Entertaining English-language Novels for ESL Readers

Bonnie Staff Image

These delightful or dramatic books will give you much to think about. Each of these books were popular with our Let’s Read English book club participants.

Ellen Foster

Having suffered abuse and sadness for most of her life, a young child searches for a better life.

Life as We Knew It

Miranda is a typical teenage girl with typical teenage problems — her stepmother, school, boys — but when a meteor bumps the moon out of its orbit, her world is literally changed forever. Told in diary form, we follow Miranda’s struggle to survive in this new world, and watch her learn to cherish the love of her family and friends.

The Little Prince

A pilot is stranded in the desert where he meets a Little Prince, fallen to earth from a faraway land. They become friends and speak of many things.

The Pearl

Kino is a poor pearl diver in Mexico. One day he finds “the pearl of the world,” a large, valuable pearl that he believes will solve all his problems. A beautiful story of family love, joy, greed, and wisdom.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Fifteen-year-old Charlie begins his high school career with no friends, no confidence, and a dark family secret. But he soon meets some fellow students who offer him friendship and fun.

The Pleasure of My Company

This is a story about a man who almost never leaves his house because of his fears. Through one act of courage, he starts to open his door, and he begins to find love, and life, in the most surprising places.

Room

Jack and his mother have been kidnapped, and their lives are controlled by a man who forces them to live in a small shed. Luckily, they manage to escape but their new lives back in the real world aren’t what they expected.

To Kill a Mockingbird

The trial of someone presumed guilty until proven innocent brings to mind this classic. Voted the Great American Read in 2018 by viewers of PBS, if you haven’t read this coming of age novel of race relations and the south yet, what are you waiting for? And if you read it in high school because you had to, try it again now just because you want to. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well it holds up. A young girl who watches her beloved attorney father defend Tom Robinson, an African American wrongly accused of a terrible crime. This is a beautiful story of childhood, friendship, the power of hatred, and the power of love.