I am looking for English fiction (novels, short stories, novellas) that are easy to read for English learners. I am especially looking for fiction that has roughly the same level as Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring and George Orwell's Animal Farm. The people that I have in mind found many of the stories in Fifty Great Short Stories (Bantam Classics, edited by Milton Crane) too difficult. (Unfortunately, I don't know what CEFR level this corresponds to. This is not for people who are attending school.)

I am not looking for simplified texts.

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    There is a fairly comprehensive list on the English Club website: englishclub.com/reading/recommended I would strike up a conversation with a local librarian. Some libraries have curated lists specifically for EFL learners and programs specifically for learners.
    – ColleenV
    Jul 22, 2016 at 12:05
  • @ColleenV: Thanks, English Club a nice list! And I hadn't thought of asking a local librarian. Some public libraries in Germany have English fiction shelves for teenagers; perhaps I'll find something there that can appeal to adults.
    – Tsundoku
    Jul 22, 2016 at 12:12
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    I find that librarians are often underestimated :) Even if the library doesn't have the books on the shelf, the librarian should be able to help you find a list of appropriate books that could be ordered or found online. Are you familiar with Project Gutenburg?
    – ColleenV
    Jul 22, 2016 at 12:31

1 Answer 1


You should look for books that are aimed at children or adolescents for that sort of thing, in my opinion. So, stuff like the World of Oz series, or Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking-Glass are a must in this case. It may seem silly to be reading such books if you're older than 12, but they're still fun and somewhat challenging, depending on your level. There are about 14-15 Oz books, so you've got plenty of time to get bored and move on to something more difficult when they get too easy for you. Good luck.

  • Thanks for the tips. I wouldn't consider it silly (especially for Lewis Carroll's books) but rather a matter of taste.
    – Tsundoku
    Jul 22, 2016 at 12:09

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