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  Short stories

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 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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The Call of the Wild and Other Stories

In the North it is so cold in winter that everything is covered with ice and snow. If you want to travel, you must use a sledge pulled by dogs. If you walk around in the cold, you must take great care to keep warm and dry. Why do people want to go to the North? They want to find gold there and become rich. These short stories are about some of the people and animals who lived and worked in the North, and how they fought to stay alive.

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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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Just So Stories

At the beginning of time, the animals were quite different from the ones we see today. Can you imagine a zebra with no stripes or a leopard with no spots? The first elephant did not have a trunk to swat flies with, and the first camel did not have a hump. How did they become the animals we know today? Read these strange and amazing stories to find out.

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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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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Hilton Cubitt lives in the country with his American wife. The couple start receiving drawings of little dancing men. Cubitt goes to see Sherlock Holmes about these drawings, which seem to have frightened Cubitt's wife. Then there is a murder. Now Holmes must quickly work out what the pictures mean so that he can catch the killer. Watch the detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his assistant, Dr Watson, at work in this and three other exciting mysteries.

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The Dagger with Wings and Other Father Brown Stories

In this collection of detective stories, Father Brown investigates the evil deeds of a clever madman, a gentleman-waiter, a man who thinks he is God, and many others.

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The Flying Heads and Other Strange Stories

A young man stays in a strange village for the night, and wakes to hear screams from the valley below. He looks out of the window, and sees terrible things flying through the air ... A baker wants to know what his beautiful wife does when she goes out at night. But when he stays up to watch her, he wishes he had never found out her dreadful secret ... Enjoy these strange and frightening stories from all over the world.

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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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Life Without Katy and Other Stories

John Perkins returns home to find that Katy, his wife, has gone to visit her sick mother. This is the first time John has been without Katy, and he misses her very much. He thinks about how much better he will treat Katy in future. But will John be a better husband when she comes back? The stories in this collection are about everyday problems and interests, but each one has a clever ending. We find that ordinary life can be full of surprises ...

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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 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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Tales of King Arthur

Young Arthur needs a sword. He runs into a church and finds one stuck in a stone, so he takes it. Then he finds out that only one person in the land can take the sword from the stone, and that person is the true king of Britain. Arthur becomes King, marries a beautiful princess and receives the Round Table as a gift. The table has room for 150 good, brave knights. These tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table have been popular for over 700 years.

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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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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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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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Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes, the great detective, solves many strange mysteries in this collection of stories. He discovers that crime in London is being planned by an evil organization, led by the greatest criminal of them all, Professor Moriarty. Holmes helps the police to bring this organization to an end. But at the last minute, Moriarty escapes. Holmes and his friend Watson are in danger. They go abroad, to Switzerland, and there the detective and the master criminal meet for the last time. Will this be the end of Sherlock Holmes?

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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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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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Tales of Crime and Detection

A rich young man is gambling in Paris. He wins a lot of money, but then becomes ill. He is put into a large, old-fashioned bed with a heavy cloth cover, like a roof. As he is lying there, the cover seems to come down towards him. Is he dreaming, or is he in serious danger? Find out if the police and private detectives solve this, and other mysteries, in this exciting collection of short stories.

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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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Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Stories

Everyone who sees the face of Mr Hyde hates him. He is as evil as the Devil himself. So why is he the friend of the respectable Dr Jekyll? Does Hyde know something about Dr Jekyll's past? What is Dr Jekyll's terrifying secret?

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The Gifts and Other Stories

This collection of short stories by British, American, French and Russian writers begins with a simple tale about Christmas presents, and goes on to entertain us with strange, mysterious, frightening and exciting stories.

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A Night Of Terror & Other Strange Tales

A man is alone on the river all through a summer night. Suddenly, his boat starts moving about in a very strange way. An Englishman, living in Corsica, keeps a dried human hand on the wall of his living room. Another man comes home from the theatre to find that all his furniture is running away ... In these and other tales of terror, people are forced to face the very worst of their fears.

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Othello and Other Stories From Shakespeare's Plays

Othello is a great general, but he is also a foreigner in Venice, and Desdemona's father is furious when she marries him. Iago secretly hates Othello for his success, and wants to cause trouble.
Also in this collection are stories of betrayal and murder in Ancient Rome, the great love story of Antony and Cleopatra, and many more.

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Seven Stories

Clayton meets a ghost, and Fotheringay has lots of fun when he discovers that he can work miracles. There are also exciting stories in this collection about a boy who seems to have found heaven; a liquid which makes people move much faster than normal; and an apple which will give anyone who eats it endless knowledge.

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Tales of Mystery and Imagination

A man lies in darkness, locked in a cell and sentenced to die. He reaches out to find ... nothing but emptiness, and the fear of what will happen to him. Another man goes to visit a childhood friend at the gloomy old House of Usher. His friend, Roderick, is very ill and slowly going mad. In these and six other classic tales, terrible things happen to people as they face their own fears and the evil deeds of others.

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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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The Stalled Ox and Other Stories

What would you do if a large ox got into your garden? A lady who dies and comes back as an animal; a man whose holiday is disturbed by witches; another man who finds a werewolf in his woods ... These are all part of Saki's strange and hilarious stories, set against the background of British upper-class life.

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