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LUCKY READS STORIES TO LEARN ENGLISH

The series

Lucky Reads are a series of story books for second language learners of English. There are 16 books right now, but we are adding new stories all the time. This is supplementary material and can be used with any English curriculum.

Our stories are written by Andy Coombs and Sarah Scho, both authors and teachers with more than 40 English language books published and a million books sold. Andy and Sarah have taught English and provided training for English teachers all over the world. They are the best-selling educational writers in Scandinavia.

The stories are original fiction designed and written specifically for the needs of second language speakers of English. There is a quiz after every story chapter to test vocabulary and comprehension. There are discussion topics to help students develop the language of opinion and negotiation. Students are encouraged to think about character motivation to develop empathy and critical evaluation skills.

Lucky Reads books are good for students from (European) CEF levels B1 - C1; from lower-intermediate to advanced.

News

Currently these stories are licensed in Scandinavia and Germany by NE (National Encyclopaedia, Sweden) for educational use in an English Language program. We have also signed with Storytel (USA) and Wahlströms (Sweden) to create audio book and e-book versions. Other versions are licensed for India, Scandinavia, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Turkey. From Spring 2018, the series is available to license in other countries.

Coming soon

The Lucky Reads goal is for students of all abilities to access challenging and fun ideas regardless of language ability. Our aim is for everyone to get the satisfaction and feeling of achievement for having read a complete book in English. To achieve this goal and provide the access points needed we will be offering every book in four forms: comic book, regular book, e-book and audio. There will also be simple summaries and reflective works available.

Lucky Reads 'DNA'

“High-Low”

The Lucky Reads books are written with what the writers call a “High-Low” approach. The High refers to concept and complexity of ideas. The Low refers to the linguistic access point of the story.

Simply put, the stories are written with easy language but deep ideas.

The writers are both long-standing authors of English language books and realized early on that having less developed language skills does not preclude a hunger for interesting ideas and complicated plot.

Traditionally, stories written for language learners connect simple language to simple ideas in the ‘big red bus’ approach.

The 'Lucky Reads' writers go the other way. You may not have a huge vocabulary, but thinking about time travel, what happened to the Neanderthals or what it would be like to live on Mars is still a lot of fun and engages students with the ideas behind language.

The stories

Lucky Reads come in four levels: Blue books, Green books, Yellow books and Red books.

  • Blue books are written for students (A2-B1).
  • Green books are for students (B1).
  • Yellow books are for students (B1-B2)
  • Red books are for readers (B2-C1).
Bilious Blue

This is a blue level fantasy story. Emma meets a new friend who is very strange. This is an imaginary friend who lives inside a tall chimney and talks about dinosaurs. And when Emma goes to the chimney to see if her friend is real she gets a very big surprise.

Fantastic Me

This is a blue level friendship story. Jake starts a new school and makes some new friends. But sometimes Jake gets into a bit of trouble and finds it hard to talk to teachers. Jake loves science and gets the chance to visit the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

Lawless

This is a blue level adventure story. Kate joins Robin Hood's outlaws deep in Sherwood forest, England. She is scared of the bad king and scared of the soldiers and she has lost her parents.. But Robin Hood and Marion help her.

Razor Sharp

This is a blue level scary story. Four friends from Thailand sit on a beach and talk. Dutch, the oldest boy, has a scary story to tell them about a monster on a train travelling at night across Northern Thailand. But is the story true? And where is the monster now?

Speed of Winter

This is a green level fantasy story. "Nora stretched her arm right back and threw the stone as hard as she could towards the hole in the middle of the frozen lake. The stone spun through the air but just as it was about to land a hand pushed its way out of the water and caught it. The hand was followed by a long arm, then a head and a body. And legs. An old man, dressed in a long green robe rose from the lake. His feet floated a few centimetres over the ice. Then he bent down and blew on his hand towards the hole he had come from. The hole turned white and then was smooth with ice." Speed of Winter is about a young girl who becomes apprentice to Jack Frost.

Star Player

This is a green level friendship story. “I am the star player. Look at me. What do you see? A girl with a bright future in international football? A girl with friends and a happy family? Well, take another look. Take a closer look. Trust me. You’ll see something different.” Stay Player explores the pressure parents can put on children and also the negative sides of competition.

Forgotten Future

This is a green level scary story. "I was broke. No job and no friends. But then I met Magda. She had an idea. It seemed like a great idea. She knew of a quiet village. And in the quiet village was an empty house. And in the empty house was a big safe full of money. It was easy, she said. In and out. Just like that. But she was wrong. This was not easy and there was no getting out." Forgotten Future is a story about time. Why is the present more real than the past or the future?

The Dark Snows

This is a green level scary story. "When the snows came to New Zealand they brought something with them. Something dark. Something strange. Something that I knew, deep inside me, was wrong. So wrong that nothing would be the same again." The Dark Snows talks about what the end of the world could be like and the catastrophe of climate change. The story also explores the role memory plays in forming identity.

Frozen Miracle

This is a yellow level fantasy story. “I was fishing at night in the frozen seas. And in the darkness I saw something strange. Something wonderful. And what I found will move the earth and shake the heavens. What I found is the beginning of myth and the end of stories. This is something that you – all of you – will want to see…” Frozen Miracle is set two hundred years ago in a fishing village in the North of Canada. The story explores what happens to a village when they find two frozen mermaids.

Sound of Drums

This is a yellow level friendship story. Jake is sent away to stay at his grandmother's house. She lives on the moors, far away from civilisation. Jake must learn to live without computers and games. While he is there he learns to work hard and think about things in a different way. Towards the end of his long holiday he meets a wild horse and has an amazing night under the moonlight.

Abigail's Game

This is a yellow level adventure story. “When Dad met Abigail I thought she was really great. She made Dad laugh which was something he hadn’t done since Mom left. Then they got married and she changed. I don’t mean a slow change. I mean like a werewolf or something. One day nice, the next day – something from your worst nightmares. But not in front of Dad – never in front of Dad – to Dad she was all peaches and cream – she saved her special side just for me.” Abigail's Game explores how trauma can effect the mind. It is a dark story about betrayal and revenge.

The Caring Unknown

This is a yellow level adventure story. Sophia is trapped high on a mountain with three friends. An avalanche of snow took away everyone else. Now they must stay warm try and find food. As night falls, something frightening and wonderful happens; something magical and impossible. But can they survive?

Mudmen

This is a red level fantasy story. "I never wanted it to happen. I didn’t ask to become the most hunted man in history. The papers call me a monster. The TV news claim I am a traitor to every human being on earth. My friends don’t answer my calls. My parents won’t reply to my emails. That’s why I’m leaving. I’m getting the hell out of here." Mudmen explores our relationship to previous forms of human such as Neanderthals. The story imagines what would happen if Neanderthals began to live on earth again. What would they say to us? How would society react?

The Still Feather

This is a red level friendship story. "You see a feather hanging in the air. Soft and white. The wind blows but the feather doesn’t move. There is nothing holding it there. It just hangs – still and silver like the moon. So you reach up. You take hold of it and pull. And what happens next changes the way you see your world. Changes the way you see…everything." The Still Feather explores the idea of higher dimensions. Becca makes friends with Meeora, a super-intelligent alien from another world. The story explores the nature of consciousness, different forms of life and how to make deep friendships.

Stealing the Earth

This is a red level adventure story. "Finally he was near the front of the airport security queue. Only two people were in front of him now. Lucas held his black bag tight in his hand. He tried to breathe normally, tried not to smile – not to look guilty. Because if they caught him – if they found what was in the bag – then something bad would happen. Something so bad he couldn’t think about it." Stealing the Earth looks at the morality of private and common ownership. The story is about an orchid smuggler who steals orchids from Asia to sell to Europe.

Burn

This is a red level scary story. "The fire was out of control. The flames were moving and dancing in time to a rhythm Janek couldn’t hear. His hands itched and felt hot. And there was another movement. Above his head. He looked up and there in the flames he saw the shadow man again. And even though the shadow man had no face, Janek knew he was laughing at him." Burn contrasts ideas of chaos and order, purpose and meaninglessness. Janek, the main character, struggles against an inner conflict of creation and destruction.

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Created By
Andy Coombs
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Credits:

Created with images by garryknight - "Young Man Reading"

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