"Oxford Bookworms" offer students at all levels the opportunity to extend their reading and appreciation of English. There are six stages, taking students from elementary to advanced level. At the lower stages, many of the texts have been specially written for the series, to provide elementary and lower-intermediate students with an introduction to real reading in English. At the higher stages, most of the books have been adapted from works originally published for native speakers. The language controls used in "Oxford Bookworms" are based on a syllabus specially created for the series by Tricia Hedge. This takes account of the more traditional approaches to grading and recent research into the nature of reading difficulty. The approximate vocabulary count for each stage is: Stage 1 - 400 words; Stage 2 - 700 words - Stage 3 - 1000 words; Stage 4 - 1400 words; Stage 5 - 1800 words; Stage 6 - 2500 words. All stages have exercises for classroom or private use, plus a supporting glossary to help students with vocabulary. Illustrations are used, especially at the lower stages, to help comprehension.
Frankenstein, loved by many decades of readers and praised by such eminent literary critics as Harold Bloom, seems hardly to need a recommendation. If you haven't read it recently, though, you may not remember the sweeping force of the prose, the grotesque, surreal imagery, and the multilayered doppelgänger themes of Mary Shelley's masterpiece. As fantasy writer Jane Yolen writes of this (the reviewer's favorite) edition, "The strong black and whites of the main text [illustrations] are dark and brooding, with unremitting shadows and stark contrasts. But the central conversation with the monster--who owes nothing to the overused movie image … but is rather the novel's charnel-house composite--is where [Barry] Moser's illustrations show their greatest power ... The viewer can all but smell the powerful stench of the monster's breath as its words spill out across the page. Strong book-making for one of the world's strongest and most remarkable books." Includes an illuminating afterword by Joyce Carol Oates.