Children’s Books about France – Chapter Books about France
This is the page of children’s books about France (chapter books for kids).
If you want to see the previous page of picture books about France, click here.
Books about France Designed for Reading Aloud
The Family Under the Bridge, by Natalie Savage Carlson
Non-Fiction Children’s Books about France
Louis Braille: The Boy Who Invented Books for the Blind by Margaret Davidson
This easy-to-read chapter book is heartwarming and inspiring, about the story of Louis Braille who invented the writing system that is used to enable the Blind to access reading through their fingers. This is an 80 page biography, written to be read by students ages 7 to 10. Many parents have had great success reading this book to their 4 and 5 year old children. Additionally, many teachers of 2nd grade have read this book to their students, year after year, with captured attention.
Discovery in the Cave by Mark Dubowski
Books about France: Early Chapter Book Readers
Greetings from Somewhere: The Mystery of the Stolen Painting by Harper Paris
Merlin Missions: Night of the New Magicians by Mary Pope Osborne
Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles by Ruper Kingfisher (#1)
Madame Pamplemousse and the Time Travelling Cafe by Rupert Kingfisher (#2)
Madame Pamplemousse and the Enchanted Sweet Shop by Rupert Kingfisher (#3)
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
Charlotte in Paris (Beacon Street Girls) by Annie Bryant
A Whale in Paris by Daniel Presley and Claire Polders
This is a book of historical fiction mixed with some magical realism – during the time that Germany occupied France in World War 2, the main character goes fishing for food in the Seine. When playing a guitar, a whale appears in the river. (That explains the title of the book, and the fantasy element to it.) Initially, people don’t believe the story of the whale, but the music draws the whale out by day, as well. The townspeople fall in love with the whale – but where should the whale go? If given to the French government, the whale becomes food. If given to the Germans, the whale becomes a trophy conquest. Life lessons are contained in this little story about the improbable – a whale in Paris. (Ages 11+) This book contains a lot of accurate historical information about Paris in World War 2, even as it goes on a whale of a tale with an animal fable.
Catherine’s War, by Julia Billet, illustrated by Claire Fauvel
The Bicycle Spy, by Yona Zelda McDonough
Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without A Country, France 1553 by Kathryn Lasky
What does the Queen of Scotland have to do with France? A lot, as she was married to the King of France, had the Queen of France for a mother-in-law, and spent her childhood growing up in France. Mary, Queen of Scots was seen to be in line for the English throne, but she was ultimately unsuccessful in her attempts to overtake the throne. Modern TV viewers will recognize her as the main character in the television show Reign, but this book stays more closely to the historical happenings of the time. (Of course, with less 2013 fast-fashion prom dresses in this version). The Royal Diaries series is a hit for readers in grades 4 through 7 (ages 9 to 13), as a lengthy chapter book in the high-interest life of a teenage queen. At this time, the book is out-of-print, but there are used copies available for about $5 – and the book is bound in hardcover with a gold spine and a ribbon, so it’s attractive even used.
Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles, Austria-France, 1769
by Kathryn Lasky
The daughter of the Austrian Emperess at the time, a young 13-year-old Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna tells of her time in the Austrian court, the parties and the balls, as she prepares for her upcoming marriage into the French Royal family. Marie Antoinette will one day become the Queen of France, before being beheaded at the guillotine. This historical fiction novel is for 4th-7th grade, or ages 10+.
My Name is America: The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins, A World War II Soldier Normandy, France, 1944
This historical fiction novel is a journal from an American soldier on Omaha beaches of Normandy, France. Book is for students 10+, ages 10 – 14, and discusses this difficult time in World War 2 history.
For grades 4 to 7, or ages 9 to 12, this is the story of a horse in World War 1. He started out as the horse of an English farmer, but then heads to the war where he is surrounded by English, French, and German soldiers. Though cars and trucks existed, they could not go through difficult terrain and so horses were still a major part of a World War 1 battlefield. See “The Great War” through a different lens in this children’s book about France and its battlefields of World War 1. This book is also a movie, and the audiobook is well-done by Dan Stevens (who was the Beast in Beauty & The Beast, and also played Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey), capturing the accents of the different nationalities of soldiers.
Nonfiction Books about France:
Where is the Eiffel Tower? by Diane Anastasio
The most famous world landmark, the Eiffel Tower was constructed for the World’s Fair in 1889. It was originally designed to be a temporary display, but it became an iconic part of the City of Lights. This book discusses the work of Gustave Eiffel to construct this Paris landmark, which was seen as an eyesore and a nuisance. Can you imagine France without the Eiffel Tower?
Who Was Joan of Arc? by Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso
Joan of Arc was a French religious crusader who was burned at the stake
Who Was Marie Antoinette? by Dana Meachen Rau
Marie Antoinette was the Queen of France at the time of the French Revolution.
Who Was Napoleon? by Jim Gigliotti
Napoleon Bonaparte was the Emperor of France
Who Was Louis Braille? by Margaret Frith
Louis Braille created a writing system for the blind, based on raised dots. The system had six spaces for dots, a system which allows for 64 combinations of information to be transferred (2^6 = 64). This is enough characters to allow for letters, numbers, and more to exist within the arrangements of the 6 dots being raised or not raised. Even more impressive, Louis Braille was just fifteen years old when he invented this writing system in 1824!
Who Was Jules Verne? by Jules Buckley Jr
Jules Verne lived in Paris, France, and was a premiere author of science fiction in his time. He wrote 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (a book about submarines, before they existed.) He also wrote Around the World in Eighty Days, about how transportation had changed such that someone could make it around the globe in less then three months. Inspired by his novel, American journalist Nelly Bly set out to do what was in fiction, and she made it around the world in 72 days – she even had time to meet Jules Verne as she crossed through Paris! (Her book is available online and on audiobook for free.)
Who Was Claude Monet? by Anne Waldron
Claude Monet, a French Impressionist painter, left an impression on the art world with his water lilies. His art hangs in galleries now.
Who Was Marie Curie? by Megan Stine
Marie Curie was winner of 2 Nobel prizes, studied radiation. Born in Poland, she moved to France to do her scientific research. Madame Curie died in Savoy, France in 1936, having succumbed to toxic levels of radiation from her research on radioactive elements.
What Was D-Day? by Patricia Brennan Demuth
D-Day was the planned invasion of France by the Allies to retake it from the Germans, on June 6, 1944. This book discusses that deadly operation that was crucial to winning World War 2.
Who Was Jacques Cousteau? by Nico Medina
Jacques Cousteau was a diver in the French navy before and during World War 2. He became an underwater sea explorer, and reached international recognition with his documentary The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.