Book Focus: The Prince and the Pauper – Pontes Books White Version (and Pink Version)

We understand that there are many different options to choose from when it comes to the Pontes Books versions of The Prince and the Pauper. For that reason, we are going to spotlight the different versions in this and upcoming blog posts. For a brief overview of the different versions, see our previous blog post. Today we are focusing on the white version (and the pink version).

What is the white version?

The white version of the story is probably the farthest from the original version because there are three modifications that have been applied to it. First of all, the vocabulary has been simplified. Secondly, the sentence structure has been simplified. Lastly, the amount of text has been cut roughly in half. However, the overall story, the content on each page, the content in each chapter, and the page numbers are still the same as the original Twain story.

So what does that look like? And why does it help?

Original Twain Version (Red Version)

In the ancient city of London, on a certain autumn day in the second quarter of the sixteenth century, a boy was born to a poor family of the name of Canty, who did not want him. On the same day another English child was born to a rich family of the name of Tudor, who did want him. All England wanted him too. England had so longed for him, and hoped for him, and prayed God for him, that, now that he was really come, the people went nearly mad for joy. Mere acquaintances hugged and kissed each other and cried.

Word Count: 102

White Version

In London in 1537, a boy was born. He was a part of the Canty family, who were poor. His family did not want him. On the same day, another child was born in London. He was part of the Tudor family, who were rich. His family did want him. In fact, everyone in England wanted him.

Word Count: 57

Both of these passages were taken from the beginning of Chapter 1. The most obvious differences upon first glance is the length of the two passages. Extra details that are not essential to the plot of the story have been eliminated in the white version. Additionally, the wording has been simplified (just like the yellow and blue versions). The page numbers still remain the same because the words on the page of the white version have been double-spaced. This way, the content on each page remains the same and there are the same total number of pages in the white version as the other versions, even though the actual word count is lower.

So what is the pink version?

The pink version combines two books in one. It takes the original Mark Twain version (red version) and presents it side-by-side the white version. This is referred to as a parallel text. This allows readers to switch back and forth between the original version and the white version. Readers can challenge themselves by reading the original version and then using the white version if certain sections are confusing. Or they could read the white version first to get the general idea and then read the red version to get the full effect of the original language used. However it is important to note that it is not as easy to jump back and forth between the two sides in the pink version since about half the words have been elimnated in the white version.

If you have any questions, contact us at admin@pontesbooks.com.

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