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Great Expectations

Charles Dickens

Retold by Gill Tavner

Illustrated by Karen Donnelly

ISBN 978-1-906230-01-2

£5.99

An escaped convict threatens to eat young Pip’s heart for breakfast. The ghostly Miss Havisham invites Pip to her eerie home. A mysterious benefactor makes him suddenly wealthy. Pip’s life will never be the same again.

Pride, humility, love, loyalty and shame compete for Pip’s emotions. Will his quest to become a gentleman enable him to melt the cold heart of the beautiful Estella, or will it destroy his happiness?

Pip’s tale is full of mystery and surprises. What is the nature of Miss Havisham’s interest in him? Why does Estella want to break his heart? Why does the dangerous convict return?

Most importantly, who has given Pip his great expectations?

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Gulliver’s Travels

Jonathan Swift

Retold by Tony Evans

Illustrated by Katy Elphinstone

ISBN 978-1-906230-85-2

£5.99

An amazing sight met my eyes. All around me were dozens of human creatures a little less than six inches high, chattering together in high-pitched voices in a strange language.

When Lemuel Gulliver is shipwrecked in the Indian Ocean, it’s the start of a series of adventures stranger than he could possibly have imagined. After the tiny inhabitants of Lilliput become suspicious of Gulliver, they plan to kill their huge visitor. What deadly scheme do they come up with? Gulliver makes a friend in the land of the giants - Glumdalclitch, a nine year old girl. Can she protect him from the frightening creatures in Brobdingnag? Once he has said goodbye to the peculiar scientists in their flying island, Gulliver discovers the fierce and brutal Yahoos. Will he ever return home safely to his wife and family in England?

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Hamlet

William Shakespeare

Retold by Helen Street

Illustrated by Charly Cheung

ISBN 978-1-906230-55-5

£5.99

Hamlet’s father, the king of Denmark, has died suddenly. But instead of grieving, his mother Gertrude has married the dead king’s brother, Claudius.

One dark night, Hamlet sees a ghost. It is his dead father, who claims he was murdered by Claudius, the new king. But did Hamlet really see a ghost, or did he just imagine it? And if he did see a ghost, was it telling him the truth?

Hamlet plans to avenge his father by killing Claudius. But the man he stabs isn’t Claudius, as he thinks, but his girlfriend’s father. So the wrong man dies.

So much tragedy, but there is more to come. Who else will die an untimely death? And who will live to tell the tale?

Click here for the Shakespeare original language comparison

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Hard Times

Charles Dickens

Retold by Gill Tavner

Illustrated by Karen Donnelly

ISBN 978-1-906230-05-0

£5.99

Louisa is the practical daughter of a powerful industrialist. Sissy is the imaginative daughter of a clown. What will happen when two such different lives collide?

A disappearing father, an unhappy marriage, a handsome suitor and a bank robbery all bring challenges to Louisa’s life. Will she be able to control her powerful emotions, or will they lead her to ruin?

Set amongst the noisy, dangerous factories of a northern industrial town, where the workers struggle to survive, Hard Times explores the power that people can have over others, and the suffering that is caused when human emotions are ignored.

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Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain

Retold by Anna Kirwan

Illustrated by Judith Hunt

ISBN 978-1-906230-19-7

£5.99

Huckleberry Finn would rather be free than ‘sivilized’.

Adventures with Tom Sawyer made Huck rich – but his Pap is a violent drunk and the broad Mississippi is the road to liberty. Huck’s raft can carry him and his friend Jim, a runaway slave, to safety.

When they lose their way one foggy night, though, they are headed downriver into dangerous territory. How can one small boy pilot his way through a land of mortal feuds, lynch mobs and tricksters?

When life and freedom are at risk, how can Huck figure out the difference between wrong and right?

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Inferno

Dante

Retold by Isabel Coe

Illustrated by Elena Menga

ISBN 978-1-906230-52-4

£5.99

‘Abandon hope all ye who enter here.’

Dante, our young, naive hero, has woken from a deep sleep to find himself in a cold, dark wood. Before he can begin to work out where he is, his path is blocked by a leopard, a lion and a she-wolf. Things get worse from here, and our pilgrim finds himself on a journey through the very depths of Hell. Why is he here, and will he ever make it out alive?

During his journey, Dante meets the worst sinners imaginable and witnesses how God punishes them.

Although they writhe and wail in tortured agony, he must remain strong, for he has to make it through or he may find himself lost in this dismal place forever.

Who will Dante meet on his journey, and what will he learn?

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Jane Eyre

Charlotte Bronte

Retold by Gill Tavner

Illustrated by Vanessa Lubach

ISBN 978-1-906230-21-0

£5.99

Jane Eyre is poor, parentless and plain. Her future looks bleak.

Jane’s aunt and cousin detest her. Life at Lowood School is cruel and dangerous. What inner strength can the young Jane find?

Seeking adventure and independence, Jane sets out alone. Is her new master, Mr Rochester, all that he seems? What secret does he keep locked in the third storey, where strange laughter haunts the nights?

In her search for affection, Jane faces horror, cruelty, poverty and temptation. Is she strong enough to do what is right?

Will she ever mean anything more to anybody than poor, plain Jane Eyre?

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Jesus of Nazareth

Retold by Alan Moore and Gill Tavner

Illustrated by Karen Donnelly

ISBN 978-1-906230-24-1

£5.99

I had been given a simple but enormous task. This was the role for which I had spent my whole life preparing.

After encountering John the Baptist, Jesus’s work begins. He will meet many people; some will help him, many will need his help, and some will become his enemies.

Jesus challenges the way people live, the way they relate to God, and the way Jewish law is enforced. Although he is a man of peace, he is not afraid to challenge authority, no matter where this might lead.

What exactly are Jesus’s responsibilities as God’s son? How will he lead people towards a new relationship with God?

How much can a man achieve in one short lifetime? How much more can he achieve by his death?

Click here for the Jesus of Nazareth concordance

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Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Jules Verne

Retold by Tony Evans

Illustrated by Stephen Lillie

ISBN 978-1-911091-07-3

£5.99

Just beyond me on the rocky floor of the volcanic crater was the gaping vertical shaft which marked the starting point of our journey. As I gazed into its fearful depths my hair stood on end and my head swirled with dizziness.

Most scientists believed that the fierce heat and tremendous pressure would make a journey to the Earth’s centre impossible. When Professor Lindenbrock decides to prove them wrong it is the beginning of an amazing adventure, full of surprising discoveries and unpredictable threats.

When Axel – the Professor’s nephew – agrees to join his uncle’s expedition, he has no idea of the dangers which lie ahead of him. Can he and his companions survive their encounters with the strange creatures which inhabit the depths of the Earth, and will they ever return safely to their families and friends?

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Journey to the West

Wu Chengen

Retold by Christine Sun

Illustrated by Shirley Chiang

ISBN 978-1-906230-34-0

£5.99

In ancient China a magical monkey appears, creating chaos everywhere he goes. The only way to put his tricks and talents to good use is to make him protector of Xuanzang, a young and handsome monk determined to travel from China to India in search of the precious scriptures.

Monkey and his fellow disciples, Piggy and Sandy, have to protect Xuanzang from monsters and demons who think they can live forever just by taking a bite out of the monk.

Can Xuanzang and his loyal disciples reach India safely and find what they are looking for? Do they have enough confidence and courage to conquer the demons, both those lurking around them and those within their own hearts?

Full of humour and adventure, Journey to the West is a story of self-discovery and the pursuit of excellence. Written by Chinese scholar Wu Cheng’en more than four hundred years ago, it reflects everyone’s pilgrimage towards truth, peace and beauty.

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Judas Iscariot

Retold by Alan Moore and Gill Tavner

Illustrated by Karen Donnelly

ISBN 978-1-906230-28-9

£5.99

Unfortunately for me, nothing is ever simple.

Poor Judas – he just can’t decide what to do with his life. Everybody expects him to follow in his father’s footsteps, but he has too many doubts. Then one day he meets a man who changes everything.

With new hope and a new sense of purpose, Judas leaves his home and his family to follow Jesus. But for how long can Judas accept the simplicity of Jesus’s work? How soon will his mind return to its former complex ways?

Tortured by increasing doubts, troubled by rivalry within the group, and sensing that time is running short, Judas feels compelled to take action. What will he do? How will he do it?

Why has this man, so anxious to do good, become one of the most notorious people in history?

Click here for the Judas Iscariot concordance

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Kidnapped

Robert Louis Stevenson

Retold by Tony Evans

Illustrated by Sarah Wimperis

ISBN 978-1-911091-08-0

£5.99

A bright flash of lightning lit up the darkness and showed me the horrible truth – the stairs came to a sudden stop, and if I had taken one more step I would have plunged to my death upon the flagstones far below.

When young David Balfour visits his uncle Ebenezer, he hopes for some good news about his inheritance. Instead he is kidnapped. Why do his enemies want to get rid of him?

After David makes friends with a Scottish soldier, Alan Breck Stewart, he discovers that Alan has rebelled against the King of England. David is a loyal subject of King George – so should he help his friend when he discovers that Alan’s life is in deadly danger?

David soon finds that he is a wanted man, hunted by the English redcoats. Can he escape from the wild and hazardous Highlands of Scotland before he is captured?

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Les Misérables

Victor Hugo

Retold by Tony Evans

Illustrated by Catty Flores

ISBN 978-1-906230-79-1

£5.99

‘Send the brat home? Oh no we won’t! Her mother must have met some rich man – we can make a load of money out of this.’

It seems that poor Cosette will never escape from the wicked Monsieur and Madame Thénardier. She is only eight years old, but they force her to work hard every day.

Jean Valjean has promised her mother that he will rescue the little girl – but Inspector Javert is on his trail. Will the fierce Inspector arrest Jean Valjean? If he does, will Cosette ever be set free?

Cosette is not the only person who desperately needs help. When Marius is badly wounded, will even Jean Valjean’s courage and determination be enough to save the brave young student?

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Little Dorrit

Charles Dickens

Retold by Gill Tavner

Illustrated by Karen Donnelly

ISBN 978-1-906230-65-4

£5.99

‘She? That’s Little Dorrit. She’s nothing. She’s just a whim.’

Poor Little Dorrit. Her future looks as bleak as her past and her present. Born and brought up in a debtors’ prison, she relies on her sewing skills to help support her father. Little does she know that her sewing will soon present an opportunity for change.

When change arrives in the form of Arthur Clennam it is accompanied by secrets and dangers. Who is he? What are his motives for wanting to help Little Dorrit?

Follow Little Dorrit’s tale as it winds its way through London and Italy. Enjoy the rich variety of characters she encounters, and share with her the twists and turns of the road she travels.

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Macbeth

William Shakespeare

Retold by Helen Street

Illustrated by Charly Cheung

ISBN 978-1-906230-47-0

£5.99

On a dark heath, Macbeth stumbles across three witches who can see into the future.

What he hears will change everything. Egged on by his wife, he decides to kill in order to gain the Scottish crown. How many people will have to die in Macbeth’s pursuit of power?

With armies, ghosts and magic against him, will Macbeth survive in this tale of greed and betrayal? Getting the crown is one thing – keeping it is quite another.

Click here for the Shakespeare original language comparison

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Mahabharata: How It All Began

Vyasa

Retold by Prema Jayakumar

Illustrated by K. R. Raji

ISBN 978-1-906230-31-9

£5.99

If there ever was an epic that touches upon every conceivable human emotion and poses the most complex of questions, it has to be the Mahabharata, the most famous of stories from India.

The rivalry between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, royal cousins fighting for the throne at Hastinapura, will end in a mighty battle, but what is it that makes such a conflict inevitable?

Is it the eldest Kaurava brother’s envy of his cousins’ exceptional military skills? Is it the eldest Pandava’s belief that he is the rightful heir to the throne? Or are elements beyond their control deciding the path each will take?

In the first of this exciting three-part story, meet the fascinating characters who play such important roles in escalating the tension between the two families.

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Mahabharata: Rolling The Dice

Vyasa

Retold by Prema Jayakumar

Illustrated by K. R. Raji

ISBN 978-1-906230-32-6

£5.99

If there ever was an epic that touches upon every conceivable human emotion and poses the most complex of questions, it has to be the Mahabharata, the most famous of stories from India.

In the second book of this exciting three-part series a single roll of the dice reverses the fortunes of the Pandavas.

The peaceful years following the division of the kingdom of Bharata are soon to end because of Duryodhana’s jealousy. With his uncle Sakuni he now plots to secure the entire kingdom for the Kauravas, but will his cunning strategy work? Can the Pandavas ever win against the cunning Sakuni?

Yudhishtira, the oldest of the Pandava brothers and the architect of their misfortune, is prepared to gamble away his territory, his wealth, his brothers, himself – even his wife. What can the Pandavas do now?

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Mahabharata: The Final Battle

Vyasa

Retold by Prema Jayakumar

Illustrated by K. R. Raji

ISBN 978-1-906230-33-3

£5.99

If there ever was an epic that touches upon every conceivable human emotion and poses the most complex of questions, it has to be the Mahabharata, the most famous of stories from India.

The deadly rivalry between the royal cousins, the Pandavas and the Kauravas, can only end one way – in the mightiest of battles imaginable. The gods watch in dismay as the opponents draw up their forces.

Will the mighty warriors Bhishma and Drona survive to see the end? And what of Karna? Where will his loyalties lie – with his true friend Duryodhana, or with his brothers, the Pandavas? Lord Krishna sees what is about to happen, and is so concerned that he comes to earth to counsel the mortals, especially the distraught Arjuna.

In the last book of this exciting three-part series, the final battle fought on the field at Kurukshetra decides who will triumph and who will fall.

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Mansfield Park

Jane Austen

Retold by Gill Tavner

Illustrated by Ann Kronheimer

ISBN 978-1-906230-09-8

£5.99

‘Your little cousin cannot help being dull and stupid.’

At the tender age of ten, Fanny Price moves from her poor family home to live with her wealthy cousins at Mansfield Park. Settling into this proud family is only the first of many challenges she will have to face. Can Fanny, uneducated and inexperienced, win any respect or love, or will the spiteful Mrs Norris turn everybody against her?

When plays, balls and marriage proposals challenge Fanny’s judgement, will she be strong enough to do what is right? When jealousy, duty and flattery challenge Fanny’s heart, will it be strong enough to guide her towards true love?

Just how strong is Fanny Price?

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Mary Magdalene

Retold by Alan Moore and Gill Tavner

Illustrated by Karen Donnelly

ISBN 978-1-906230-27-2

£5.99

My darkness lifted, never to return. This man was truly the light of the world.

Mary’s childhood in Magdala leaves her with emotional scars she fears will never heal – until she meets Jesus.

Recognising the importance of Jesus’s work, she decides to do all that she can to support him, but what good can a woman do in a man’s world?

Will Mary ever be accepted by Jesus’s other disciples? What will she learn from the miracles she witnesses and from her many conversations with the Son of God? To Mary the message seems simple, so why can’t others believe?

After witnessing Jesus’s agonising death, Mary is the first to see the empty tomb, the first to see the risen Christ. What role can she play in spreading the news about Jesus after his death?

Click here for the Mary Magdalene concordance

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