What's new
Which reader is correct for your student?

  • Earlyreads

    The EARLYREADS series is aimed at children from four to twelve years old and contains original stories and traditional favourites, as well as some cultural readers, graded over five levels. All the readers can be easily dramatised. The most recent titles are accompanied by playscripts which can be downloaded free from our website.

    Grading of Earlyreads

    Earlyreads are graded according to their subject matter and by structural and lexical criteria: the maximum number of headwords for level 1 is 100 headwords, for level 2 it is 150, 200 at level 3, 250 at level 4 and 300 at level 5. Level 5 represents a good elementary ability (full competence at level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference). The chart below shows the major structures used at each level. For a complete explanation of the grading criteria used, see The Black Cat Guide to Graded Readers.

    Level 1

    to be & have got, Present Simple, Imperatives

    Level 2

    Present Continuous, can/can’t

    Level 3

    must/mustn’t, shall in interrogatives, would/wouldn’t like

    Level 4

    going to for future reference, Comparison of adjectives & adverbs

    Level 5

    Past Simple of to be & common verbs, will for future reference

    Green Apple

    GREEN APPLE is a series of lavishly illustrated graded readers especially designed for young teenagers. Many of the readers are adaptations of classic stories, but there are also some original stories and non-fiction readers. The readers are graded into three levels – Starter, Step 1 and Step 2 – according to structural and lexical criteria, as well as the suitability of the subject matter for the different age groups. The lexis contained in the readers is checked against the vocabulary lists specified for the Cambridge ESOL exams; Flyers and KET for the readers at Starter and Step 1 levels and PET for those at Step 2.

    Green Apple Structural Grading

    The full lists of the grammatical structures for each level can be found at our website (www.blackcat cideb.com), in The Black Cat Guide to Graded Readers, and at the back of new editions of Green Apple readers. The list below shows the main structures only.


    Present Simple & Continuous, Future reference with Present Continuous & Simple, & going to, Imperative with 2nd person & let’s, Infinitives & gerunds after common verbs, Co-ordination with but, and, or & and then, Subordination with because & when, Quantifiers

    Step 1

    Past Simple & Continuous, Future reference with will, Passive forms in Present & Past Simple, Subordination with if (zero & 1st conditionals), Defining relative clauses with who & where, Comparison of regular & irregular adjectives, Formation of regular & irregular adverbs

    Step 2

    Present Perfect Simple with ever, never, yet, already,, still, just, for, since, Verb + object + infinitive (e.g. I want you to go), Defining relative clauses with which, that & zero pronoun, Clauses of time with when, while, until, before, after, & as soon as, Clause of purpose: (in order) to, Comparison of regular & irregular adverbs

    Reading & Training

    The READING & TRAINING series consists of beautifully illustrated graded readers, aimed at teenagers and adults. The majority of the books are adapted classics, but there are also some original stories – especially at lower levels – and the occasional nonfiction reader. The readers are graded into six levels according to internationally recognised criteria for structural grading. READING SHAKESPEARE is a series dedicated to the works of Shakespeare. These readers may also contain activities related to staging the plays.

    Reading & Training Structural Grading

    The full lists of the grammatical structures for each level can be found at our website (www.blackcat-cideb.com), in The Black Cat Guide to Graded Readers, and at the back of new editions of Reading & Training readers. The list below shows the main structures only.

    Step 1

    Present Simple & Continuous – Past Simple & Continuous – Future reference with Present Continuous & Simple, going to & will – Present Perfect Simple with ever & never – Imperative with 2nd person & let’s – Infinitives & gerunds after common verbs – Co-ordination with but, and, or & and then – Subordination with because, when, if & zero conditionals – Defining relative clauses with who, which, that, zero pronoun & where – Quantifiers – Comparison of regular & irregular adjectives & adverbs

    Step 2

    Present Perfect Simple with yet, already, still & just – Past Perfect Simple in reported, speech – Passive forms with going to & will – Verb + object + infinitive (e.g. I want you to go) – Reported statements with say & tell – Time clauses introduced by when, while, until, before, after & as soon as – Clauses of purpose: so that; (in order) to

    Step 3

    Present Perfect Simple with for & since – Past Perfect Simple for narrative – Causative: have/get + object + past participle – Reported questions and requests/orders with ask & tell – 2nd Conditional: if + past, … would(n’t) – Zero, 1st and 2nd conditionals with unless – Non-defining relative clauses with who & where – Clauses of result with so, so… that & such… that – Clauses of concession with although & though – Clauses of comparison with (not) as/so… as; (not)… enough to; too… to

    Step 4

    Present Perfect Simple with the first/second/etc. time that … – Present Perfect Continuous with for & since – Passive forms with the Present Perfect Simple – Reported speech with precise reporting verbs (e.g. suggest, promise, apologise, etc.) – 3rd Conditional: if + past perfect, … would(n’t) have – All conditionals with may &
    might – Non-defining relative clauses with which & whose – Clauses of concession with even though, in spite of & despite

    Step 5

    Present Perfect Simple for negative duration (haven’t… for ages) – Present Perfect Continuous for recent activities leading to present situation – Past Perfect Continuous – Passive forms with Past Perfect Simple & with unrestricted use of modal verbs – Reported speech introduced by more examples of precise reporting verbs (e.g. threaten, insist, complain) – Wish, if only & it’s time + past tense – Mixed conditional sentences – Complex sentences with more than one subordinate clause

    Step 6

    Future reference with Future Continuous & Future Perfect – Passive (all tenses) in continuous forms – Wish & if only + would or past perfect – Inversion of had in 2nd and 3rd conditional sentences without if – Inversion of word order after initial negative adverbs (No sooner…; Hardly…; etc.) – Non-finite -ing clauses – Complex sentences with no restriction on number of subordinate clauses


    Reading & Training Discovery is a series of factual readers. It is designed for teenagers, young adults and adults who, through reading about subjects of interest, can improve their English and broaden their knowledge at the same time. The series will cover a range of interesting subject matter, from famous

    people to places such as cities, countries and natural wonders. These readers use Black Cat’s expansive reading approach. The dossiers, activities and internet projects enable the reader to expand his/her knowledge and understanding beyond the information provided by the text. The Discovery series is graded
    grammatically and lexically according to the levels in the Reading & Training series and for 2011 there are titles available at Steps One to Three.

    Reading Classics

    This series of 19th- and 20th-century classics from the world of British and American literature is edited by Paolo Bertinetti, Dean of the Faculty of Modern Languages at the University of Turin. READING CLASSICS are aimed specifically at non-native speakers of English who wish to improve their language skills by analysing major novels, short stories and plays. Each volume guides the reader towards comprehension and appreciation of the literary work.

    These classics are leveled as Upper intermediate and above,  C1/C2 (Exam level: CAE and CPE Effective and Mastery)

    Interact with Literature

    INTERACT WITH LITERATURE offers a wide range of original literary texts from intermediate level upwards (unabridged short stories or extracts from novels, as well as complete unabridged plays) from English-speaking countries, designed to introduce students to the world of literature. The aim of these volumes is to familiarise readers with the language of literature and encourage them to formulate their own response to what they read. Each volume concentrates on a particular theme, genre or literary


    These books are leveled as Intermediate B2 Vantage (Exam level: FCE
    and above C1 Effective and Mastery)