"Penguin Readers" is a series of simplified novels, film novelizations and original titles that introduce students at all levels to the pleasures of reading in English. Originally designed for teaching English as a foreign language, the series' combination of high interest level and low reading age makes it suitable for both English-speaking teenagers with limited reading skills and students of English as a second language. Many titles in the series also provide access to the pre-20th century literature strands of the National Curriculum English Orders. "Penguin Readers" are graded at seven levels of difficulty, from "Easystarts" with a 200-word vocabulary, to Level 6 (Advanced) with a 3000-word vocabulary. In addition, titles fall into one of three sub-categories: "Contemporary", "Classics" or "Originals". At the end of each book there is a section of enjoyable exercises focusing on vocabulary building, comprehension, discussion and writing. Some titles in the series are available with an accompanying audio cassette, or in a book and cassette pack. Additionally, selected titles have free accompanying "Penguin Readers Factsheets" which provide stimulating exercise material for students, as well as suggestions for teachers on how to exploit the Readers in class.
Ishmael Chambers, the one-man staff of the newspaper on San Piedro Island in Puget Sound, is covering the 1954 trial of a high school classmate accused of killing another classmate over a land dispute. Actor Peter Marinker--a stage veteran who has appeared in such movies as The Russia House and The Emerald Forest--takes us deep inside the world created by David Guterson in his award-winning 1994 novel. We learn the sensory details of life in a small fishing community; the emotional lives of people scarred inside and out by World War II; and the deep and unresolved prejudices toward the island's Japanese Americans, who were interned during the war--a tragedy that led to financial advantage for some islanders. Marinker deliberately but nimbly moves from the characters' distinctive voices to the poignant interior perspectives of the soulful, wounded Chambers as he tells a combination love story, murder mystery, and painful history lesson. (Running time: 15 hours, 10 cassettes) --Lou Schuler
Read by B.D. Wong
Three CDs, 3 Hours
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award
American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award
San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man's guilt. For on San Pedro, memory grows as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries--memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo's wife; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched. Gripping, tragic, and densely atmospheric, Snow Falling on Cedars is a masterpiece of suspense-- one that leaves us shaken and changed.
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