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German Books

Hey everyone! So, I'm wondering about good beginner books for German. Not beginner like "Er ist ein Mann. Er ist glücklich.....", but more of maybe B2? Preferably books that have at least a little substance to them. For those of you familiar with the series (mostly Americans or Canadians, I'm guessing?), I'm looking for something about the level of a Magic Tree House book in German. Or maybe Judy Moody level if you're not familiar with MTH? So, really I'm looking for a novel-type book, but I don't know if the word "novel" is appropriately applied to these very basic books of a 2nd-3rd grade level. PS: Bonus points (or lingots!) if it has a more grown-up subject matter. Any good suggestions? Thanks in advance!

March 26, 2018



I guess you're looking for "das magische Baumhaus", it seems to be translated to German as well. Just like the "Harry Potter" series and others of that kind. If you're looking for books of that type, have a look at the work of Cornelia Funke, very popular in Germany. You might know "Inkheart"

Or maybe you want to try "Teppichpiloten" by Knister? Have fun ;-)


Seconding the suggestion of Cornelia Funke. She is great and has written books of different difficulty levels.

"Die wilden Hühner" is easier and I read it in primary school, while "Tintenherz" is at YA level.


What is a "YA" level, please? Not important. Just nosey and my trusty friend Mr. Google didn't help.


Young Adult. :)


Thank you :) Yet again we live and learn.


I'm just going to suggest some of the books I read when I was that age. :D

  • "Die drei ???" by multiple authors. They are childrens' crime books. The first couple of books were American known as "The three investigators" but Germany kept going long after. There is also "Die drei ??? kids" for younger readers. (and really awesome audioplays of both, you can't read along, but if you read the book you might have an easier time following the story. Those audioplays are the reason why the books kept going long after the original american authors dropped the series).
  • "Der kleine Vampir" by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg was also something I loved to read at that age. It's about a young boy and his friendship with a vampire who suddenly appeared at his window.
  • "Die wilden Hühner" by Cornelia Funke, as already mentioned. It's about a group of girls and their ups and downs and "fights" with a group of boys.

These books are a bit longer than the above, but aren't necessarily harder:

  • "Momo" by Michael Ende. One of my all-time favourite books. It's about grey men stealing time and a little girl fighting it.
  • "Herr der Diebe" by Cornelia Funke. A story about runaway orphans in Venice with fantastical elements.


I can agree with the others who recommended novels by Michael Ende and Cornelia Funke, these books are definitely good choices.

Novels by Erich Kästner (like "Das doppelte Lottchen", "Das fliegende Klassenzimmer" or "Pünktchen und Anton") are classics for young and old ;)

And if you're up to something ... let's call it special, I can suggest "Die Stadt der träumenden Bücher" and the other Zamonien-novels by Walter Moers.


You might want to try a "Groschenroman". "Groschen" is the old word for a dime and "Roman" is novel. It's a derogative word for book without any ambition to win a Nobel prize. It also refers to the low price (though shipping might be difficult)

There are many to choose from: detective of sci-fi stories, historical novels, and love stories from cheesy to mildly pornographic. A leading German publisher is this one: www.cora.de

These books are ridiculous (to my taste) to read in one's mother tongue but as a learner of the language quite nice: lots of dialogue and the satisfaction to read a book written for native adults.


We are having so many novelists and writters in Germany. there is no need to go for translations from english books. if you like fantasy novels i could recommend to read the books of Bernhard Hennen (he is quite easy to read ,at least in my opinion ) or Markus Heitz. (both are internationally known)

if you like crime novels maybe Hendrik Falkenberg or Martin Krüger or Alexander Hartung (they are quite popular here, i have never read them though so no garantee).


There's just so many books to choose from, but if you want to just browse a ton of books of a bookstore to read short summaries to get some ideas on possible books, you could start here: https://www.hugendubel.de/de/category/70110/ab_6_jahren.html


Thanks! I'll look through it.


Thank you all for the suggestions! This is great!


I really like the Sams books by Paul Maar, starting with „Eine Woche Voller Samstage“. They are always amusing and at times rather touching. They also tend to have quite a bit of word play in them, and there is something very satisfying in laughing at a pun in the language you're learning.

I also second AHA3006's recommendation of Groschenromane/Heftromane. I have personally started going down the rabbit hole of Perry Rhodan, and have been enjoying it.


Ohh, das Sams! How could I forget it. I loved those books a lot!

Other good children's stories I didn't think about until now are the books by Otfried Preußler ("Die kleine Hexe", "Das kleine Gespenst", "Räuber Hotzenplotz", "Krabat").

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