You probably know that reading can significantly improve your language skills. Not only does it help you to enrich your vocabulary but it can also improve your ability to express ideas and concepts. However, many English learners think that they need advanced language skills to be able to read a book. Actually, you can start taking advantage of this hobby even if you’ve just started your English learning journey. The success key is simply choosing the right books. This is a list of 5 English books for beginners that you might want to check out.
Quick tip: If you’re enjoying reading stories or news in English, eJOY Epic is a great app that helps you look up, save, and review your words and phrases; therefore, you can enrich your vocabulary effortlessly. Moreover, it also offers step-by-step courses generated from authentic videos dedicated to beginners and intermediates.
1 Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
Charlotte’s Web is a children’s classic novel written by American author E.B.White. It is a great story about friendship and life.
The story starts in an American farm where Fern, an eight-year-old girl tried to save a baby pig. The pig was almost killed because he was so small and was considered to be useless. Since then, Fern adopted, gave him the name Wilbur and took care of him. When Wilbur grew up he was sent to Fern uncle’s farm. This made Fern really sad. Wilbur was ignored by all the other farm animals except for a small spider called Charlotte. Wilbur and Charlotte became good friends until one day, Charlotte heard that the farmers are planning to kill Wilbur. She made a plan to save Wilbur’s life. And the story goes on…
Charlotte’s Web is a children book, which means it is clearly written and the language is pretty simple.. Not to mention the content is cute and touching at the same time. In the book, there are even explanations for some vocabularies. For example, right in the very first page of Chapter One we can learn the meaning of the word “runt” and “do away with it”
“Well”, said her mother , “one of the pigs is runt. It’s very small and weak, and it will never amount to anything. So your father has decide to do away with it.”
“Do away with it?” shrieked Fern. “You mean kill it? Just because it’s smaller than the others?”
Isn’t it interesting and just perfect for a beginner?
Check out this short video about Charlotte’s Web
2 James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl
The next book I want to recommend is James and the Giant Peach written by the British author Roald Dahl. He also wrote many other famous children’s books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr. Fox.
James and the Giant Peach is a story about the poor little James Henry Trotter. After losing his beloved parents in a sudden terrified rhinoceros accident, he was forced to live with his two ugly mean aunts, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. He became “the saddest and loneliest boy” until one day, he was given a magical gift by a stranger. The magic made one single peach grow from the old withered peach tree. The peach kept growing and growing. James finally climbed inside the giant peach, made friends with giant bugs, rolled away from his evil aunts to a whole new life…
This book is a wonderful book for readers of all English levels. This is because the storyline was stunning and interesting. Not to mention the usage of simple grammars and clear vocabularies of Roald Dahl makes James and the Giant Peach just perfect for a beginner.
This is a summary and review about the book
3 Winnie the Pooh – A.A.Milne
Come in the third place is Winnie the Pooh, the legendary children’s book by A.A.Milne. Since its first published edition in 1926, Winnie the Pooh has become one of the most beloved characters of all time by readers of all ages.
The book includes 10 different short stories – 10 adventures of the teddy bear named Winnie the Pooh and his friends Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga and her son Roo in the Hundred Acre Wood.
Winnie the Pooh is a must-read because of its bright themes and beloved content. As a novel for children, it is written in a clear and bright English with simple grammar and vocabulary. The book consists of 10 short stories, which makes it easy to follow regardless of reader’s English level. You can also be inspired and attracted by extremely lovely conversations between Pooh and his friends. Take a closer look at some little talks below:
Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
‘Pooh!’ he whispered.
‘Nothing,’ said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. ‘I just wanted to be sure of you.’
“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes”
“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”
Sounds sweet, doesn’t it? There are plenty more lovely quotes waiting for you to explore in Winnie the Pooh.
4 Mary Poppins – P.L.Travers
This was one of my favorite books as a little girl although at that time, I could not understand the allusion behind the story. Mary Poppins by British author P.L. Travers is definitely a very special book. It is the first novel in a series of children’s books about Mary Poppins – the nanny.
Mary Poppins tells the story of the Banks’ children, Jane, Michael, the twins John and Barbara who live at 17 Cherry Tree Lane. Everything begins when their nanny leaves and her replacement, Mary Poppins, comes on the east wind (literally). This new nanny is stern and irritable but underneath her exterior hiding delightful magics!
The book was well written using clear expressions and simple grammar. The story itself was charming and related to the deepest dreams of every children all over the world. Check out the first few lines in the beginning of Mary Poppins to have your own ideas about the book:
If you want to find Cherry Tree Lane al you have to do is ask the Policeman at the crossroads. He will push his helmet slightly to one side, scratch his head thoughtfully, and then he will point his huge white-gloved finger and say: “First to your right, second to your left, sharp right again, and you’re there. Good morning.
And so, the amazing adventure of magical Mary Poppins and the 4 children of the Banks began. Keep reading on to immerse in this wonderful dream.
5 Aesop’s Fables – Aesop
The last but not least is Aesop’s Fables – a collection of fables credited to Aesop. This famous book might date back to the 5th Century BC and have been translated into hundreds of languages, including English.
This is a collection of fables therefore it consists of different short tales. Each one illustrates a different theme and teach a lesson to the readers (not children only). The characters are usually animals who act and talk like people but still have the traits of their originals.
In general, Aesop’s Fables is humorous and entertaining. As I mentioned above, it includes short tales (less than 300 words per story) using simple writing and therefore, is easy to read. Moreover, I bet you’ve already got familiar with some or even all of the fables in your mother tongue. That makes the book a perfect start for those who have just begun their English learning journey.
Tips to learn English by reading books
Don’t stop every now and then to look up an unknown vocabulary in the dictionary. Try to guess the words’ meanings.
Those books are already divided into chapters but you can always break them down into smaller chunks (passages) if needed.
Find a group of friends (or at least one company) who love reading and want to improve English like you. Read one book together and discuss with each others about the plot, the character and the meaning of the book.
Don’t forget to jot down new vocabularies, phrases and expressions that impressed you to learn after finishing the reading.
So above is the list of the 5 great English books for beginners. If you notice, each of them is a kind of adventure in which you can discover the beauty of life, friendship and love. They can also inspire you to have courage to explore yourself and learn new things. Moreover, through reading, you can significantly improve your English vocabulary and grammar. To make the review words from those books become easier, don’t forget to save them into your own wordbook on eJOY eXtension. Let eJOY help you to remember those words forever.
For those who are more likely to use smartphones, eJOY Epic is a great app for learning English with step-by-step courses generated from authentic videos.