The Kite-maker

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

Cover of book The Kite-maker by Anu Kumar

It’s hard to hope or dream when there is a war on. There is no hope that tomorrow will come. Clare West has brought one life story from India. “The Kite-Marker” is about one married couple Ahmed Rasool and Zaheera. They love and always support each other. The husband decides to distract from heavy thoughts about war which tormented him day by day and participate in the Utraan festival. Rasool wants to make a kite for the festival although his wife convinces him it’s not a good time for a holiday. Indeed, there is grief in their house. But when the kite is made, Zaheera changes her mind and helps her husband. As the family doesn’t lose courage, the destiny presents them the greatest gift. Clare West has managed to answer the main question in the small story – what is the most important thing in life? This story shows that when love and hope live in the family, nothing will destroy it – neither war, nor hunger, nor fear …

Total words: 783
Unique words: 329

Words, you might not know:

torchlight, hurriedly, beak, ringing, tidy, kite, yearly, bitterly, divided, madness, determined, grind, winning, dive, fog, terribly, freely, beard, goat, cheer, fixed, voting, lamp, enthusiasm, festival, alarm, companion, beg, shine, changing.

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The Tell-tale Heart

Level: unabridged
Genre:

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Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)

Cover of book The Tell-tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe is a universally acknowledged master of dark, mysterious fiction. In his tales and poems, the writer always pays special attention to the psychology and emotional state of the characters. “The Tell-Tale Heart” definitely belongs to his most renowned works. The story attracts your interest right from the beginning. It is narrated by a murderer who describes the process of killing an old man. The motive for the murder is extremely unusual – the victim’s “vulture eye”. The narrator shocks the reader by the gruesome details of the crime and cynical comments. He believes he committed a perfect murder and manages to avoid suspicion for a while. But something unexpected gets in his way: the old man can’t leave him alone even after death.

Total words: 1960
Unique words: 591

Words, you might not know:

unperceived, acuteness, healthily, detected, dulled, sagacity, dissimulation, distinctness, aroused, wronged, stifled, cunningly, vexed, pulsation, hearken, dissemble, cheerily, dreadfully, stealthily, inquiring, gaily, courageously, fluently, hark, concealment, derision, hellish, singularly, audacity.

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Mystery of Coniston Water

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)

Cover of book Mystery of Coniston Water by Terry Tomscha

All mysterious and unexplained always hypnotizes us. We follow the traditions and believe in signs. The book “Mystery of Coniston Water” tells the readers about a shy and talented girl Julie, who faced the mysterious events at the camp. She was looking forward to a trip to the camp Holly How. Her friend asked her not to go there. The camp had a bad reputation because of the horrible events which happened there several years ago. Julie didn’t trust in gossip. She dreamt to make a lot of friends and have fun before school starts. Instead of that, she met an odd girl Anna, who revealed to her, what Lake Coniston Water was hiding. The authors Terry Tomscha and Peggy Albers created a fascinating story. The admirers of mystery will like it.

Total words: 7057
Unique words: 869

Words, you might not know:

sally, locket, imagining, dreamily, rowboat, jetty, trembling, hostel, shyly, booking, diabetic, lying, rowing, organizing, hiking, fright, hunk, trance, haunted, impatiently, sinking, lemonade, armchair, protector, broom, insulin, bunk, pony.

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The Locked Room

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)

Cover of book The Locked Room by Peter Viney

The man wakes up in an unfamiliar beautiful room and cannot get where he is and who he is. He is alone on the bed in an empty room with the expensive pieces of furniture. His head is hurting, he is very thirsty, but he is too weak to ask for help and falls asleep. Next time he is awake, another man comes in a black classic suit with a glass of water and a gun. He starts asking questions the man on the bed – who he is and what he was doing. The man with the gun hits the prisoner every time he does not get the answers. However, little by little the memory starts to return. Pieces by pieces the injured man is beginning to remember what had happened before he was hit in the back of his head. Then he hears voices out the door that say they need answers in two days or… the man doesn’t want to think what will be then…

Total words: 1570
Unique words: 293

Words, you might not know:

lying, thirsty, binoculars, trousers, bump, ambulance, downstairs, thief, clever, spy, policeman, awake, inspector, corridor, shine, gallery, operator, hungry, stair, prisoner, round, coat, lock, noise, tired, criminal, opening.

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Cover of book The Incredible Journey by Burnford Sheila

Not only people can be fearless before setting off on a great adventure. A cat and two dogs find the right time to run away from their new owner’s house. A long journey of hundreds kilometers through the Canadian woods is waiting for them. They will meet many wild animals on their way. They will meet friendly and not very friendly people with their pets. The runners will get into various kinds of troubles and barely manage to escape unhurt. Even though the animals get some help, nobody knows, what is to happen to our helpless heroes. Still neither hunger nor exhaustion can stop them. Only these two dogs and the cat know where they are heading. One definite purpose is leading them. What should their owners expect, just coming home to an empty house from England?

Film version: The Incredible Journey

Total words: 14605
Unique words: 1162

Words, you might not know:

wagging, treehouse, shakily, hungrily, siamese, imagining, firelight, friendliness, lazily, hilly, terrier, retriever, lovable, meaty, schoolhouse, lying, purposefully, skillfully, aching, purposeful, uncomfortably, twelfth, skillful, finnish, lovingly, undress, wag.

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Fever Dream

Level: unabridged
Genre:

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Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)

Cover of book Fever Dream by Ray Bradbury

The story by Ray Bradbury “Fever Dream” describe a 13-year-old teenager Charles. He is ill with scarlet fever. The boy is constantly in his room – an enclosed space, in fact. Only occasionally his parents come. But nobody shows any special interest in him. From the lower floor of the house, one can hear the singing of a canary. Being alone with a fever the boy begins to rave. It lasts for a few days. As Charles is convinced, his whole body gradually disappears from the tips of the fingers on his arm. The boy calls for help, but nobody believes him. Everybody considers it as a game of imagination, typical for a fever. Charles is sure, that this disease born from one cell, increased and killed his former self. He is no longer himself. Suddenly, after the illness’ peak, a full recovery comes, as everyone thinks. Is it true? Is it real Charles or has he been turned into a disease that can do more evil than anything else existed before?

Total words: 2263
Unique words: 675

Words, you might not know:

popped, reproduced, scurrying, tolerantly, counterpane, laundered, numbed, strapped, choked, cloakroom, bounded, pulsed, pitifully, rotted, guillotine, lethargic, jest, canary, pinched, crisply, declared, alight, flooded, colorless, petrified, feverish, hoarse, gravely, crushing.

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Cover of book Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

The fairytales about Alice became the world culture property long ago. Their destiny is unique: written for children, they even entered the literature classics for adults. The fairytales also draw the attention of representatives of the liberal arts and natural sciences. Lewis Carroll is a great lover of puzzles, paradoxes and “turntables”. As the author of the already well-known “Alice in Wonderland”, L. Carroll sends his favorite heroine Alice to another fairy country – Through the Looking Glass. New adventures begin thanks to her curious and cute little creature – a black kitten, with whom Alice is playing. Many various miracles and transformations are waiting for her on the other side of the magical mirror reflection. This time the girl will have to play a chess game after a difficult and sometimes dangerous way from a pawn to a real queen.

Film version: Through the Looking Glass

Total words: 10089
Unique words: 1081

Words, you might not know:

queen, armour, doorpost, tidily, gyre, flowerbed, curtsy, tween, knight, sealing, hairbrush, kitty, walrus, fearfully, brook, signpost, dreamily, unicorn, woolly, lying, mouthful, upside, pawn, fright, helplessly, silvery, shawl, conveniently, seated, waking, upwards.

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The Model Millionaire

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)

Cover of book The Model Millionaire by Oscar Wilde

Hughie was a charming and handsome young man but quite poor. He inherited only 15 books and a sword from his father. This inheritance was more like a precious memory and nothing else. After Hughie had tried, in vain, numerous ways of honest ways to earn, he got despaired. There was even one more point to be so desperate – the father of his beloved refused to give his approval for their marriage. What should Hughie do? The miserable man went to his painter friend… The Irish philosopher, esthete, writer and poet Oscar Wild wrote this masterpiece in 1887. Wilde’s name is connected with the rebellion against Victorian morality with its substitution of bad for good and vice versa. His prose intended to offend the socially accepted tastes and conventions. In this story, the author expressed a kind of a protest against the dominance of practicality and the absolute common sense.

Total words: 983
Unique words: 264

Words, you might not know:

shilling, beggar, skid, curly, millionaire, rude, nonsense, foolish, hut, aunt, merchant, sword, fool, servant, envelope, handsome, beg, pleased, painter, standing, portrait, gentleman, anger, tea, sad, sir, hat, gray, busy, surprised, tear.

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The Eyes of Montezuma

Level: elementary
Genre:

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Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)

Cover of book The Eyes of Montezuma by Stephen Rabley

The vacation of the couple Conwall is coming to the end. They leave rainy England and go back to their homeland – Madrid. They are travelling by the ship. Aboard the ship, the couple gets acquainted with an American student. It is the first time this student has travelled alone and this is the reason she had bought a yellow Fiat. The Conwalls learn some news: the Countess of Montalban died. She was one of the richest women in Spain. Also, she was the owner of the famous earrings ‘The eyes of Montezuma’. These earrings had the two biggest diamonds in the country. The jewelry had belonged to her family for 200 years since they were brought from Mexico. Shortly before her death, the countess donated them to the museum. The Conwalls arrive and an unpleasant surprise is expecting them. The American student had disappeared and a now stranger drives her car. Somebody steals the Countess’ earrings from the museum.

Total words: 3016
Unique words: 577

Words, you might not know:

petrol, fiat, villa, binoculars, sunglasses, lounge, eighteen, grind, clever, supermarket, eleven, fool, driving, hurry, excuse, shine, rope, continued, borrow, orange, loud, meter.

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Cover of book The Butterworth Mystery by Gillian Larkin

The plot takes place in the village Pendle Lee in Lancashire. This village is so small that all villagers know each other by name. Pendle Lee has an old history with a valuable ancient architecture. The legends say witches used to live there. There are very few crimes in this area. Sergeant Michael Rose has made only five arrests for the last seven years. Basically, the sergeant has to solve problems with some teenagers. Out of such boredom, they often arrange various troubles for him. Sometimes Michael Rose looks for the missing animals. And one day a phone call comes in the police station. The reason is the art gallery robbery. One of the pictures of a local but famous throughout the UK artist Butterworth was stolen.

Total words: 8166
Unique words: 1111

Words, you might not know:

purring, torchlight, rucksack, choking, firstly, thirdly, constable, admiring, allotment, lying, wavy, alibi, teapot, fright, insulting, haunted, polio, candlelight, unpack, ghostly, housekeeper, burglary, seventeenth, graveyard, managed, caretaker, caring, graffiti, respectful.

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