Miniature masterpieces

BBC R4 Open Book
Romeo and Juliet
The Great Gatsby
Pride and Prejudice
Journey to the West

Real Reads are retellings of great literature from around the world, each fitted into a 64-page book. Our books make classic stories, dramas and histories available to intelligent young readers as a bridge to the full texts, to language students wanting access to other cultures, and to adult readers who are unlikely ever to read the original versions.

Real classics

The world’s greatest literature, from William Shakespeare to Scott Fitzgerald, from Jane Austen to the Ramayana, from the New Testament to the Chinese classic Journey to the West, all made accessible through masterful retellings. Each Real Read reflects the depth and power of the original story, and retains much of the author’s vocabulary, style and tone.

Really accessible

Real Reads bring great books to a wider readership, while always honouring the context and structure of the original.

Really well illustrated

Illustrators are carefully chosen for their ability to convey the mood of the original text. The wonderful pictures, always historically accurate and laid out to complement the text, enhance the reader’s understanding and enjoyment.

Real books

Real Reads are section-sewn so they won’t fall apart with regular reading. They are printed on heavyweight paper with board covers and an elegant dustwrapper. Real Reads are a joy to handle, works of art in their own right.


Real Reads embody cultural values and traditions from around the world. They foster cross-cultural understanding and help the reader connect with the world’s most important literature and history. Each book has a section called ‘Taking things further’ which provides historical and human context, suggests links to useful resources, and asks the reader challenging and insightful questions relating to the story.

A real success

Since the launch of Real Reads in 2007 more than 280,000 copies have been bought in the Real Reads English-language editions. As well as the original editions, Real Reads are also available in licensed editions in India, China, Germany, Taiwan, Canada, Greece, Iceland, Korea, Colombia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine …

If you are a publisher interested in Real Reads rights for your country, email us –

Real Reads hit North America!

In conjunction with our energetic new distribution partners, IPM in the USA and Login in Canada, Real Reads is embarking on an ambitious programme of North American classics to add to the Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe and Herman Melville titles which are already firm favourites.

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