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Best Easy French Books for Beginners

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The very best French books for learning French — our personal favourites.

best easy french books for beginners

Reading a book completely in French is a powerful way of improving French language learning process and something you should definitely add to your study routine. The immense sense of accomplishment you get from finishing a book in French — especially if you love reading — is an added bonus.

But finding good French books to read is difficult. Fortunately for you, we’ve hand-curated the best easy French books for beginners so you can dive straight in!

These picks are unique because while the grammar is simple and easy to follow, the stories are interesting and appropriate for adults.

Tips on using books to learn French

  1. Get a book that is also available in your native language: Having the direct translations side by side will cut out having to look up words or phrases online. It will dramatically speed up your ability to read and make the entire experience smoother and more enjoyable.
  2. Alternate reading for pleasure and reading to study: When reading for pleasure, try to read continuously — without looking up words or writing things down. Reading to study is the time to write down words and new phrases and add new vocab to your flashcards.
  3. Take notes with a notebook: The ultimate study combo is not having a laptop present. It’s ideal to only have your french book, English translation, and your notebook. You’ll be able to focus completely and not be distracted with a laptop. I am forever obsessed with Moleskine notebooks and these Japanese pens.
  4. Use Anki to add new vocab: Reading books is one of the best ways to expand your vocabulary. Anki is a free flashcard app that uses spaced repetition to help you learn vocab quickly. We’ve written an Anki guide for beginners and an Anki guide for advanced users.

Easy French Books for Beginners Overview

Preview
Le Petit Prince: French Edition
La Petite Fille De Monsieur Linh (Le Livre de Poche) (French Edition)
Asterix - La Fille de Vercingetorix - no. 38 (French Edition)
L'Etranger (French Edition)
Enquete Capitale + CD Audio MP3 (Decourtis) (Fiction (1)) (French Edition)
Title
Le Petit Prince
La Petite Fille De Monsieur Linh
Asterix - La Fille de Vercingetorix
L'Etranger
Enquête Capitale
Difficulty level (CEFR)*
A2 – B1
A2 – B1
A2 – B1
B1
A1
Genre
Children’s literature
Literary fiction
Comedy; Satire
Crime Fiction / Existential Fiction
Crime / Mystery
Star Rating
View on Amazon
View on Amazon
View on Amazon
Reviews
View on Amazon
View on Amazon
2,400 Reviews
1,457 Reviews
View on Amazon
Preview
Le Petit Prince: French Edition
Title
Le Petit Prince
Difficulty level (CEFR)*
A2 – B1
Genre
Children’s literature
Star Rating
View on Amazon
Reviews
View on Amazon
Preview
La Petite Fille De Monsieur Linh (Le Livre de Poche) (French Edition)
Title
La Petite Fille De Monsieur Linh
Difficulty level (CEFR)*
A2 – B1
Genre
Literary fiction
Star Rating
View on Amazon
Reviews
View on Amazon
Preview
Asterix - La Fille de Vercingetorix - no. 38 (French Edition)
Title
Asterix - La Fille de Vercingetorix
Difficulty level (CEFR)*
A2 – B1
Genre
Comedy; Satire
Star Rating
Reviews
2,400 Reviews
Preview
L'Etranger (French Edition)
Title
L'Etranger
Difficulty level (CEFR)*
B1
Genre
Crime Fiction / Existential Fiction
Star Rating
Reviews
1,457 Reviews
Preview
Enquete Capitale + CD Audio MP3 (Decourtis) (Fiction (1)) (French Edition)
Title
Enquête Capitale
Difficulty level (CEFR)*
A1
Genre
Crime / Mystery
Star Rating
View on Amazon
Reviews
View on Amazon

*Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) is an international standard for describing language ability. Read more about CEFR Levels

Le Petit Prince

French

English

  • Difficulty: Beginner – Intermediate | A2 – B1
  • Genre: Children’s literature

Le Petit Prince, written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, is a classic French children’s book. It’s included in most beginner level French curriculums — for a good reason. It’s one of the most widely read and best-known works of French literature in the world.

This famous book is a philosophical tale about the adventures of the eponymous Little Prince. The prince visits various planets and encounters many unique characters. The story includes themes of duality including the visible and the invisible, adult and child, love and friendship, space and time, happiness and sorrow, signs and meanings, and more.

La Petite Fille de Monsieur Linh

French

English

  • Difficulty: Beginner – Intermediate | A2 – B1
  • Genre: Literary fiction

La Petite Fille de Monsieur Linh, written by Philippe Claudel, is a touching short story about Mr. Linh, an elderly East-Asian refugee. His son and daughter-in-law were killed in his home country. He leaves his war-torn village taking his infant grandaughter for a better life in France. He is alone, isolated, and unable to speak the language, but forms an unexpected friendship with a widower, Mr. Bark.

This is a moving story about loneliness and friendships that can move through language barriers. Thanks to Claudel’s clear writing style, it’s grammar relatively simple, making it digestible for beginners learning French.

Astérix

French

English

  • Difficulty: Beginner – Intermediate | A2 – B1
  • Genre: Comedy; Satire

Astérix is one of the most well known French comic books, created over 60 years ago (1959)! Books have continued to be written to the — there are 38 series to date — with the last one being published in 2019. The Astérix comics have withstood the test of time because of its humorous takes on contemporary French society.

The series is set in 50 BC — shortly after the Roman conquest — in a small Gaulish village that continues the rebellion against the Romans. The main characters are the warrior Asterix and his best friend, a sculptor and deliveryman named Obelix.

L’Etranger

French

English

  • Difficulty: Intermediate | B1
  • Genre: Crime Fiction / Existential Fiction

L’Etranger is an existential philosophical novel by Albert Camus. It’s one of those books where people debate whether the appropriate reading level is truly intermediate. The beauty of the book is that the writing and grammar are simple enough to be grasped by an intermediate French learner.

But as an advanced learner, you will understand the book at a deeper level. It’s a book worth coming back to as you advance in your learning.

It is written in the theme of Camus’s own philosophy — Absurdism — a philosophical concept that refers to the human tendency to look for meaning and purpose in life, and the inability of finding it in a chaotic and irrational world. This is demonstrated best in the famous first lines of the novel:

Aujourd’hui, maman est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas.

Excerpt from L’Etranger by Albert Camus

L’Etranger follows the story of a French-Algerian man named Meursault, who doesn’t care about societal expectations. Starting from the indifference at the announcement of his mother’s death to his conviction for homicide a year later. Camus sheds light on the pessimistic and absurd aspect of the human condition by depicting a man who takes life as it comes, follows his instincts, and is not burdened by social rules.

Enquête Capitale

Enquete Capitale + CD Audio MP3 (Decourtis) (Fiction (1)) (French Edition)
11 Reviews
Enquete Capitale + CD Audio MP3 (Decourtis) (Fiction (1)) (French Edition)
  • Decourtis, Marine (Author)
  • French (Publication Language)
  • 64 Pages - 12/01/2014 (Publication Date) - Hachette Fle (Publisher)
  • Difficulty: Beginner | A1
  • Genre: Crime / Mystery

Enquête Capitale is an educational self-study reader with an interesting story. The nice thing about this reader is that it’s optimized to make it easier for beginners to learn and study. There are exercises to check for reading comprehension, and new vocab and new phrases are listed at the end of the page. The book also comes with audio, so you can also use it as a way to improve listening skills.

The story is about a woman who works in a publishing house, though her true passion is reading and writing detective novels. In the evenings she writes about detective and crime stories on her blog. She receives a strange message that leads her on a crazy investigation adventure across Paris.

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