The Best Novels for Learning French at All Levels

The Best Novels for Learning French at All Levels

If you’re thinking about learning French or already started, you may be wondering about tools you can use. While learning aids such as books and tv shows won’t make you fluent, they can aid with language learning. Novels, for example, are very helpful with spelling, grammar structure, conversation you can read at your own pace, and learning new words. You also get to see how sentences are constructed in the language. In addition to that, you’ll get a feel of the culture of the people who speak the language. For example, a French book written by a French author or situated in France can give you cultural clues. According to a study called, the impact of a 4-year extensive reading program, reading a book in the target language improved test scores for the participants. Therefore, it’s a great idea to use reading to help you on your journey to fluency. Here are some novels for learning French you may want to read.

French Novels for Beginners

If you’re just starting out with learning French or can string together a couple of sentences about yourself then pick up one (or all of these) novels.

  1. “Le Petit Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    The title in English is “The Little Prince”. This book is about a little boy who leaves Earth, travels the world, and has interesting encounters. It’s actually the most translated book in the French language and it was published in 1943. It can be a good starting book for French language learners who are considered more advanced beginners.
  2. “French Short Stories For Beginners: 8 Unconventional Short Stories to Grow Your Vocabulary and Learn French the Fun Way!” by Olly Richards and Richard Simcott
    This book is perfect for beginners. According to its Amazon description, “An unmissable collection of eight unconventional and captivating short stories for young and adult learners.” There is a vocabulary list as well as quizzes after each story to reinforce what you learned.
  3. “La Nuit Des Temps” by Rene Barjavel
    The English title is “The Ice People” and it was written 1968. This science-fiction novel can be a great language learning tool for people who have just started French. The plot involves the ruins of 900,000 civilizations and people curious about uncovering its secret and exploring it.

Intermediate Learners

If you can understand more French while listening to it and speaking it then it’s time to pick up a book for your level.

  1. L’apocalypse est Pour Demain by Jean Yanne
    This book is translated into English to ‘The Apocalypse Starts Today’. If you’re into that subject matter then you’re bound to love this book. The book follows Robin Cruso and his experiences in a society where cars replaced all forms of transportation including walking. Imagine only being allowed to be a pedestrian underground!
  2. La Trilogie des Fourmis by Bernard Werber
    Yes the book is translated to The Ants Trilogy but take our words for it, it’s a good book. Originally released in 1991, and is considered to be science fiction. The books in the series are: “Les Fourmis”, “Le Jour des fourmis” and “La Révolution des fourmis”.The cook shows two worlds, one for ants and one for humans which collide at some point. Sounds interesting? Cop it now and start building your vocabulary.
  3. L’Étranger by Albert Camus
    The title is translated to “The Stranger” and it’s a very popular read. The story follows a man called Meursault. The book chronicles his thoughts before and after he commits a murder. The book explores existentialism. This book will have you thinking about life and teaching you French.

French Novels for Advanced Learners

If you can understand more French while listening to it and speaking it then it’s time to pick up a book for your level.

  1. Ensemble c’est Tout by Anne Gavalda
    A modern French novel that has captured the hearts of many readers is perfect for more advanced learners. The novel is about a woman with an eating disorder trying to fit into society. You’ll definitely pick up important vocabulary.
  2. “Dans les bois éternels” by Fred Vargas
    This is a mystery novel bound to enchant you. There are interesting characters and plot points. It’s perfectly entertaining for advanced readers.
  3. Que serais-je sans toi? by Guillaume Musso
    Yes, this is finally a novel about love. Translated into English, it means “What Will I Be Without You?” It’s great for both advanced and intermediate learners. You’ll get swept up in the plot just as how the main character is being swept off their feet.

We hope you enjoy the novels we picked and that they help with your French language learning journey. If you’re interested in being fluent, books can’t make you fluent. However, having a language tutor definitely can. Reach out to us for a $35 trial lesson at www.Trufluency.com – where we get you truly fluent.