Giveaway #6 of the 14 Colossal Holiday Children’s Book Giveaways: 11 Essential Classics

Holiday Giveaway Winners Have Been Selected! Congratulations to:

Giveaway 2 Adopt Me-Piper Smith from WI
Giveaway 3 Lovable Characters-Janet Coffield from NC
Giveaway 4 Comic Strips-Debra Hays from LA
Giveaway 5 stories for Christ Eve-Amy Burbol from TX
Giveaway 6 Essentia Classics-Cassandra McCavy from MA
Giveaway 7 Pirates-Kristina Carter from NC
Giveaway 8 Creative Christmas-Nicole Lancasteer from AZ
Giveaway 9 Cultural Xmas-Adrianne Braun from MI
Giveaway 10 Fairy Tales-Silvia Rodriguez from IL
Giveaway 11 Christmas Spirit-Robin Marshall from MD
Giveaway 12 Peace on Earth-Laura Zeigler from IN
Giveaway 13 True Meaning-Nikki Watkins from FL
Giveaway 14 Handicrafted Christmas-Christy Hawkes from UT

One lucky winner will receive all eleven Essential Classic titles featured in this post! What a terrific addition to a school or home library this would make for middle readers! Scroll to the bottom for Giveaway Rules.

Enter more Giveaways!

Giveaway #1 – Happy Hanukkah!

Giveaway #2 – Adopt Me! Books

Giveaway #3 -Loveable Characters

Giveaway #4 – Comic Strips

Giveaway #5- Stories for Christmas Eve

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Eleven Essential Classics  for Middle Readers

•    Targeted Audience:  Upper Elementary, Middle School (Ages 10+)
•    Genre: Fiction, Classic Literature
•    Author:Pauline Francis
•    Publisher: ReadZone Books (Distributed by Traflagar Square Publishing from IPG Group)
•    Binding: Paperback
•    Dimensions: 5.5 x  8
•    Printing: Full Color
•    Retail: $8.99

ReadZone Books

Welcome to ReadZone Books, an independent publishing company based out of England. Their titles are designed for reluctant readers, encouraging them to want to read and learn more. As part of their Express Series of Books  is the Essential Classics Collection, offering shortened versions of classic literature for younger readers.

Well Written and  Interesting to Read

Essential Classics are shortened versions of timeless tales that allow children to read sophisticated books written for adults in a simplified manner that best suits their age. Being a writer with a degree in English, naturally I read most of the original classics. I was a bit skeptical about shortened versions of these prized pieces of literature I studied in depth in college.  Yet I was so pleasantly surprised to discover that author Pauline Francis manages to write her abbreviated versions in a simplified manner without talking down to readers and at the same time keeping the stories fascinating to read. She covers all the important details of the original story and keeps the flavor of the original author too.

Lovely Illustrations and More

Reluctant readers can better comprehend this level of storytelling. Every several pages is an original, richly colored illustration to help readers comprehend even more about what’s going on this story. In the back of each book is a helpful glossary and a brief reading quiz to test the reader’s comprehension. What I love mostly about this series is that these books interest readers enough to want to read the original versions when they get older. Another bonus is that these super affordable books are small, lightweight and easily transported in the car or on plane rides. This series would make an excellent addition to middle reader classrooms!

pauline-francis-authorAbout the Author

Pauline Francis has 20 years of experience as a secondary school teacher and trained librarian. She is the author of a number of retellings of well-known classics, including The Count of Monte Cristo, Frankenstein, and The War of the Worlds.

The following is a list of eleven Essential Classic books with descriptions from the publisher. Click on the links to buy any of the books in the USA:

9781783220564Call of the Wild

Jack London’s classic story explores the timeless relationship between man and dog, retold for younger readers. Buck is a much-loved dog who is kidnapped and transported to the snowy wastes of northwest Canada to work for gold hunters. He becomes more and more a dog of the wild, until he faces a pack of wolves. Exciting and action-packed, Call of the Wild follows the inevitable draw of primitive instincts that pull Buck away from civilization and humanity towards the lawless and harsh wilderness. This retelling has been shortened and illustrated for younger readers.

Buy this Book Here

9781783220328David Copperfield

Charles Dickens’ classic tells the story of a young boy in Victorian England who faces great adversity, all while dreaming of becoming a writer, retold for younger readers. Young David Copperfield is deeply affected when his widowed mother remarries. When his mother dies, David’s stepfather sends him to work in a London factory. He has to learn how to find how own way in a harsh world, and makes many friends along the way, both good and bad. After Wilkins Micawber, his landlord, is sent to prison, David escapes London and takes refuge in Dover with Betsey Trotwood, his aunt. This retelling has been shortened and illustrated for younger readers.

Buy this Book Here

9781783220625The Hound of the Baskervilles

Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes tale investigates a fearsome animal and a family curse, retold for younger readers. Written by in 1902, The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of his most frightening books. It tells the story of the curse of the Baskerville family—a family haunted by a terrifying hound on Dartmoor. The beast is thought to be responsible for killing many members of the Baskerville family. Sherlock Holmes and Dr .Watson arrive to investigate. This retelling has been shortened and illustrated for younger readers.

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9781783220779Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain’s classic tale of friendship and adventure along the mighty Mississippi River, retold for younger readers. Huckleberry Finn was published in 1884, and tells the story of a young boy, Huckleberry Finn, the friend of Tom Sawyer, and the slave, Jim. Together they run away from Huck’s drunken father and Jim’s owners, and begin a journey on and around the great Mississippi River. This retelling has been shortened and illustrated for younger readers.

Buy this Book Here

9781783220588The Iliad

Homer’s epic poem telling the story of the darkest episode in the ten-year-long Trojan War, retold for younger readers. The Iliad is one of the greatest works of literature ever written. It has inspired readers and listeners for millennia. The story tells of the Trojan War, fought between the Trojans, led by King Priam, and the Greeks, led by King Agamemnon. At its center is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his refusal to fight after being humiliated by his leader Agamemnon. But when the Trojan Hector kills Achilles’ close friend Patroclus, he storms back into battle to take revenge—even though he knows this will ensure his own untimely death. This retelling has been shortened and illustrated for younger readers.

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9781783220632Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë’s classic story of a young girl’s passage into adulthood, retold for younger readers. Jane Eyre, written in 1847, is an extraordinary coming-of-age narratives of the orphan Jane Eyre, her terrible schooling, and her time as a governess at brooding Thornfield Hall. Here she falls in love with its owner, Mr. Rochester, and discovers his terrible secret. This retelling has been shortened and illustrated for younger readers.

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Robert Lewis Stevenson’s classic story of a young orphan’s adventures involving kidnapping, shipwreck, murder, and pursuit, retold for younger readers. Kidnapped is set in Scotland in 1751. It tells the story of David Balfour, a newly-orphaned young boy who is cheated out of his inheritance by his uncle and kidnapped. Amid the conflict between the Jacobites and supporters of King George II, David is falsely accused of murder and must flee for his life. Stevenson’s classic adventure story is as compelling now as when it was first published in 1886. This retelling has been shortened and illustrated for younger readers.

Buy this Book Here

9781783220663Little Women

Alcott’s classic American novel of the March girls lives during the Civil War, retold for younger readers. The beloved story of the March girls is a classic American novel, and was first published in 1868. This is the charming story of the March girls—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, and their wise and patient mother Marmee, describing the ups and downs of one eventful year in their family life spent enduring hardships and enjoying adventures in Civil War New England. This retelling has been shortened and illustrated for younger readers.

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9781783220670The Lost World

Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic work of science fiction follows Professor Challenger’s team as they seek proof that dinosaurs do still walk the earth, retold for younger readers. The Lost World was written in 1912 and was his first work of science fiction. It tells the story of the notorious Professor Challenger, who leads a scientific expedition to the Amazonian rainforest after the press and the scientific community ridicule him. Accompanied by a big game hunter and an eager young reporter, the professor and his team stumble upon a lost world and get trapped there. As they struggle to escape and deliver the impossible truth, they encounter great danger from wild animals, ape-men, and even dinosaurs! This retelling has been shortened and illustrated for younger readers.

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9781783220687The Odyssey

Homer’s epic poem of the adventures of Odysseus’ journey home after the Trojan War, retold for younger readers. The Odyssey is an ancient Greek epic poem that recounts the return of Odysseus, the King of Ithaca, from the Trojan War. Odysseus endures many trials and hardships before he finally reaches home. Confronted by natural and supernatural threats—from the witch Circe, who turns his men into pigs, to the twin terrors of Scylla and Charybdis; from the stupefied Lotus-Eaters to the implacable enmity of the sea-god Poseidon himself—Odysseus must test his bravery and native cunning to the full if he is to reach his homeland safely. This retelling has been shortened and illustrated for younger readers.

Buy this Book Here

20_000_resized_large20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

A classic science fiction adventure about three men who are taken captive by the evil genius Captain Nemo, retold for younger readers. First published more than a century ago, Jules Verne’s science fiction adventure tells the story of a scientist, Arronox, who joins an expedition to find and destroy a mysterious sea monster who is attaching shipping. Instead, he finds himself the prisoner of the proud and ruthless Captain Nemo, captain of the amazing submarine The Nautilus.

Buy this Book Here

Enter for a Chance to Win All Eleven Titles on this Post and Be on the Lookout for Many More Giveaways All Week Long

  1. Enter the giveaway by Liking our Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and sending us an email to smartbooks (at) with your name and mailing address. In the subject line of the email write Essential Classics Giveaway.  We will not share your email or address or use it for any other purpose than this giveaway. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not include your mailing address in your email your entry will be discarded.  (We only require addresses so books can be mailed quickly and in the past we have found it difficult to contact winners to obtain their mailing addresses.)
  2. You may enter any or all of our 14 Colossal Holiday Children’s Book Giveaways but no person will be eligible to win more than one giveaway this week – we’d like to spread the cheer to as many readers as possible.
  3. Optional: You will receive one extra entry for leaving a valid comment on this post on this website. Tell me about your favorite classic literature.
  4. Optional: You will receive two extra entries for following me on Twitter.
  5. Optional: You will receive FIVE extra entries for sharing this giveaway from our Facebook Page. Go to the Facebook page and from there, click share on the link to this giveaway. If you share it from your own Facebook status and not from the Smart Book Facebook Page, I will not know about it, so it will not count.
  6. There will be one winner for this eleven-book giveaway selected at random, residing in the USA. No books will be mailed outside the USA.
  7. This giveaway starts on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 and ends on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 5 pm.
  8. The winner will be notified via email on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.
  9. Books will be mailed by Thursday, December 18,, 2014.
  10. Follow us on our Facebook Page to learn about more giveaways and read reviews and interviews.

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