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Reading suggestions

Hi, everybody! I am close to finishing 75% of the German tree, and I wanted to order some German children's books to get me started - I did that once I finished the Dutch tree and it allowed me to start reading comic books, which led me to read Harry Potter, which led me to be able to read novels. So I would really appreciate some nice suggestions :)

July 5, 2017


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I wouldn't recommend children books in general for language learning. Unless they are very basic (which then won't help you with learning) children stories can be very abstract and use actually advanced grammar since little kids have much better command of their native language than we do as learners of that language. So what I'm trying to say is that children books often say simple stories in complicated way, which can create a very frustrating experience for a learner, because you will beat your head against the wall to understand a very trivial story. Unless someone recommends a specific children book that is actually written in simple language and is entertaining in the same time I wouldn't go for it.

I learned a lot by clicking "random article" or "zufälliger Artikel" on Wikipedia and reading anything that caught my eye in German. You can also go to Deutsche Welle, it has tons of material (reading/audio/video). This webpage has some articles on different levels: https://german.net/reading/ ... and on this webpage: http://podclub.ch/sendungen you can find (among others) some German learning podcasts with texts that you can read, whether you listen to the podcast or not.


They aren't children's books, but if you like detective mysteries, André Klein has written a series of five books, Learning German Through Storytelling. They are specifically designed for learners and have glossaries at the end of each short chapter. I read them on a Kindle, which lets me look up any word immediately from a German-English dictionary I installed. The first book is Mord am Morgen: https://www.amazon.com/Learning-German-through-Storytelling-intermediate-ebook/dp/B007QT2EVQ


I was going to recommend the same thing. He also has books about a character who visits different cities in Germany: https://www.amazon.com/Learn-German-Stories-Berlin-Beginners/dp/1492399493/

I believe there are 8 books in the series. I read them all a few years back. I find the Mord am Morgen and etc. books to be a little bit more of an intermediate level than the travel books, but I'm not sure how experienced you are. :)

Also, you could try reading the Neverending Story (die unendliche Geschichte). I had it assigned to me a few days ago in one of my B2~ level German courses. If your German is pretty decent, it's a fun yet challenging read. I found a PDF online for free.


Thank you for the help. I ordered a copy of the Berlin book and I found a free copy of Die Unendliche Geschichte as a pdf from your comment. I will try to get through them.


If those are the books about the Sicilian guy (I forget his name) visiting Germany I'm working my way through the series at the moment and finding them really helpful (though I frequently want to slap the guy for being so wet!). I've noticed I'm finding the exercises on duo easier since I started reading them.


Dino, haha. Yep, those are the ones!


An offer from DLF:


There are also 'Nachrichten in einfacher Sprache' in the Deutschlandradio Mediathek


Search for the term 'Nachrichten in einfacher Sprache'

Or here is a Publisher, who is specialized to publish books in simple German:



One classic is "Der Struwwelpeter", but it was written in the midst of the 19th century so the language is a bit old fashioned. "Räuber Hotzenplotz" and "Die kleine Hexe" by Ottfried Preußler may be a bit too advanced. Then there is "Pippi Langstrumpf", "Ronja, die Räuberstochter" und "Karlsson auf dem Dach" by Astrid Lindgren which you probably know already and therefore would have some advantages in understanding. If you love e.g. Winnie the Pooh you can also find translated versions. Same goes of course for Harry Potter. You can also look for books by Christine Nöstlinger. Oh, and Christine Busta's "Sternenmühle" I read about a hundred times in kindergarden and early school years. I still know some of the poems by heart. :)

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