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Helbling Red Series

A series of well-known classic stories by world-famous authors that have been chosen and adapted to appeal to young teenagers.

Careful selection of stories with suitable content and language level has allowed the flavour of the originals to remain.

Reflection Boxes throughout the stories help understanding, and draw links with the students’ own lives, while detailed Before and After Reading activities help and check understanding.

A clear introduction gives information about the author.

COLLECTION
Red-Headed League

Red-Headed League

Arthur Conan Doyle

Adapted by Maria Cleary

When legendary detective Sherlock Holmes and his trusted friend, Dr Watson, are asked to investigate a mysterious organisation, the Red-headed League, they find that there is more to the organisation than meets the eye.

The Stolen White Elephant

The Stolen White Elephant

Mark Twain

Adapted by Maria Cleary

A white elephant travelling from Asia to  Britain as a present for the Queen goes missing in New York. Chief Inspector Blunt of the New York Police Department puts all of his men on the case and promises to find the thieves. Are the city’s best policemen and a reward of $100,000 enough to get the elephant back?

Fireball Heart

Fireball Heart

Herbert Puchta

Chief Wise Owl’s people always tell the truth. But Chief Strong Buffalo doesn’t believe him. He thinks of a plan to get Dark Eyes, the Indian who looks after all of the tribe’s horses, to tell a lie. Can Dark Eyes win the test or is Chief Strong Buffalo right?

The Surprise

The Surprise

Günter Gerngross

When Aunt Elizabeth comes back from Greenland, she has a very strange present for Roger and Helen: a big egg. One day when they are eating dinner the egg starts to crack open. What’s inside?

The Spring Cup

The Spring Cup

Christian Holzmann

If Caroline doesn’t win the Spring Cup, her father will sell her beloved horse, Applewind. But how can she win when she has to compete against Sophie and her horse Blossom? They always come first!

David and the Great Detective

David and the Great Detective

Martyn Hobbs

David dreams of becoming a great detective like David Delgado, the hero of his stories. When thieves take Jack’s bike, David decides to help him find it. Can David find it and be a great detective like David Delgado?

The Clever Woman

The Clever Woman

Herbert Puchta

Sean Murphy is looking forward to coming home after work. He’s tired and wants to relax with a good book. But when he gets home there is so much noise that he can’t relax. So Sean decides to ask Linda McCormack to help him.

The African Mask

The African Mask

Günter Gerngross

 Janet gets a letter out of the blue from her old boyfriend Donald McKinnon. He invites her to visit him in Scotland, but when she gets there strange things start to happen. Why do people rush off when they hear Donald’s name? Why is Donald so sad? And what has Donald’s African mask got to do with all this?

The Lost Smile

The Lost Smile

Christian Holzmann

One night Sarah and Ben have the same dream: the Lord of Tears is going to take over the world and make everyone sad. But Sarah and Ben know how to stop him. Together they set off on a journey to find the Lord of Tears and bring happiness back to the world.

Mowgli's Brothers

Mowgli's Brothers

Rudyard Kipling

Adapted by Maria Cleary

When Mother Wolf finds a baby outside her cave, she decides to keep him and raise him with her own cubs. But not everyone in the jungle wants Mowgli and soon he has to learn to defend himself against the cruel tiger Shere Khan and his followers.

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens

Adapted by Elspeth Rawstron

Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean and miserable man with no friends. One cold Christmas Eve three ghosts visit him and take him on a frightening journey to show him what is wrong with his life. Can Scrooge change and learn to become a better person?

Zadie Big Day

Zadie Big Day

Martyn Hobbs

Zadie is the best footballer on the school team. She is also the best skater in the park. When a new boy at school challenges her to a skating competition on the same day as an important football final, Zadie accepts. Can Zadie be both Queen of the Skate Park and Champion on the Pitch?

Jack Westbourne Fair

Jack Westbourne Fair

Martyn Hobbs

The Westbourne Fair is coming to town and it is Jack’s favourite moment of the year. But when he gets into trouble at school his parents say that he can’t go to the Fair. Jack decides to go to the Fair anyway and he learns that there are more important things in life than having fun.

Grace and the Double Life

Grace and the Double Life

Martyn Hobbs

Grace’s mum wants her daughter to study hard for her piano exam. But Grace wants to spend all her free time practising with her band – the Garage Girls. How long can she keep her secret from her mum? And what will her mum do if she finds out?.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Mark Twain

Adapted by David A. Hill

The best-loved story of Tom Sawyer and his friends Huck Finn and Joe Harper, as they grow up along the banks of the Mississippi river. They run away to be pirates and come back in time for their own funerals, they witness a murder and they find treasure. Join them for fun and advent re and some difficult lessons in growing up.

Black Beauty

Black Beauty

Anna Sewell

Adapted by Geraldine Sweeney

The much-loved children’s story of a horse, Black Beauty. Black Beauty begins his life in a loving home. But when his owners have to sell him, his fortune changes. As Black Beauty moves from home to home and job to job, he often suffers bad treatment and living conditions. But Black Beauty still dreams of the happy life he had as a young foal.

Mr Football

Mr Football

Janet Olearski

Gary is fifteen and he wants to become a professional footballer, just like his dad.  When three students from Gary’s school get the opportunity to win a place in Crossbridge Football Academy, Gary automatically thinks he will be one of them. But things aren’t always as simple as they seem...

Princess on the Run

Princess on the Run

Paul Davenport

King Alexander wants his daughter, Princess Priscilla, to marry his best friend, Lord Huntingdon. But the princess has other plans. She is in love with Toby, a young and handsome servant at the Royal Palace. Priscilla and Toby decide to run away together, but life on the run is not what the princess expected.

Next Door

Next Door

Robert Campbell

When a new family with a twin brother and sister move next door to Eoin, strange things start to happen. The kids at school make fun of the twins and say that they are from another planet. But Eoin decides to find out where they really come from.

Huckleberry Finn

Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain

Adapted by Jennifer Gascoigne

Huckleberry Finn has a hard life with his father until an adventure with Tom Sawyer changes everything. But when Huck’s dad returns and kidnaps him, he decides to escape with runaway slave Jim. Life on the run is not easy and Huck and Jim get into lots of trouble. Will Tom arrive in time to help Huck save Jim from slavery? And what will happen to Huck when his father finds him?

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Lewis Carroll

Adapted by Jennifer Gascoigne

It is a hot afternoon and Alice is bored. She follows a White Rabbit down a rabbit hole and arrives in a strange place called Wonderland. Here nothing is as it seems: animals can talk, cakes and drinks can make you bigger and smaller and the Queen of Hearts can cut off your head. Can Alice find her way home again?

The Time Capsule

The Time Capsule

Robert Campbell

Jan makes a time capsule for her History project and buries it beside the apple tree in her garden. Then one night during a terrible storm something strange happens. Jan travels through time. Is she in the future? Or is she in the past? And how can she get back to the present?

 

A New Home 4 Socks

A New Home 4 Socks

Antoinette Moses

When Penny moves from her home in the village to a new house in the city she has to leave her friends and pet dog behind. One day, after school, Penny finds a little puppy in the park. He is small and dirty and very frightened. Penny calls him Socks. But Penny’s new house is small and Socks can’t stay with her. Can Penny find a new home for Socks?

Twins

Twins

Janet Olearski

Tim is determined to win the Arkwright Student of the Year award and take his mother on the first prize trip to Disneyland Paris. He starts a Keep Arkwright Tidy campaign and everything is looking good. However, one day Tim and his friend William get into trouble in the park. How can Tim win the prize now? Maybe he can blame his mystery twin brother...

PeterPan

PeterPan

M. Barrie

Adapted by Geraldine Sweeney

Peter Pan visits the nursery of the Darling children, Wendy, John and Michael, every night when they are sleeping. One night they wake up and Peter teaches them to fly. Together they fly off to Never-Never Land where they find the Lost Boys, mermaids, Indians and pirates. However, the leader of the pirates, the terrible Captain Hook, wants to kill Peter and capture the children. Can they defeat him and return home to their parents in London?

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Adapted by Geraldine Sweeney

When Mary Lennox’s parents die in India, she moves to England to live in her uncle’s enormous manor. Mary is sad and lonely but one day she finds an old key to a secret garden that no one goes into and a whole new world of magic and enchantment opens up to her. Before long Mary learns to make friends for the first time. Can the garden bring back the love that is missing from her life?

White fang

White fang

Jack London

Adapted by David A. Hill

White Fang is born part-dog, part-wolf, in the cold and snowy Northland of Alaska. He soon learns the laws of nature and before long he and his mother, Kiche, are fighting for survival. One day a native American, Gray Beaver, recognises Kiche and soon the mother and cub become his property. White Fang learns that men have laws, too, that can be both fair and cruel. But will White Fang ever learn to trust or love men?

Stubs Grows Up

Stubs Grows Up

Paul Davenport

Fifteen-year-old Jay Stone is goodlooking,  athletic and he has got lots of friends. There’s just one problem. Jay’s legs are short, so short that the other kids call him ‘Stubs’. When Jay gets a surprise place on the school’s American Football team, some of the older members decide to teach him a lesson. Can Jay ignore their comments about his legs and keep the place on the team?

Hollys New Friend

Hollys New Friend

Martyn Hobbs

Holly’s mum and dad spend all their time working and her sister is always in her room. Holly is sad and lonely. Then she has a great idea: she can get a new friend. Can Holly and her friends convince her mum, dad and sister to let her get a dog?

 

Ricky's Big Idea

Ricky's Big Idea

Martyn Hobbs

Ricky has a big idea: he wants to make his own reality TV programme. He buys a series of small video cameras and he secretly films his family and friends. But when he looks at the footage it is al very boring. So Ricky decides to make his video more interesting. Soon strange things are happening both at Ricky’s home and school. But Ricky’s friends aren’t very happy. Can Ricky be a good friend and become a director?

David and the Black Corsair

David and the Black Corsair

Martyn Hobbs

It’s not a good day for David. It’s his mum’s birthday, but she rushes out without seeing his presents. It’s raining and he falls and hurts himself on his way into school. The lessons are either impossible or boring and he left his lunch at home. He feels very sorry for himself. Daniel the Black Corsair is feeling sorry for himself, too. He’s lost and lonely and far from home. Can David and Daniel feel happy again?

The Anti-Bully Squad-1

The Anti-Bully Squad-1

Rick Sampedro

When a pair of bullies hurt Arjun, the youngest boy in class, Tom, Ziggy and Tara decide that it is time to do something. They set up the Anti-bully Squad, but they soon discover that the bullies are prepared to do anything to get their own way. Can they find a way to stop the bullies before it is too late?

Little Women

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott

Adapted by Jennifer Gascoigne

This is the much-loved story of the four March sisters. Meg is the eldest and is about to fall in love. Then there’s tomboy Jo, who wants to be a writer. Kind Beth, who always puts other people before herself, and finally there’s Amy, the youngest and most precocious. Although times are difficult and their father is away at war, they never forget their sense of fun. Growing up is not always easy, but it is very rewarding.

Treasure Island

Treasure Island

Robert Louis Stevenson

Adapted by David A. Hill 

When the terrible pirate Bill Bones dies, young Jim Hawkins is left with the key to a fortune: the long-lost map of Treasure Island. Jim sets off on an incredible adventure with his trusted friends to find the hidden treasure. They do not realize that their crew is made up of pirates and their leader is the most infamous and cruel pirate of them all... Long John Silver. Will Jim and his friends outwit the pirates and get the treasure?

The Fisherman and his Soul

The Fisherman and his Soul

Oscar Wilde

Adapted by Frances Mariani

 When the Fisherman catches a beautiful mermaid in his nets he falls in love with her. He wants to marry her but first he must send away his Soul. How can he send away his Soul? And can his body and Soul live apart? Find out in this beautiful story about the nature of love.

Jack Endless Summer

Jack Endless Summer

Martyn Hobbs

It’s summer and it’s too hot to do anything. Jack doesn’t know what to do. He goes to the park, he goes to the pool, he meets his friends. This summer is really boring. Then one evening some boys hurt a hawk. Jack is the only person who can help. Suddenly Jack’s summer isn’t boring any more.

Grace, Romeo, Juliet and Fred

Grace, Romeo, Juliet and Fred

Martyn Hobbs

Grace is always good at everything. She is good at the piano. She is good at the violin. She is good at most of her subjects at school. And she is a great actor and dancer, too. But at the moment, Grace can’t do anything well. Why can’t she do her homework and learn the lines for the play? Is she in love? Only David can help her.

Zadie’s last race

Zadie’s last race

Martyn Hobbs

Zadie lives for sport. From football to running, it’s the biggest thing in her life.  Zadie is preparing for a big race – a race she really wants to win. But one evening, while she is out training, she is involved in an accident – and she finds herself in a race of life and death. Will she win the biggest race of her life?

The Prince and the Pauper

The Prince and the Pauper

Mark Twain

Adapted by Alex McLeod

A prince and a poor boy meet. They look very similar and become friends. They want to understand each other’s lives so they exchange clothes. But the boys’ game soon becomes a reality. No one knows who is the prince and who is the pauper. Can Prince Edward and Tom Canty ever go back to their normal lives?

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Adapted by Nicole Harrick

When Matthew and Marilla decide to adopt a child to help them at their farm, Green Gables, they specifically ask for a boy. But when Matthew goes to Bright River Station to collect the child, he gets a shock What do Matthew and Marilla decide to do? Do they keep the child? This child is certainly very different.

Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist

Charles Dickens

Adapted by Janet Olearski

Born in a workhouse, the little orphan Oliver Twist survives with little food or love. He runs away to London and finds a place to stay with Fagin and his ‘family’. But Oliver soon realizes that Fagin wants him to become a thief and he tries to run away. Can Oliver escape a life of crime? Who is the mysterious Monks? And what is his connection with Oliver?

Dan and the Village Fete

Dan and the Village Fete

Richard MacAndrew

It’s the day of the Steeple Compton village fête and everyone is happy. Everyone except Sue Barrington, the new girl in town. Sue’s friend Dan is worried. Dan finds out that someone called Nemesis is bullying Sue and he decides to help. Who can Nemesis be? And why does he or she want to hurt Sue? Only Dan the detective and his dog Dylan can find out.

The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Graham

Adapted by Geraldine Sweeney

Recording in British English When Mole wakes up after winter he meets friendly Rat and wise Badger. Together the three friends start on a series of adventures as they try to keep the not-so-clever Toad out of trouble. Can Toad’s friends help him? Find out in this classic story of adventure and friendship.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood

Howard Pyle

Adapted by Scott Lauder & Walter McGregor

The Sheriff of Nottingham is Robin Hood’s greatest enemy. He hates Robin because Robin is an outlaw. But most of all, the sheriff hates Robin because everyone else loves him. Does the Sheriff of Nottingham catch Robin Hood and his Merry Men? Do they remain outlaws forever? Or does the good King Richard save them?

Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift

Adapted by Beverley Young

Lemuel Gulliver travels the world as a ship’s doctor. Each of his journeys brings Gulliver to strange lands with even stranger inhabitants. People smaller than his thumb and giants that can crush him as they walk. Islands floating in the sky and places where horses are more civilized than humans. Gulliver soon learns that there are many different ways of living, and that what we accept to be good is not always the only alternative.

Ricky and the American

Ricky and the American

Martyn Hobbs

Ricky is a bit of a genius at school. He never thinks of anything except maths and computers. That is, until he meets Alexis, a beautiful American girl visiting his town. Is Ricky a genius in love, too?

 

Holly the Eco Warrior

Holly the Eco Warrior

Martyn Hobbs

Holly’s favourite place is the tree house in the old oak tree in her garden. When her father decides to cut down the tree to build an office, she starts an unusual protest and moves out of her home and into the tree house. Who will win the battle of the tree?

Dan and the Island Mystery

Dan and the Island Mystery

Richard MacAndrew

Dan and Sue are on holiday in Bute, a quiet island off the west coast of Scotland. One evening, when they are out walking with their dogs, they notice some men putting boxes on a boat. What’s in the boxes? Why are they putting them in the boat? And where’s the boat going?

THE RAILWAY CHILDREN

THE RAILWAY CHILDREN

Edith Nesbit

Adapted by Jennifer Gascoigne

Recording in British English

Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis live happily in London with their parents. One day their father is taken to prison and the children move to the countryside with their mother to make a new life. There isn’t much money and the children are worried about their father. They spend a lot of time by the railway watching and waving at the trains that go to London. A nice old gentleman waves back and Bobbie has an idea. Find out in this fun story full of love and hope.

The Boscombe Valley Mystery

The Boscombe Valley Mystery

Arthur Conan Doyle

Adapted by Geraldine Sweeney

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are in the Boscombe Valley to investigate a murder. James McCarthy’s father is found dead by the Boscombe Valley Pool and many people think that that James McCarthy is the murderer. But there is one person who believes that James McCarthy is innocent. Can Sherlock Holmes help solve another mystery? Can he find the real murderer?

Anne Grows Up

Anne Grows Up

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Adapted by Nicole Harrick

As Anne grows up, Matthew and Marilla become even more glad that Anne came to Green Gables. Of course Anne still makes mistakes and has a vivid imagination, but she learns from her mistakes and uses her imagination to help her in life and in her studies. Follow Anne as she grows up into a fun-loving, clever, young woman.

Dan and the Hong Kong Mystery

Dan and the Hong Kong Mystery

Richard MacAndrew

Dan and Sue are on holiday in Hong Kong, visiting Sue’s grandparents. While they are sightseeing they notice an ivory shop and Dan goes in to ask some questions. Later they see some men going into the same shop with a bag. What’s in the bag? Why are they going in and out of the shop with bags?

Dan and the Stolen Bikes

Dan and the Stolen Bikes

Richard MacAndrew

When Sue’s bike is stolen one evening in Oxford, Dan decides to do something. He starts Oxford Bike Finders and soon lots of people are contacting Dan on the Internet with information. Then one day, one of Dan’s followers sees a bike being stolen and Dan and Sue decide to follow the thieves. What happens when they find the thieves, and can they get Sue’s bike back?

Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe

Daniel Defoe

Adapted by Jennifer Gascoigne

Robinson Crusoe looked for adventure from an early age. He preferred life at sea and travelling to new places to an easy life at home. Then on one journey he was shipwrecked and forced to make his home on a desert island, alone. Robinson has a choice. He can give up all hope or fight to survive. What will Robinson decide and will he ever be able to escape from the island and return home to England?

What Katy Did

What Katy Did

Susan Coolidge

Adapted by Geraldine Sweeney

Katy Carr likes running around. She wants to set a good example to her five brothers and sisters but she is always untidy and forgetful. She also dreams of being grown up and famous. Then, one terrible day all her dreams seem to come to an end. Katy feels very sorry for herself until Cousin Helen comes to stay and she teaches Katy an invaluable lesson. Will Katy be able to learn from her situation and become the Katy everyone knows and loves again?

Dan in London

Dan in London

Richard MacAndrew

Dan and Sue are in London with their parents when they see two men acting in a very strange way outside their hotel.

They decide to follow them and find out that the men are stealing handbags. What happens when the men discover that Dan and Sue know their secret? And what can their parents do to help? Join Dan and Sue in London and find out.

Five Children and It

Five Children and It

Edith Nesbit

Adapted by Jennifer Gascoigne

One day four children find a fairy while they are playing in the sand near their house. The sand fairy is very old and ‘It’ isn’t very friendly. The children ask it to give them wishes. It agrees, but says they can have only one wish a day. The children make wishes without thinking and sometimes the consequences are not very good. Read about the children’s magical adventures with It and find out how they learn from their mistakes.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle

Adapted by Geraldine Sweeney

Follow Sherlock Holmes in two different and exciting investigations The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle and The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet both about the theft of precious jewels. Sherlock Holmes works together with Dr Watson to stop the wrong people being arrested for the crimes. How does Sherlock Holmes find out where the Blue Carbuncle is hidden and who really steals the Beryl Coronet?

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Adapted by Donatella Velluti 

Uncle Tom is a good slave but his kind master, Mr Shelby, is in debt. He must sell his farm or Tom to pay his debts. He sells Tom to a slave trader. So Tom has to leave his wife and children and the  happy community of slaves on the farm

Follow Tom on an emotional journey through the terrible reality of slavery and racial prejudice. Who will Tom meet on the way and will he manage to survive all the suffering?

Wonderful Wizard of OZ

Wonderful Wizard of OZ

Frank Baum

Adapted by Jennifer Gascoigne

Dorothy thinks she is lost when a terrible cyclone carries her and her dog Toto to the magical Land of Oz. So she decides to go to the Emerald City and ask the Wizard of Oz to help her go home again. On the way she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion who all have a special wish to ask the Wizard. Will the Wizard make their wishes come true? And will Dorothy find her way home?

Hound of the Baskervilles

Hound of the Baskervilles

Arthur Conan Doyle

Adapted by Geraldine Sweeney

Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead with the footprints of a huge dog beside his body. Everyone thinks that the hound of the Baskervilles, the terrible dog that has cursed the Baskerville family for centuries, is to blame. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson go to investigate the murder. Will they find the murderer before the last surviving member of the family is killed?

King Arthur

King Arthur

Howard Pyle

Adapted by Scott Lauder & Walter McGregor 

Britain is a sad and dangerous place. The kingdom needs a true and good king. One day Arthur comes to the cathedral and pulls the sword from the stone. Only the true King of England can do this. From that day Arthur becomes King Arthur. Follow the adventures of King Arthur, Merlin, the Knights of the Round Table, Lady Guinevere and Sir Lancelot and decide for yourselves if you think the legend is real or not.

Happy Prince

Happy Prince

Oscar Wilde

Adapted by Maria Cleary

In The Happy Prince a little swallow stops on its journey towards the sun and helps a big-hearted Prince to bring happiness to his people. In The Nightingale and the Rose a songbird understands more about love than a man does.

Dan and the Missing Dogs

Dan and the Missing Dogs

Richard MacAndrew

When Mrs Jackson’s pet dog Basil goes missing, Dan Parks realizes immediately that something strange is going on. Then when he sees thieves taking his best friend Sue’s dog, Charlie, he knows that there is definitely a mystery to be solved. Who is taking the dogs and can Dan and Dylan save them before it is too late?

Dolittle

Dolittle

Hugh Lofting

Adapted by Jennifer Gascoigne

Recording in British English

Doctor Dolittle is a kind country doctor who lives with his friends Dab-Dab the duck, Jip the dog and Polynesia the parrot as well as lots of other animals. One day, he gets a message from the monkeys in Africa. There is a bad sickness and they want the doctor to go there and help them. Can Doctor Dolittle save the monkeys? Who are the Joliginki? And what is the pushmi-pullyu? Join Doctor Dolittle on his adventures and find out.

Yankee

Yankee

Mark Twain

Adapted by Scott Lauder & Walter McGregor

Hank Morgan is hit on the head in America in the late nineteenth century. When he wakes up, he is in sixth century England, during the time of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Here Hank Morgan uses his knowledge of the future to escape from a series of misadventures. But can he help the people of Britain improve their lives? And does he return to his own time?

Kim

Kim

Rudyard Kipling

Adapted by Janet Borsbey & Ruth Swan

Kim isn’t like the other British boys in India. He is wild and free and prefers the company of his Indian friends. Then one day a lama from Tibet arrives. He needs help to find the River of Arrows. Together Kim and the lama go an adventure around India, meeting strange and wonderful people along the way. Will the lama find the River of Arrows? What is Kim’s destiny? And what is the Great Game?

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