Edited by Jo Hathaway with Mark Irvine (Macmillan Literature Collections: Macmillan 2011)
Despite the increasing advances of technology and a whole exciting range of downloadable digital media for reading, the original paper book still seems to be holding its own and will continue to do so in the classroom for some time to come. As a result, readers are still worth recommending to students for extensive reading practice and for teachers to use as a base for classroom activities.
Within Macmillan’s ‘Literature Collections’, the collection ‘Adventure Stories’ contains five unadapted short stories by classic writers Jack London, Victor Hugo, Doris Lessing, Robert Louis Stevenson and H.E. Bates. Targeted at C2 level readers, the stories cover a variety of literary approaches to the genre of adventure and are supported by a wealth of language support for the reader. This includes a useful literary analysis section to examine themes, characterisation and plot for a greater understanding and appreciation of the stories.
My favourite story is To Build A Fire, by Jack London, which focuses on the still contemporary themes of the power of nature and the continuing struggle between humanity and nature as one man travels alone through the cold Canadian wilderness. Advanced students often ask teachers how they can make further progress with their English and the answer is usually to develop greater idiomatic fluency. Macmillan Literature Collections go a long way to helping such students achieve this.