"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens, is part of a computerised reading program devised by journalist/author Dave McKay. The program, which paraphrases classic novels, primarily targets people who are learning English as a second language. It enables older students to quickly read classic novels despite having a very limited reading vocabulary. Each book has a number on the cover, showing how many different English words were used in McKay's translation of teh book.
When reading them in the proper order, readers will find that no book includes more than 100 new words (i.e. word not already learned from reading the previous titles). "A Tale of two Cities: uses 1700 different easy English words, and should follow on after completing "Huckleberry Finn", which uses an English vocabulary list of 1600 words.
Other titles include: The King's New Clothes (400 words), Jungle Book (500 words), Robinson Crusoe (700 words), The Invisible Man (900 words), Uncle Tom's Cabin (1050 words) Julius Caesar (1200 words), Merchant of Venice (1300 words).
This reading program has been used extensively in Kenya and India.