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10 Captivating Books For Learning German Through Stories

Whether you decide to read Spiegel the magazine or New Testament’s latest German translation, it’s going to be helpful for your German game. But why not make learning as captivating as possible? Here are 10 books that will help you get into German while falling in love with the language in context. 

  1. Harry Potter

It’s no news that one of the best ways to memorize new words is guessing them from context. At this point, I imagine, we’re all familiar with the magical, elevating, and mesmerizing world of this modern classic. Even if you’ve only seen the films, but never read the books, you’ll still be able to guess the plot development, and be engaged all the way through the 7 books. 

  1. Die Unendliche Geschichte 

The Never-ending Narrative is undoubtedly Michael Ende’s most well-known story, and it has been one of the most essential German novels for young people for more than 40 years. This famous children’s book praises the power of imagination and takes readers on a trip to Phantásia with Bastian Balthasar Bux. Into a world teeming with supernatural beings, where nothingness is spreading.

  1. Maus 

Art Spiegelman’s graphic book Maus is a deep and interesting narrative. It tells the story of a family in Poland during the 1930s when the Nazis invaded and oppressed the Jewish community. Spiegelman tells the story in a graphic novel format, with the characters shown as animals.

  1. Demian

Hermann Hesse’s novel, Demian, tells the story of a young child named Emil Sinclair who struggles with his own sense of morality as he navigates through pre-World War I society. Eager for new knowledge about himself but unable to find it anywhere in this corrupt world around him because there are only good versus evil forces vying over each other without ever coming into contact with one another or heaven as they want so badly. 

  1. Grimms’ Fairy Tales 

If you want to travel in the fairly creepy, wondrous world of the twisted German folk fairy tales, do yourself a favor and get a copy of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales. From the original cinderella story, Aschputel, to the less known, but captivating stories such as Hansel and Gretel, you’ll find yourself facing unimaginable troubles, recipes for horrendous human disasters, humor, and absurdity of the world. The dark, mysterious side of fairy tales, look no further than Grimms’ Fairy Tales. 

  1. Die Haarteppichknupfer 

This sci-fi classic by Andreas Eschbach is truly one of a kind. This is a majestic story of hair carpet weavers who use their wives’ hair to weave carpets for the emperor. And then…Spaceship land on the land to discover the unimaginable secret kept in the world. Can things get any weirder? Read on and find out. 

  1. Siddhartha

Siddhartha is a novel written by Hermann Hesse that tells the story of a young man’s journey to find himself. It is written in relatively easy language, making it perfect for German learners.

The story is full of wisdom and insight, offering readers a unique perspective on life. It is an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their German skills while also gaining some valuable insights into the culture.

  1. Momo 

Momo is the only one who can save the city. She is a homeless girl, living in the ancient ruins of an amphitheater, who uses her special talent to help her friends and defend the city.  It’s more than easy to immerse yourself in her mission to protect the city from the group of Men in Grey — the mysterious species. 

  1. Das Parfum 

Patrick Süßkind tells a story of a man with an outstanding sense of smell, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. With the intention to become the world’s greatest perfumer, he’s even ready to commit a murder. The novel was published in 1985 and is nowadays considered a classic piece of German literature. 

  1. Emil und die Detektive 

When he travels to meet his grandmother, Emil is offered sweet treats by a strange man that causes him to fall asleep. He awakens at the bus station without any money in tow. Emil finds himself with other street-smart kids who are there to save the day and track the thief. This beautiful children’s story is as engaging as it gets and is sure to provide all the fun and wit you’re expecting from it. 

Understanding the language of a country is a great way to get to know its culture better, and reading is a very effective tool for that as well as making friends. These books will give you a chance to take German at your own pace, and more importantly, in an engaging and immersive way.

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