Woman looking at shelves of books

14 French Graded Readers

Graded readers are a great way to learn French, and there are thousands of options to choose from.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to start off with some manageable reading material, or an intermediate/advanced student wanting to push your comprehension to the next level, there is a graded reader out there for you.

Here are 14 different French readers from different sources to help you improve your reading skills.


Recommended French Graded Readers 

Lire en Français Facile (Read French Easily)


Skill level: A1 (beginner) — B2 (intermediate)

Lire en Français Facile is an excellent creator of French graded books for a range of levels.

Their website is very easy to navigate, as all of their books can be split up by level or category (content or genre). In addition to choosing between levels, you can choose between books for children, adolescents and adults.

For example, you can find lower-level, abridged versions of classic French novels for adults. The great thing about reading these is that you gain exposure to renowned French classics that would otherwise remain inaccessible to new learners.

If you aren’t a classics person, there are plenty of modern fiction choices available too. As a bonus, each purchase comes with an audio CD or MP3 download so you can practice your listening and pronunciation skills at the same time.

After finding something you like on their website, you will need to purchase it elsewhere, like on Amazon, which carries most of their titles.

Recommended readers:

1. Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables” (“The Miserables”)

  • Levels: A2, B1, B2

2. Jules Verne’s Le Tour du monde en 80 jours” (“Around the World in 80 Days”)

  • Level: A2

3. Alexandre Dumas’s “Les Trois Mousquetaires” (“The Three Musketeers”)

  • Level: A1

Black Cat CIDEB


Skill level: A1 (beginner) — C2 (advanced)

Black Cat CIDEB is another great series offering graded readers in French. They have loads of books to choose from and break their levels down even further than most.

Their lower-level books include a lot of fables, while their intermediate options include a number of French classics. Advanced C1 and C2 level book choices are made up of great French literature.

A great perk of buying from this company is that they offer diverse purchasing options like paperbacks with accompanying audio CDs or digital downloads that come with their mobile app.

Additional incentives include access to online web activities that correspond to your book and final exit tests to see how much you really understood.

To make it easy on their customers, you can make purchases directly from their website.

Recommended readers:

4. Cendrillon” (“Cinderella”)

  • Level: A1

5. “Blanche-Neige et les sept nains” (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”)

  • Level: A1

6. Victor Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris” (“The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”)

  • Level: B1

7. Gaston Leroux’s Le Fantôme de l’Opéra” (“The Phantom of the Opera)

  • Level: B1

8. Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary” 

  • Level: C1/C2

9. Molière’s L’Avare” (“The Miser”).

  • Level: C1/C2

CLE International


Skill level: A1 (beginner) — C2 (advanced)

CLE International is an excellent company that offers graded readers for infants, adolescents and adults, with diverse subject matter.

For example, you can get an otherwise extremely difficult classic like Joseph Bédier’s retelling of “Tristan et Yseut” (“Tristan and Isolde”) at a beginner’s A2 level. Additionally, they offer plenty of textbook-like graded readers that focus on topics like business, food or conversation.

One of the great things about this company is that they also offer supplemental books to help with difficult grammatical rules, phonetics and more, and many of their books include an audio CD.

Customers can place orders directly on their website and they ship to most countries around the world.

Notable books:

10. Joseph Bédier’s Tristan et Yseut(“Tristan and Isolde”)

  • Level: A2

Eli Graded Readers


Skill level: A0 (absolute beginner) — B2 (intermediate)

This company offers French graded readers and many other languages. They break their selections down into the following extremely specific categories: children (A0, A1, A1.1 and A2), adolescents (A1, A2 and B1) and adults (A1, A2, B1 and B2).

Like the companies above, they offer abridged French classics, like those of Molière, Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert and Jules Verne, most of which are accompanied by audio CDs. However, “Eli Graded Readers” also has a wide selection of newer fiction.

As an added bonus, customers have a variety of purchasing options for those of you who prefer digital downloads and books for eReaders.

You can place orders by selecting your country on their sales network page.

Notable books:

11. Domitille Hatuel’s Je t’aime Paris!” (“I Love You, Paris”)

  • Level: A2

12. “Le Roman de Renart” (“The Story of Reynart”) (unknown author)

  • Level: B1

Easy Readers

Maigret et le clochard. (Lernmaterialien) (French Edition)

Skill level: A1 (beginner) — B2 (intermediate)

Easy Readers offers graded books in all languages and has a particularly large French selection.

They carry a very diverse collection of genres and subject matter, and base their level selections on factors such as the number and level of vocabulary words in each book.

One of the nice supplements they offer is access to downloadable exercises and exams to accompany your book and test your reading comprehension.

While you can’t order directly from their website, you can check your country’s nearest distributor or search for individual books on Amazon.

13. Georges Simenon’s “Maigret et le clochard” (“Maigret and the Homeless Man”)

  • Level: B1/B2

14. Marguerite Duras’s “Hiroshima mon amour” (“Hiroshima, My Love”)

  • Level: B1/B2

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

FluentU Ad

Why Learn French with Graded Readers?

Looking through the list, you probably noticed that graded readers aren’t exactly like run-of-the-mill books. They serve very specific purposes for language learners.

Reading is very important when learning French since it helps you practice how to spell words and expands your vocabulary. There are plenty of reading options for learning French, such as children’s books which are easier for beginners to understand.

Learning with French graded readers has some clear benefits:

  • They are labeled to allow for easy selection. Knowing the language level before you dive into a book means you won’t end up with a story that seems interesting but is either too easy or too difficult for your reading level.
  • They allow you to easily track your progress. You can track your improvement by seeing how long it takes you to move up to the next level.
  • They are specifically designed to improve your French. Each story is told through careful vocabulary and grammar selection geared toward learning the language.
  • They include glossaries to highlight new words and bonus questions at the end of the book. The glossaries help improve your vocabulary while the questions test your reading comprehension and help assess your learning.

Ultimately, French graded readers give you a step-by-step approach to reading in French. As you build up your vocabulary and grammar skills, you’ll be able to take the dive later on into actual French novels and other lengthy, sophisticated texts.

This gradual approach works for pretty much every type of native material.


By studying material that’s right for your language level, you can make consistent progress.

Don’t wait to challenge yourself by setting some new reading goals—it’s time to level up!

And one more thing...

If you like learning French on your own time and from the comfort of your smart device, then I'd be remiss to not tell you about FluentU.

FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:


FluentU brings native French videos with reach. With interactive captions, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.


For example, if you tap on the word "crois," you'll see this:


Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with learn mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning, and play the mini-games found in our dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."


All throughout, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a totally personalized experience. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe