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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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Giants, Dragons and Other Magical Creatures

What is a creature? Is it a person? Is it an animal? No, it's something different; something strange. In this book you will meet creatures big and small. Some of them are friendly to people. Some are not friendly at all!

 

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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In the Land of the Gods

The land of the gods is a magical place. It is a place called Asgard. It is the home of the Viking gods.
Leif and Liv are two Scandinavian children. One stormy day, they meet two strange men. The men are good storytellers. They know many exciting stories about the gods.
What happens in these stories? And what will happen to Leif and Liv? Read on and find out.

Journey to the West

Meet four friends: San Zang, Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy. The four friends go on a long and difficult journey. They go to collect a special book. This special book teaches people how to be good. The book is in India. They have many exciting adventures on the way. Read on to find out about their Journey to the West.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

Level 1

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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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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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.

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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?

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?

The Internet

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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Level 2

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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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 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.

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.

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.

Errata
page 71 spelling correction of Minerva in question 8
page 73 correction in puzzle for clue 5

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Gulliver's Travels — A Voyage to Lilliput

Gulliver's ship is lost in a storm, and he has to swim to save his life. After many hours, he reaches land. He lies down and falls asleep. When he wakes up, he can't get up. He is tied to the ground. His hair is tied down too, so he can't move his head. He feels something walking along his body. There, standing on his chest, is a man. He is no more than six inches tall!

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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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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 ...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Level 3

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.

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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Around the World in Eighty Days

Phileas Fogg is a gentleman who always does exactly the same thing every day. His life changes one day, when he bets twenty thousand pounds that he can make a tour of the world in eighty days! This bet takes him and his servant, Passepartout, to many countries, and leads to many exciting adventures. However, someone is following them, and trying to stop them from winning the bet.

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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.

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?

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 ...

Gulliver's Travels — Further Voyages

Gulliver is abandoned in a land of giants. His life is not always easy. Once he is mistaken for a baby monkey and a monkey tries to feed him! His next voyage is even stranger: he visits an island that floats in the sky.
Read about Gulliver's last voyages and all the amazing adventures he has.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

The great detective, Sherlock Holmes, has another case to solve. The body of Sir Charles Baskerville has been found lying in the garden of his house, on Dartmoor. There are no marks on the body, and it seems that the old man simply died of fright. Was he trying to escape from some dreadful thing — perhaps the ghostly animal called the Hound of the Baskervilles?

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 Missing Scientist

Professor Nicol, one of the most important atomic scientists in Britain, has just been kidnapped. Detective Superintendent Roberts is called in to lead the search for the Professor.
With atomic secrets, a collection of valuable diamonds and a man's life at stake, the pressure is on for Roberts to find the missing scientist — but will he succeed?

The Pickwick Papers

Mr Pickwick and his three friends from the Pickwick Club — Tracy Tupman, Nathaniel Winkle and Augustus Snodgrass — set out on a scientific journey around Britain. To their surprise, their trip quickly turns into a series of romantic and amusing adventures.

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?

Robinson Crusoe

When Robinson Crusoe's ship is wrecked, he swims to a desert island. At first he is afraid that he might be eaten by wild animals. He knows that some people in that part of the world are cannibals, and they might eat him too! Soon, he realizes that he is all alone. He brings as much as he can from the wrecked ship, and over his long years on the island, he learns how to make himself safe and comfortable.

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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?

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?

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 ...

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.

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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