NEW PRODUCT COMING SOON: Animal Farm – Pontes Books Versions

We are THRILLED to announce the release of our second set of novel versions! For our second novel set, we decided to go with Animal Farm by George Orwell.

George Orwell’s timeless allegory can be experienced at multiple levels: on one hand, it tells the story of animals working together with (and against) each other on a small farm in England; on the other hand it showcases the dangerous way key players of the Russian Revolution abused their power. Regardless of which interpretation of the story you choose to focus on, Animal Farm is a cautionary tale with lasting themes which continue to be relevant in a modern-day context.

The Pontes Books versions of Animal Farm make it possible to experience the book in a variety of new ways. With several different versions of the novel available, any reader can find just the right fit.

When will they be available?

The countdown is on! These books will be available on June 1st!

How many versions will be available?

The different levels are as follows:

  • Red (Original Story)– the text in the original author’s words only
  • Yellow (Bridge Version) – contains simplified vocabulary
  • White (Bridge Version) – simplified vocabulary, sentence structure, and shortened by half

In addition to the original and three bridge versions, one thing that is truly unique about Pontes Books is that these books are also offered in parallel text format: the original Orwell version presented side-by-side with one of the bridge versions. This allows any reader to be exposed to the artful language and complex writing of the original author, while still having the support of a bridge version to clarify any confusion.

  • Orange – original (red) version side-by side with the yellow bridge version
  • Pink – original (red) version side-by side with the yellow bridge version

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The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Fifteen – Current Event

Young people are capable of amazing things. We see many examples of this in The Prince and the Pauper when we see both Tom and Edward making mature decisions to help make others’ lives better. But there are many young people in the real world who are also doing impressive things to make a difference in the world. For today’s Current Event we explore the story of one of these young people…

José Adolfo Quisocala

Keep reading or watch the video below to find out about his impressive accomplishments.

Reference in The Prince and the Pauper

“A low buzz of admiration swept through the assemblage. It was not admiration of the decree that had been delivered by Tom, for the propriety or expediency of pardoning a convicted poisoner was a thing which few there would have felt justified in either admitting or admiring—no, the admiration was for the intelligence
and spirit which Tom had displayed.” (p. 92)

José Adolfo Quisocala

  • Banker from Peru
  • Founded the Bartselana student bank
  • Encourages children to save money
  • Offers customers cash for recycling plastic waste

What inspired him to be a banker?

By the time he was 7 years old, José decided he wanted to be a banker. He found his inspiration around him. One of the things that motivated him was seeing his peers skip lunch because they had spent their money on sweets or football cards. One of the other things was all the poverty he saw among children around him.

Information about his banks

  • Bartselana student bank
  • Has more than 2000 clients ages 10-18
  • Children can withdraw from several banks
  • They can monitor balances online
  • Helps them set savings goals
  • They have to reach these goals in order to withdraw money
  • They can also get money for recycling

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The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Fifteen – Historical Tidbit

In Chapter 15, and beyond, in The Prince and the Pauper, Lord Hertford earns a specific title. This role allows him to be a personal advisor to Edward (actually Tom) for a good part of the story. Today’s Historical Tidbit is about the role of….


Keep reading or watch the video below to learn about the historical context of this role!

Shortly after Henry VIII dies, we find out that Lord Hertford is going to be given the title of Lord Protector, as seen in the quote below.

“…on that day, too, Hertford would be formally chosen to the grand office of Lord Protector…” (p. 86-87)

What is the Lord Protector?

The Lord Protector was originally used as a title for a person temporarily taking the place of a monarch if they were still a minor. In this role, they would basically act in the role of the king in all things but name. As seen in The Prince and the Pauper, a young king would not always know what to do or say in all situations relation to his kingdom, so an older expert would be extremely important in order to keep the kingdom running smoothly.

Did Edward VI have a Lord Protector in real life?

Yes! Edward Seymour, the first Duke of Somerset (also known as the earl of Hertford) was Edward’s Lord Protector. In the story he is mostly just referred to as Lord Hertford. His sister, Jane Seymour, was Henry VIII’s third wife and Edward’s mother.

He ended up being Lord Protector from 1547 to 1549. However, he was not great at his job. He was unpopular with many people. Ultimately in 1551, he was charged with treason, imprisoned, and was executed.

How the Role Changed

Probably the most well-known Lord Protector was Oliver Cromwell. His official title was the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. He was the head of state during the commonwealth. This was a period of time where England was a part of a Republic, not a monarchy.

This period of time is known as “The Protectorate” or sometimes “The Interregnum”. Oliver Cromwell died in 1658 and his son took over as Lord Protector for a short time. The monarchy was then restored in 1660.

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The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Fifteen – Vocabulary

The vocabulary word for The Prince and the Pauper Chapter 15 is a trait that many people look for in friends and companions. Someone with this trait can keep you constantly on your toes or rolling on the ground laughing. Today our vocab word for Chapter 15 is…


Keep reading or watch the video below see how the word ‘wit’ is used in The Prince and the Pauper.



(n) mental sharpness and inventiveness

Often associated with using words/ideas in a quick way to create humor




  • Old English
  • “wit, witt, gewit” meaning understanding, intellect, sense; knowledge, consciousness, conscience
  • related to Dutch “weet” and German “Witz”

Sentences/Additional Forms

  • Straightforward sentence: As the girl grew older, she developed a quick wit, which kept her parents on their toes.
  • Sentence from the chapter: “As soon as he could recover his wits he cried out…” (p. 90)
  • Other forms: witty (adj.), wittiness (n), wittily (adv), witticism (n)

Clever Witticisms

  1. I started out with nothing…I still have most of it.
  2. Some days you’re the dog, some days the hydrant
  3. It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
  4. Nostalgia isn’t what is used to be.
  5. I wish the buck stopped here. I could use a few.
  6. Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip round the sun.

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COMING SOON: Pontes Books Versions of a New Novel!

Good news! Within the next few weeks, Pontes Books will be releasing another set of novels! We’re not going to reveal the text’s name just yet…but we will give you a few hints:

  • This book is considered an allegory.
  • This book was published in the mid 1900s.
  • This book’s author was British.
  • This book contains many rebellious characters.
  • This book contains many power-hungry characters.

Can you guess what it is? Check back in soon to see the newest set of novels!

If you have any questions, contact us at

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The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Fourteen – Fun Fact

For many people living in the U.S., the idea of a funeral evokes a specific image in their minds. It usually involves attendees all in black and a somber tone. But does that image fit for cultures all around the world? Today our Fun Fact for Ch. 14 focuses on…


Keep reading or watch the video for an insight into colors worn during times of mourning around the world.

Reference in The Prince and the Pauper

“The room was filled with courtiers clothed in purple mantles—the mourning colour—and with noble servants of the monarch.” (p. 76)

This quote comes shortly after Henry VIII has passed away, so the people of the palace are wearing purple in order to mourn after his death. There is another mention of the color purple in this chapter as well, referring to Humphrey Marlow’s purple accessory.

Colors of Mourning


  • Guatemala – men and boys wear purple on Good Friday
  • Brazil – Catholics wear purple (alongside black); can be considered unlucky to wear purple if you aren’t attending a funeral
  • Thailand – defines sorrow; widows wear while mourning their spouse (others wear black)


  • Strongly associated with death and loss in the west
  • Believed to date back to Roman times
  • Victorian England – Queen Victoria mourned the death of her husband (Prince Albert) for 40 years
  • This inspired other widows to wear black for 1-2 years after the death of their husbands
  • In some countries, women wear black for the rest of their lives


  • Australia (indigenous) – widows wear white mourning caps called ‘kopis’ made from plaster (1 week – 6 months)
  • Eastern Asia – white mourning clothes represent purity and rebirth
  • Cambodia (Buddhism) – family of someone who dies wear white in mourning
  • France – deuil blanc meaning “white mourning”


  • China – symbolizes happiness; forbidden at funerals
  • South Africa – red as a color of mourning (representing bloodshed in Apartheid era)
  • Ghana – commonly reserved for immediate family members (others wear black)


  • Ancient Egypt – associated with eternal life and the all-powerful god Ra (whose flesh was believed to be formed from gold)


  • Papua New Guinea – women apply light, stone-colored clay to their skin after their husband’s death
    • Also wear necklaces with loops of grey, grass seeds; remove one each day

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The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Fourteen – Historical Tidbit

Chapter 14’s Historical Tidbit is in reference to a character who ends up becoming instrumental in Tom’s success at being a king. Today’s Historical Tidbit is about the role of….


Humphrey Marlow was Edward’s whipping boy. From Chapter 14 on, Humphrey helped Tom learn all about the people and customs of the palace, which helped him to survive as a king for as long as he did. Keep reading or watch the video below to learn about the historical context of this role!

When Tom first meets Humphrey, he is confused and later shocked to learn about the role that he plays within the palace. Below you will find a part of that conversation.

“‘Of a surety thou must remember me, my lord. I am thy whipping-boy.’
‘My whipping-boy?’
‘The same, your Grace. I am Humphrey—Humphrey Marlow.’
‘…None may visit the sacred person of the Prince of Wales with blows; wherefore, when he faulteth, ’tis I that take them; and meet it is and right, for that it is mine office and my livelihood.’” (p. 81-82)

What is a whipping boy?

1. a person who is made to bear the blame for another’s mistake; scapegoat.
2. (formerly) a boy educated along with and taking punishment in place of a young prince or nobleman.

Did Edward VI really have a whipping boy?

  • Barnaby Fitzpatrick
  • Sent as hostage by his father
  • Later became a baron
  • Some think this was a myth (their tutor wrote of beating Edward with a staff)

Whipping Boys, a myth?

  • Little contemporary evidence of whipping boys
  • Some historians think whipping boys are completely mythical
  • Others believe they were only for boy kings, not princes
  • Term possibly coined by Samuel Rowley (playwright)

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The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Fourteen – Vocabulary

The vocabulary word for The Prince and the Pauper Chapter 14 can be used for so many things. How hot or cold is it outside? What level of education have you received? How big are the angles in a triangle? Today our vocab word for Chapter 14 is…


Keep reading or watch the video below see how the word ‘degree’ is used in The Prince and the Pauper.



(n) the amount to which something is present



degrees in a circle
temperature degrees


  • “de” meaning down
  • “gradus” meaning a step

Sentences/Additional Forms

  • Straightforward sentence: To some degree, all people have likely lied at some point in their life.
  • Sentence from the chapter: “A secretary made report that forasmuch as the late King had provided in his will for conferring the ducal degree upon the Earl of Hertford…” (p. 79)
  • Other forms: degrees (n.)

Different Types of Degrees

  • Associate Degree – usually a two-year commitment at a community college, junior college, or technical school
  • Bachelor’s Degree – usually a four-year commitment at most public, private, and online colleges/universities
  • Master’s Degree – usually a commitment of 1-3 years
  • Doctoral Degree – also called a “terminal degree”

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NEW PRODUCT: The Prince and the Pauper – Pontes Books Yellow Version Audiobook Now Available

Whether you enjoy listening to audiobooks while following along in the actual book or listening to audiobooks exclusively while doing activities like driving or walking, you might be excited about our new product!

There is now an audiobook version available for the Pontes Books Yellow Version of The Prince and the Pauper!

Where can you find the audiobook?

You can find the audiobook in two places: Audible and Amazon (though both technically are through Audible).

Click here to view book on Audible

Click here to view book on Amazon

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The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Thirteen – Fun Fact

One of the worst feelings in the world is bending over and suddenly feeling your pants rip, or feeling a button pop off of your waistband. In many cases, it’s an easy fix. Just a few stitches can fix your problem. But sometimes the biggest obstacle comes right at the start of this process. Today our Fun Fact for Ch. 13 focuses on…


Keep reading or watch the video for tips on this infamously tricky process.

Reference in The Prince and the Pauper

“‘…Would thread were bread, seeing one getteth a year’s sufficiency for a farthing, and such a brave big needle without cost, for mere love. Now shall I have the demon’s own time to thread it!’

And so he had. He did as men have always done, and probably always will do, to the end of time—held the needle still, and tried to thrust the thread through the eye, which is the opposite of a woman’s way. Time and time again the thread missed the mark, going sometimes on one side of the needle, sometimes on the other, sometimes doubling up against the shaft; but he was patient, having been through these experiences before, when he was soldiering. He succeeded at last, and took up the garment that had lain waiting, meantime, across his lap, and began his work.” (p. 71)

How to Thread a Needle

According to the narrator, the “correct” way to thread a needle is to bring the needle to the thread, rather than the other way around. One website breaks that process down in what they call the 4-step “pinch the tip” method:

  1. Hold the thread between your thumb and index fingers
  2. Pinch down on the thread between your fingers (so you can barely see the tip of the thread)
  3. Push the eye of the needles onto the thread
  4. Push the needle between your fingertips

Other Helpful Tips

If that method doesn’t work for you, here are a few more tips to help you with threading a needle:

  • Use an eye magnifier
  • Put white behind the needle
  • Cut thread with sharp scissors
  • Cut thread at an angle
  • Stiffen thread with water, saliva, or beeswax
  • Use a needle threader
  • Use tweezers

Video Demonstration

A video shows yet another method that seems pretty simple!

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