We've added some great new articles and short stories to Read Listen Learn over the past week or so. There's a mixture of fiction and non-fiction titles including a classic ghost story and the history of the 'number' zero.
They're all available free so why not take a look...
It is hard for us to imagine what life was like before we had the number zero. Numbers were very long and extremely difficult to multiply. Imagine this sum, for example: DCCCLXXVII x MMCCLXIX in Roman numbers. Imagine that you could not use 0 to write 1,000,001. But zero was also thought to be the work of the Devil, because it meant ‘nothing’ and it was impossible to show nothing
In this short article, you can read about modern day piracy in the sea around Somalia and learn about the pirates of hundreds, even thousands, of years ago. Julius Caesar was taken prisoner by pirates in Roman times and robbery at sea has continued till the present day. We still love to watch films about pirates which show us a romantic life of adventure but life was very different if you lived on those ships.
Guy de Maupassant is France’s greatest writer of short stories and this is one of his most powerful. It is about an old woman whose son is killed and who promises him that she will get revenge. But how can she? She is old and cannot fight a young murderer. But then she has a terrible and very clever idea.
The Venus Fly Trap is a favourite plant among school boys because it catches and eats insects in its powerful ‘jaws’. As the insect moves around inside, its prison becomes more tightly locked. It cannot escape. In fact, many adults buy this plant to keep in their homes too. But why did this plant develop? What were its origins? And where can we find it? If it grew big enough, could it eat human beings?
This is one of the most popular ghost stories of all time. It tells the tale of a very old lady and the young girl who is paid to sit and watch her, get her food and drink and make sure she is happy. But the old lady is starting to lose her mind and, in her madness, she tells a terrible secret from her past.
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English stories and articles for reading and listening practice
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