is too good for his new neighbours. Mrs Bennet does not give up her search, but there are problems of family and fortune, love and money¡Xand even a scandal¡Xon the way.

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Vanity Fair

Rebecca Sharp, although charming and witty, is not born into the nobility of England. But she is determined that she will become part of it before she dies.Her best friend, Amelia Sedley, has a sweet and gentle nature. Her only ambition is to be married to a handsome army officer called George Osborne. However, Rebecca flirts with George even when he is married to Amelia.

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Wuthering Heights

Late one evening, Mr Earnshaw returns to his moorland home, Wuthering Heights, with a wild, dirty, black-haired boy, who he has found starving on the streets of Liverpool.
The boy, Heathcliff, grows up with the two Earnshaw children: Hindley, who hates him, and Catherine, who becomes his wild childhood playmate, and the love of his life. However, Heathcliff is treated as a servant by Hindley, so Catherine marries the rich, gentle Edgar Linton instead. Years later, Heathcliff returns, looking for revenge.

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