These easy reader books are about 30-40 pages long, written in simple clear English. They are exciting, dramatic stories for learning English which are easy for students of any age to read and enjoy. If you are a teacher or a student of English as a second or foreign language, these are the books for you. You can buy them as paperbacks, ebooks, or audiobooks, either from Amazon or Oxford University Press.
This is the first story I ever wrote for the Bookworms series. I wrote it way back in the 1980s, and I still like it a lot. In the story a large plane is hijacked, and the Prime Minister – a woman – has to decide what to do about it. She wants to save all the passengers, of course, but one passenger is a person she loves very much. Already one man lies dead on the runway, and soon the hijackers will use their guns again.
How can she stop them? How can she save the man she loves?
Hijacking was a big problem back in the 1980s, and it’s still a problem today. That’s probably why this book has been in print every year since it was written. The good news is, that in this story, at least, there is a happy ending. For most of the people on the plane, anyway. Not for everyone!
This is a really scary story. It’s the sort of thing that could happen to any young person who is not careful. In fact, it has happened quite often. I got the idea from reading a story in a newspaper – so this a true story, in a way.
Imagine you are a young girl, alone in a foreign country – and the police put you in prison. How would that feel? You’re in prison for something you didn’t do – but no one believes you. And the police say you could stay in prison for a long time, until you are an old lady. Frightening, isn’t it?
Now imagine this poor girl’s mother. She gets a phone call from her daughter, the far side of the world. ‘Mother, help me,’ she says. ‘You’ve got to get me out of here.’ But what can the mother do? She doesn’t know anyone in this foreign country. She doesn’t know what really happened. And the police say her daughter is guilty.
Well, that’s what this story is about. Can the mother save her daughter? You’ll have to read it, to find out.
This is a story about cryogenics. What’s that? You mean you haven’t heard about cryogenics? Well, neither had I, until I read this crazy article in the newspaper. At first I just laughed, but then I thought – hey, this is a great idea for a story. So here it is.
You see, cryogenics is a way of trying to escape death. Imagine you’re ill, and the doctors can’t help you. ‘We’re sorry,’ they say. ‘But we don’t know how to cure your illness. Not yet. But in a hundred year’s time, probably, the doctors will know how to cure it. But we can’t cure you today. Sorry. You’re going to die.’
‘What do you do? Well, some people in America – it has to be America, doesn’t it? – have this idea that if you put the sick person in a really big fridge, and freeze their body down to a very very low temperature, then the person won’t die, they’ll just stay there in the fridge. Not dead, not alive. Just waiting there – for a hundred years, perhaps – until one day the doctors warm him up and say ‘Hi. Wake up. It’s okay, it’s the year 3001 and we’ve found a cure for your illness!’
Crazy idea, isn’t it? But some people actually do this. So what happens to them? Well, read the story and find out.
This is a story about the environment. Today, everybody talks about the environment and saving the planet, don’t they? It’s really really important, isn’t it? But you know, when I first wrote this story, it nearly wasn’t published at all. ‘The environment is boring,’ some people said. ‘Nobody wants to read about that.’
Well, they were wrong. This is one of the most popular stories I’ve written. Lots of people have read it, even though it’s very sad. It’s sad because it’s not just about the environment, it’s about people, and what happens to them. Sometimes people make good decisions, and sometimes they make bad ones. And sometimes, when you make a bad decision, terrible things happen to you.
That’s what happens in this book. It doesn’t have a happy ending, it has a sad one. Or at least, I think it has a sad ending, but I’m not quite sure. You see, the story stops just before the end, and you, the reader, have to decide what happens next. You have to make up your own mind.
You can write your own ending, and send it to me, if you like.
This is a story about terrorism. There are lots of terrorists in the world, unfortunately, and they kill people for many different reasons. But in the early 1990s, when I wrote this story, British people were afraid of terrorists from Northern Ireland. These terrorists wanted Northern Ireland to be part of Ireland, not part of the United Kingdom. Because they didn’t get what they wanted, they killed people – they killed British soldiers, policemen, and lots of ordinary men and women.
Today, there is peace in Northern Ireland, and that sort of terrorism has ended. That’s the good news. Terrorism doesn’t always work; sometimes the terrorists even change their minds. And when they stop killing people and start talking instead, that’s good for everyone.
But we still have lots of other terrorists. And in a story about terrorism, it isn’t the terrorists who are the heroes. The real heroes are the ordinary men and women who try to stop them. Sometimes it’s very dangerous. Sometimes they get badly hurt or even killed. That’s what happens in this story. It’s exciting, but frightening too.
In England in 1876, during the time of Queen Victoria, women did not have an easy time. A married woman had to obey her husband in everything; she could not decide things for herself. Only a man could do that for her. And if she ahd a bad husband, who beat her, she could do nothing about it.
Florence Bravo was young, beautiful, and rich, but she was not lucky in her husbands. Her first husband drank too much, and beat her. she left him and took a lover, who was kind and gentle, but he was already married. Then she married Charles Bravo.
Five months later, charles Bravo was dead, killed by antimony poisoning. But who gave him the antimony? Who wanted him dead? Or was it an accident, and not murder at all?
There were three people who had reasons for wanting Charles Bravo dead – Florence Bravo herself, Charles Bravo’s new young wife; Dr James Gully, Florence’s former lover; and Mrs Jane Cox, Florence’s friend and companion.
But the enquiry into the death in 1876 could not decide who the murderer was, and for more than 130 years people have wondered who did kill Charles Bravo …
This book is a play, for students to act out in class. It’s about a murder trial in a court room. There are 14 characters, and the rest of the class can be jurors – their job is to decide if Simon Clark and Dan Smith are guilty of murder, or not.
Mary Jones was found dead on the beach. Somebody killed her, and the police think it was Simon and Dan. But are they right? The lawyers argue in court. The police lawyer says Yes, they did kill her; Simon and Dan’s lawyer says No, they didn’t. Several people come to give evidence. The jury listen carefully, before they go out to decide. Guilty, or Not Guilty?
This is a play with two possible endings. So you, the people in court, can see what happens if Simon and Dan go to prison, and also, if they stay free.
This is a very easy book for new learners of English.
Every day someone steals money from people near the shops. The police want to stop them. But how?
The police watch the people in the street with TV cameras. But what are they doing? It’s difficult to see on the TV.
The police don’t want to catch the wrong people. Who are the robbers, and what are they doing with the money?