“How does one become a butterfly?“ She asked pensively.
“You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
“You mean to die?”
“Yes and No. What looks like You will die but what’s really You will still live. Life is changed, not taken away. Isn’t that different from those who die without ever becoming butterflies?”
Hope For the Flowers by Tina Paulus
This is a book that will give you hope at any situation in your life. In simple words and sentences, within a few pages, it will show you how hope exists even in situations that seem difficult, long, and pointless. If you’re starting out with English, it would be easy to practice reading on children’s books because they’re simple, short, and easy to read. But reading children’s books may defeat the purpose of practice and learning when you already know the story even before reading it. That is why I think Hope for the Flowers is a good book for beginners.
It’s an adult’s book that is often mistaken as a children’s book because of its illustrations and easy-to-read writing style. Its story revolves around Stripe and Yellow’s journey towards realizing their true purpose in life and the challenges and doubts they encounter.
And because you can finish reading Hope for the Flowers in just a day, the next good book to read would be The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. You may find this familiar from the movie adaptations of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, but believe it or not, these books are just part of a 7-book series which make up The Chronicles of Narnia novel series!
The series follows the story of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie’s adventures in the magical land of Narnia. Though classified as a Children’s Classic Literature, I think readers of any age would enjoy reading it too. For beginners who want more challenge, this series has 7 books that are simply written but also contains words that would help expand your vocabulary. You’ll know you’re improving your English when you not only understand the story, but also find the deeper issues tackled in the book like religion (find out what Aslan resembles in real life Christianity) and gender.
In my entry entitled Books Before Boys…, I also recommended The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino and The Hunger Games Trilogy. To add to that, I would also like to add another children’s book by Roald Dahl: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Everyone might have already seen the movie but there are parts of the book that aren’t in the movies! So to practice, you can try reading and see if you can spot the differences between the movie and the book!
I’ve given more than 5 books for practice reading but keep in mind that when learning, reading is just ½ of the process. They say the best measure of learning is being able to re-tell the story or concept, using your own words, to another person.
So when you read, make sure you:
1) List down words you don’t understand and look for their meanings in the dictionary (to add to your vocabulary!) and
2) can re-tell the story to other people (to make sure you understand it, and to encourage other people to read too!).
When we’re starting out with something new, be it reading English literature books, language, or anything in life, we can all be likened to caterpillars – crawling hard to make progress and taking in as much information as we can to improve in the hopes of becoming butterflies in the field that we chose. At first, reading can be challenging, especially for beginners, but just keep in mind that these little challenges will help make us student caterpillars into smarter and better butterflies!