I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw one of my oldest and most favourite children's books "The Misfortunes of Sophie" here, available free for Kindle, and in French! I downloaded it for a future reading, when my brain is in French "mode". However, even without re-reading it now, I can highly recommend it to anyone who speaks as much French as the average 10 year old French child - and has a dictionary, or, like myself, has the English version kept from 60 or so years ago. An enchanting story about a naughty little French girl, or rather, one who is naughty without meaning to be. Read and enjoy.
This is the story a young Sophie, a 3-4 year old little girl from an affluent family with a tedency to do the opposite of what her mother has told her to do, and who always eventually gets in trouble for it. Altough its original audience was young children, this 19th century book can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in the society it portrays. It is written in fairly simple language for a French book, but will require a good vocabulary/dictionary from a British reader.
The book says 8-12 years, and this is probably accurate for french speakers. For non-native francophiles, it's certainly a book with a very definite cultural significance. For the ordinary GCSE/A-level student, the only difficulty they may encounter is the use of the passé simple - the tricky 'novels/formal-only' tense. Because of this, the right age for reading it is probably 15+ but it's certainly appropriate for project work as you can write about the context (life & times of the Comtesse de Ségur) as well as the book, and it's not very long. Not a fast-paced, attention grabbing book but certainly charming and very old-world.
I am trying to improve my fluency in French and this book has proved a perfect starting point for me. It has lots of short, amusing tales for younger readers which makes the language less taxing than trying to read a classic, yet it is still enjoyable. I have it on my Kindle and I have also downloaded a French-English dictionary so when I come across a word I'm not sure of I simply use the cursor to highlight the word and the dictionary provides the meaning instantly. Fantastic!
I really took to what is actually a children's book, albeit from a different era. I assume rightly or wrongly that the authoress is writing about her own childhood. It is a fascinating look into life at that time and I particularly liked the introduction of morals woven into events. Very clever. It is in french and requires a reasonable knowledge of that language.