Graded readers are adaptations of famous stories, or original books aimed at language learners. They are written to help you follow the story and learn new language structures and vocabulary with activities and questions.

You can find some excellent graded readers in the Oxford House library. We recommend you read along, take note of the new vocabulary and photocopy the activities inside to practise the new language at home. It’s a great way of boosting your skills, whether you are an elementary, intermediate or upper-intermediate level learner.

Here are seven of our favourite stories you can find in our school library!

1. Remember Miranda – Rowena Akinyemi (Oxford University Press)

Who is it for? Elementary level learners (A2)

Cathy Wilson is going to Norfolk to work as a nanny to the Harvey family’s children. After meeting the whole family she discovers that the children’s mother, Miranda, is dead – but can she find out more? People seem to want to talk about her…

This interesting story, aimed at elementary learners will keep you interested in the characters and teach you a lot of new vocabulary.


2. The Black Cat and other stories – Edgar Allan Poe (Pearson English Readers)

Who is it for? Pre-intermediate level learners (B1)

Edgar Allan Poe is one of the world’s most famous horror writers. This collection of short stories will certainly have you feeling spooked. The title story, The Black Cat tells the tale of a murderer who thinks his crime is unsolvable, but his guilt leads to him giving himself away in the end!

Aimed at pre-intermediate level learners, you’ll pick up some helpful new vocabulary and have lots of fun reading at the same time.


3. The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side – Agatha Christie (Pearson English Readers)

Who’s it for? Pre-intermediate and intermediate level learners (B1-B1.2)

Miss Marple is a nice lady, but she’s feeling rather old. When she goes to the doctor telling him how bored she is feeling, he makes a joke and tells her she should find a murder to solve. Coincidentally, there is a murder in the village. And then another and another. Miss Marple cannot help but investigate.

Agatha Christie’s world-famous detective novels are perfect graded reader materials. Not only are they fun, but they have a lot of interesting language. This book is aimed at pre-intermediate to intermediate learners.

7 graded readers to help you practise English at home | Oxford House Barcelona

4. 1984 – George Orwell (Pearson English Readers)

Who’s it for? Intermediate level learners (B1.2)

Winston Smith lives in a society strictly controlled by the government. It’s a tough and unforgiving place to live – and if you break the rules it could be all over for you.

1984 is a classic novel by George Orwell and it examines the use and abuse of power and how it affects people. This fascinating graded reader is aimed at intermediate plus level learners and a must-read for everyone.


5. Awayday – Chris Faram (Summertown Publishing)

Who is it for? Intermediate – upper intermediate level learners (B1.2-B2)

Following the intriguing story of a group of work colleagues who investigate the strange goings-on during work “awaydays”, this book for intermediate to upper intermediate learners will have you on the edge of your seat.

After being sent away to a mountain without tents or equipment and then to a medieval castle for team-building work excursions, the characters realise they are being watched…by someone or something. You’ll be as surprised as they are when you discovered the truth.


6. Ghost stories – retold by Rosemary Border (Oxford University Press)

Who’s it for? Upper – Intermediate level learners (B2)

Picture yourself on a cold, dark winter’s evening, as the wind howls in through the trees. Huddled up in the blankets with some hot cocoa and reading light on, it’s the perfect time to reach for Ghost Stories – retold by Rosemary Border.

You’ll love this collection of spooky tales, which was written for intermediate learners. It promises thrills as well as lots of language learning opportunities. Build your vocabulary and understanding and scare yourself (a little) at the same time!


7. World Folktales – Andy Hopkins Jocelyn Porter (Pearson English Readers)

Who is it for? Upper-intermediate level learners (B2)

Take a trip around the world with this graded reader, aimed at upper-intermediate level learners. You’ll read nine different stories from cultures found in China, Africa, India, Europe and South America and learn a lot of new language at the same time.


Do you have any favourite English novels? What reading tips can you share with our readers? Let us know in the comments below!

Glossary for Language Learners


Find the following words in the article and then write down any new ones you didn’t know.

Adaptation (n): a book or text that has been changed to suit a different reader.

Nanny (n): a person who looks after children as a job.

Spooked (adj) : to feel scared of a strange situation.

Unsolvable (adj): impossible to discover the truth of a mystery.

Give (himself) away (p.v.): to accidentally tell (or show) the truth about something.

Cannot help but (exp.): when something is impossible to avoid.

Unforgiving (adj.): something or someone who punishes people for their mistakes.

Howl (v): to make a sound like a wolf or the wind.

Huddle up (p.v.): to wrap yourself in a blanket, or to sit close to another person.

Intriguing (adj): to be very interesting or curious.

Goings-on (n): unusual things that are happening.

Edge of your seat (exp.): to feel nervous or excited about something.


n = noun

adj = adjective

pv = phrasal verb

exp = expression

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