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11 Novels to Help You Improve Your English

If you are anything like us, you love to spend a lazy Sunday with your nose in a book. But if you are looking to improve your English understanding, pronunciation and comprehension, here are a few novels to pick up next to help you reach your pronunciation goals!

Reading in English is one of the most fun and effective ways you can improve your English skills. It can help you expand your vocabulary, it shows you various sentence structures, gives you fodder for conversation, and of course exposes you to some wonderful new stories!

1. Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame 

A classic children’s tale, which uses simple language mixed with imaginative storytelling and is pleasant for both adults and children to read.

2. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

Golding builds his desert island so well you will feel as if you are in the jungle with these boys. Dramatic and descriptive language will help you understand the underlying narrative being written about in this classic educational novel.

3. Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom

A book which will help you pick up on conversational styles of speaking and writing in English. A great read aloud book.

4. The Giver - Lois Lowry

Will catch your attention from the beginning and is written to be easily understood. It is pretty straight forward and will not confuse you as a reader.

5. James and the Giant Peach - Ronald Dahl

Dahl, being one of the greatest children’s authors, is very popular with adults, too. Young reader books are always a good place to work on your English reading skills and just about any of Dahl’s texts would be a good place to practice.

6. Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White

A lovely story that all age groups can relate to. Knowledge of the general story line will help you navigate this book with easy vocabulary. Being part of the early educational curriculum in the United States, it is likely that most native English speakers will have read this story, as well.

7. The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton

Short and sweet with a compelling story. You’ll be able to breeze through this novel. A classic with short sentences and compact ideas. The vocabulary is good as well.

8. Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher

This newer novel is different than most on this list in that it takes place in present day, but the sentences are short and the story incredibly compelling, which makes it nice and easy for ESL readers. It is a novel not to be taken lightly as it deals with some heavy topics, so it isn’t one you’re going to watch to take not the beach with you!

9. Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie

Since you most likely already know the story of Peter Pan, it will be a perfect way to jump into reading English books. Find a nice illustrated edition, this story is enjoyed by adults and children alike. 

10. The Old Man and the Sea - Earnest Hemingway

This classic is widely read by school children at some point in their education. Will challenge your vocabulary and has a nicely challenging story line, but will help you expand your English understanding nicely. It is always a good one to bring up in literary conversations, too!

11. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L’engle

A mix of short and long sentences. To both challenge you as an ESL reader. Good additions to an already solid English vocabulary.

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