Friday, August 31, 2007

4th Annual Language Learner Literature Award

It's not up on the web site yet, but here's the press release from the Extensive Reading Foundation.

Today, the Extensive Reading Foundation, an unaffiliated, not-for profit organization that supports and promotes extensive reading in language education, announced the winners of the 4th Annual Language Learner Literature Award for books published in 2006.

An international jury chose the winning book in four categories, taking into account the Internet votes and comments of students and teachers from a reported 21 countries around the world. I know that a lot of readers on this list were among the voters (including 107 votes from Japan alone), so thank you and your students for that.

The winning books are (drum roll...)

Young Learners
"The Boy Who Burped Too Much" by Scott Nickel. Illustrated by Steve Harpster. Graphic Sparks (Stone Arch). The jury noted the fast-moving plot and colorful illustrations in a story that will provide great fun and excitement to children, who won't be able to put it down until they finish it. Voters commented, "really fantastic and interesting." (Hong Kong) "It's funny and the pictures are wonderful." (Viet Nam)

Adolescents and Adults--Beginners
"Let Me Out" by Antoinette Moses. Cambridge English Readers, Starter Level. This is Moses' second Language Learner Literature Award after winning in 2004 for "Jojo's Story". The jury found "Let Me Out" a very well crafted science fiction story, noting its rare ability to create an emotional connection between reader and book characters. That it was a popular winner in a competitive field heartened the jury: "It's great to see a strong story-line carry the day." Voters commented, "scary and exciting." (Japan) "The story makes us think deeply about human life." (Russian Federation)

A&A Intermediate
"Rabbit-Proof Fence" by Doris Pilkington Garimara. Retold by Jennifer Bassett. Oxford Bookworms Library, Stage 3. The jury called the book sustained and powerful; a true story that reflects the experience of marginalised people everywhere. The well-paced retelling brings a second Language Learner Literature Award to Jennifer Bassett, who won for "Love among the Haystacks" in 2005. One teacher commented, "From the moment [my students] opened the book, they felt as if the story was about their own lives.... [It] helped them to become closer to their classmates who were not from the same backgrounds as they." (United States)

A&A Advanced
"The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton. Retold by Clare West. Oxford Bookworms Library, Stage 5. It successfully marshals its large cast of characters in a book that will keep its readers guessing until the end. The jury found it ideal for readers who enjoy stories that deal with emotions and relationships. Voters commented, "Because the descriptions were very good... you read and don't stop." (Peru) "It was so romantic." (Somalia)

In addition to the winners, the following books were selected as the shortlisted "finalists" in each category:

Young Learners
"The Goose Girl" Classic Tales (Oxford University Press).
"The Twelve Dancing Princesses" Classic Tales (Oxford University Press).

A&A Beginners
"Blog Love" Scholastic Readers Starter Level. (Mary Glasgow Magazines).
"The Story of Chocolate" Easyread Level One. (Black Cat).

A&A Intermediate
"Crossroads to Love" Teen Readers Level 3. (Aschehoug/Alinea).
"The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" Penguin Readers Level 3.
"Strong Medicine" Cambridge English Readers Level 3.

A&A Advanced
"Barchester Towers" Oxford Bookworms Library Stage 6.

If you want to add some excellent books to your extensive reading library, the winners and finalists are available for online purchase at the Cambridge International Book Centre.

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