The White Room
13

This lovely short poem was written by a learner of English, Irene Soriano Flórez, a student at the British Institute for Young Learners in Madrid.

Story: Mr Smith's new nose
77

It is the 22nd century and the world is very different. With new technologies, people can have the bodies that they want. See what happens when Mr. Smith decides to change his body. 

A Visitor to The Star
25

Anna Winter pulled on her Gucci sunglasses and sprayed herself with extra-strength mosquito repellent. How could she be an award-winning journalist if she had to stay in bad hotels and eat bad food?

The Sick Child
8

"O mother, lay your hand on my brow! | O mother, mother, where am I now?" In this sad little poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, a mother spends the night at her sick child's bedside.

Story: Beginner's luck
48

When James Milner lands a job in his uncle's bank he rides his luck for a while and even earns himself a huge bottle of vintage champagne for one transaction. But how long can his luck last?

A Game of Go
47

Two people sit down to play a game. One is an old man who has spent all of his life playing this game, which is called Go. The other is a young woman. She has only been playing Go for three years.

The Bright Dresses
6

This poem is about teaching English and conveys powerful emotions through observation of small, almost banal details: shoes in shoe shops, bright dresses, the artificial language of an English lesson.

Story: The Skier
62

Afel was twelve years old when he saw them. “What are those?” he asked his uncle excitedly. “Skis,” replied his uncle, “And those people are called skiers.” Afel was in love. He wanted to be a skier.

Poems: On Chloris being ill
5

"Long, long the night, Heavy comes the morrow" In this poem (written as a song), the great Scottish poet Robert Burns laments the illness of his loved one.

Coetzee's novels
6

Read synopses of some of the novels of Nobel prize winning writer, South African J.M. Coetzee, and then compare them.

Poems: Starshine and non-being
8

This Taoist poem shows that trying to label something can make a non-existent thing wrongly seem as if it had concrete or material existence, as Starshine finds out when he questions Non-Being.

The Masalai of Lep Island
11

"On Lep Island, there was a masalai who had exactly ten heads. This masalai had two wives. The three of them lived happily together on their island…" Read this folk story from Papua New Guinea.

Uncle Tom's Cabin
4

This anti-slavery novel, published in 1852, had a profound effect on worldwide attitudes toward African-Americans and slavery. It may have intensified the conflict that led to civil war.

The Seven Ages of Man
3

"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players…" The famous lines from Shakespeare's play As You Like It.

Stories: Alberto's new neighbours
59

Alberto took one look at his new neighbours and knew that his life was going to get more difficult. There they were, two of them, as big and as noisy as their car, and smelly and stupid as well.

The Fix
7

The four judges must agree on who will win the four awards in the important Global Music Awards. But there is a problem. They must all agree on each winner. If they can’t all agree, nobody will win.

It wouldn't do
15

"But, She said, I suppose it wouldn't do For everyone to be the same now, Would it."

Stories: A serious case
326

My friend is afraid of spiders. This isn’t very unusual; a lot of people are afraid of spiders. But my friend isn’t just afraid of spiders, she is totally, completely and utterly terrified of them….

To Autumn
4

Autumn (or "Fall" in American English) often arouses feelings of loss and melancholy. But to John Keats, we should celebrate the end of summer for the wonderful fruitfulness of nature about to decay.

Story: The Christmas the Lights Went Out
98

Five people, whose lives interrelate, live the build-up to Christmas in different ways in different places. A sudden blackout changes their lives forever...

The Flatulence Tax
2

"Abandon the flock and abolish the herd". This funny poem explores what would happen if we stopped farming sheep and cattle and started cultivating beans instead!

Pages

Poems image
23

In this poem some words have been substituted by homophones - words with the same sound but different spelling. It proves that computer spelling checkers are not infallible!

A tree on a white background
34

"O you shaggy-headed banyan tree standing on the bank of the pond, have you forgotten the little child, like the birds that have nested in your branches and left you?"

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