27 Best Children’s Books about France: Chapter Books for Children about France

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.

  The Best Children's Chapter Books about France, with Seine River and Tour de Eiffel (Eiffel Tower) - Chapter books about France - Novels about France Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links which generate income at no cost to you. The links are provided for your convenience of finding these books, but you may get them at the nearest local bookstore or online used book re-seller nearest you. The local library is also a fantastic place to get thousands of books free!  

Books about France Designed for Reading Aloud

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince might be internationally the most famous book about France. Or at least, the most famous children’s book about France! The most famous book about France not written by Victor Hugo.
 
For generations, children have grown up being read this strange little story about a little boy on a journey. Le Petite Prince (The Little Prince) was published in 
 
 

The Family Under the Bridge, by Natalie Savage Carlson

This book about France is set during Christmas time, along the Seine River in Paris. A family meets a homeless man.
 
Written in 1953, The Family Under The Bridge won a Newbery Award for its writing. It does have some antequated views expressed about homelessness expressed in parts – so prereading is advised.
 

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

This book tells the story of the Lascaux Cave in France, which was discovered by a group of boys in 1940 who found an underground cave in the forest. They struggled with whom to tell about the cave full of paintings (France? Germany? – the country was at war) but with the help of their science teacher and a local priest who was into prehistoric studies, they were able to make sense of the discovery – this was a prehistoric cave full of cave paintings.
 
Technically not a chapter book, this 48 page “Step into Reading” book is great for early elementary as it provides information to the reader in a really interesting way. Makes you want to go looking in the woods for other prehistoric caves. Highly recommend if introducing a young learner (ages 5 – 8) on the Lascaux Cave in France.
 
 

Books about France: Early Chapter Book Readers

Greetings from Somewhere: The Mystery of the Stolen Painting by Harper Paris

Greetings from Somewhere is a series about a brother and sister who go on travels around the world solving mysteries (it is like The Magic Treehouse, with geography.) The books are perfect for 5 to 8 year olds, in very beginner chapter book language. Each book takes about 45 minutes to read, it has pictures within the chapters, and conveys a high-interest story. The stories are easier slightly than the Magic Treehouse series – they are a child’s first chapter books. 
 
In the third in the series, this book about France takes the children on a journey to find a stolen painting from the Louvre Museum. 
 
 

Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures #11: Framed in France by Jeff Brown

The Flat Stanley books are early chapter books for beginning readers. They are borderline ridiculous – a young boy who lives his life flat and in 2-dimensions, who does things that are unsafe, like mail himself in an envelope, as he and his family go on worldwide adventures. But there is some childhood charm in this book series being as subtle as a fart joke… in an elevator.
 
In this Flat Stanley book, Flat Stanley (that’s his name – he is Stanley, and he is flat) is trying to solve a mystery with a stolen painting at the Louvre. He had been standing on guard at the museum, across from the Mona Lisa, acting as a flat painting on the opposite wall. But now the Mona Lisa has been switched for a lookalike copy, and Flat Stanley is on the case to solve the mystery.  It may not be the most high-brow book you’ve read all week, but at least it clocks in at under an hour (there’s an audiobook available, too!), and its absurdist humor helps teach fact version fiction. Or Flat versus Fiction.
 

Merlin Missions: Night of the New Magicians by Mary Pope Osborne

This book about France is part of the Merlin Missions (the Magic Treehouse series, but a tad bit harder). Jack and Annie head to the 1889 World’s Fair, where the Eiffel Tower, constructed by Gustave Eiffel, made its debut.
 
 
A trilogy of children’s books about France

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)

 
 
These 160 page books are ones that 7 and 8 year olds will read in one sitting, and then ask for the next. The inspiration of these books is Roald Dahl, a sort of off-kilter fantasy land. Madame Pamplemousse owns a sweet shop, and we follow young Madeleine on her adventures. It has a time-travelling cafe in the second book.
 
 

The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick

 
 
There is an audiobook of this book. Charlotte and Sophie must work to find a missing drawing from Picasso. This book set in France is a chapter book for 5th, 6th grade readers (ages 10 to 13). It shows how life in Paris is like for the preteen age group.
 
 

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

This historical fiction about France during World War 2. This is a graphic novel about a photographer during the war.

 

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+.

also seen as this historical cover  

 

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.

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

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.  

 

Which children’s book about France have you learned from? Any children’s books about France that weren’t on this list?

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