French books for Beginner 2 to Intermediate 1

Looking for advice on first books to try? I have acquired 1200 words in my first month learning french. I have read all the mini-stories, Who is she, and many others in the guided course, as well as many, many alice ayel videos. I started Le Petit Prince but the book is just too stylistic and old fashioned for my purposes at this point. Please point me to some books to get started with. I’ve tried looking for graded readers online but having very little luck finding any graded readers importable content.


I don’t have any book recommendations for you, but when I was at the stage you were at I moved on to innerFrench: Login - LingQ.

One thing that worked well for me is that he speaks more slowly and simply in the earlier episodes and gradually ramps up the speed and vocabulary as you go along.


Maybe look at the news feed. the articles there are great for relevant or expanded vocabulary. Le petit Prince was fun for me, but maybe search up “books with # of pages” depending on what you are looking for.

1 Like

thanks for this recommendation, I just started the first one and i can understand most of what he is saying and read along at the same time. Really great! Thank you!

I would recommend " le français par la méthode nature" , you can easily find the pdf online , i have used the italian one and definitly would recommand for learning to read , and understand phrases structures. However it comes with the downside of not having any audio’s.

1 Like

*** updated post ***
Hi, Chris!

You could use the following resources:

  1. “Français Facile” podcast
    They offer many mini-dialogs and texts for all language levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced) on their website.
    If you import these audio files and the transcripts into LingQ you’ll probably have everything you need right now (everyday conversations, audio, transcript, SRS).
    And best of all, it’s completely free! :slight_smile:

  2. News in simplified and slow French
    a) Radio France Internationale (RFI), “Journal en français facile”
    (maybe that’s already a bit too difficult at your level)
    Journal en français facile

Some episodes are already imported into LingQ:

b) News in Slow French

  1. Duolingo Stories in French (usually I don’t recommend “Duolingo” for language learning, but their “stories” and “podcasts” in German, French. etc. are quite entertaining!)

  2. Oly Richards, “Short Stories in French for Beginners”

  3. LingQ resources:
    a) WebFeed (filter:s: “Beginner 2 - Intermediate 1”) for French:
    Entrar - LingQ

b) Guided courses

c) Library

  1. Other recommendations by Benny Lewis
    Read in French: 10 French Reading Tips, Resources and Exercises

Have fun learning

1 Like

Thank you for taking the time to lay out the alternatives. I’ve already started to explore News in slow French and Francais Facile. Merci

1 Like

I am checking this out now. I havent figured out a way to get the content into LingQ

I just came across this list of books that has different rankings based on difficulty. might also be a good place to start. I was able to “obtain” some of them shortly after


Thank you! The problem with this list, which i have come across btw, is that all the 1 and 2 level books are for very small children. I just can’t stick with material like that. So far the best book I’ve found for my level is Short Stories in French by Olly Richards and Richard Simcott. I am able to listen and read at the same time and understand 90% of it at a 75% pacing clip. Sometimes i have to stop and check the idioms and sentences i cant figure out but it is definitely the right level for me now and its also intriguing!

Ah sorry that makes sense. Sounds like you are coming along pretty well! depending how you get your materials I look through the most downloaded on ygg torrent for stuff I might like, though the site took some getting used to, I was able to get a lot of materials from there. a lot of books have audio and text.

Perhaps also of interest:

1 Like

It would be nice if those graded readers were online. every easy french graded reader is a book through snail mail with a CD for audio

1 Like

Really enjoying #4 Oly Richards, “Short Stories in French for Beginners”

1 Like

I have listened to all the Inner French episodes and have completed over 50 with lingQ. I have subscribed to his progam “build a strong Core” too. Great fun, really enjoy them. Hugo also has videos which I have enjoyed. Now I am listening to talk radio on CBC Radio Canada “Ohdio” app. Great interviews, music and podcasts with very nice Quebecois accents (no transcripts though which can be very challenging sometimes). I love the music and movie reviews and also current events. My favorite is Bien Entendu but unfortunately Stephan Bureau is only on during Holidays. He has some great music shows about traveling. Check it out!!

1 Like


If you are interested in free resources and have good Google-fu, you might try to dig through books in the public domain on GoogleBooks. Plenty of books for the instruction of high school and college French from the late 19th and early 20th centuries are available there. Search for things like “easy French reader,” “easy French stories,” “elementary French stories,” etc.

One that I found recently is “Scènes et récits de la grande guerre (1914-1918): with exercises, notes…” Looks appropriate for an advanced beginner or low intermediate learner.

“Le tour de la France par deux enfants” is a classic of French juvenile literature. This was the book that was used in schools to spread the idea of the French nation during the Third Republic. There was a well-done abridged audio version on France Culture a few years ago, but it looks as though it is no longer available. Epub versions: Le tour de la France par deux enfants by G. Bruno - Free Ebook (Edit: just found this audio version: Le tour de France par deux enfants, devoir et patrie - Augustine Fouillée | Livre audio gratuit | Mp3 )



This is fantastic! I imported the epub into LingQ and downloaded the mp3 link you sent and will use Workaudiobook to work through this. I cant tell, at this early point, if my french proficiency is well matched to this book but i will definitely give this a go! Thank you so much for taking the time to send the links to the free epub and mp3. My Google-fu is nowhere close to your apparent black belt.

1 Like

Excellent recommendations. I just started learning French. This site is just what you need. Hopefully soon I will know more words