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Reading Recommendations for Your Advanced Students

April 27, 2022

Previously I shared some reading recommendations for low-intermediate and high-intermediate students. We covered middle-grade/children’s books as well as young adult books.

This time, I’d like to recommend a couple of fabulous reads for advanced students.

Advanced ESL students have a lot of options in terms of reading materials. Once learners reach this level they have access to the entire gamut of English language literature.

This list includes adult-level books featuring relatively simple language. I’ve also made sure to include an array of non-fiction titles this time around.

Reading recommendations your advanced students will love


  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney


  • Sapiens: A Graphic History by Yuval Noah Harari and David VanderMeulen
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • A Really Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  • Freakonomics by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  • Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean
  • When Time Stopped by Ariana Neumann

There are also many great reading resources on Instagram. If you're looking for a little book inspiration, make sure to check out BOOKOSIS which is run by our Motion Graphic Designer, Lula!

Now it's your turn!

If you’d like to add any of your own recommendations to this list, leave them in the comments section below. We’d love to hear which adult-level books your students have enjoyed reading!

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Comments (8)

Mahfouz Ullah M.(Member)

My best goal is first I learn English language

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Lara Henerson(Ellii Staff)

That is definitely the first step! You can do it!

Christina B.(Teacher)

I love the book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I taught it to a group of 11th graders and we watch clips from the movie. It created a love of reading for several of my students and they ended up reading it at home with their family members.

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Lara Henerson(Ellii Staff)

That's excellent! I remember reading that book and really enjoying it too.

Julie M.(Teacher)

I read Tuesdays with Morrie, also by Mitch Albom. The language was extremely accessible to even my lowest level advanced students, and the beauty of the story touched everyone.
Another book I recommend for high intermediate and advanced students is Seedfolks, by Paul Fleischman. It's also very accessible and it helps demonstrate how every one of us, no matter our backgrounds or circumstances, have an important role to play in making our communities more livable.

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Lara Henerson(Ellii Staff)

Thank you for these recommendations! I'm not familiar with the second one, but it sounds great! It's always nice when a book has a positive message to share.

Tara Benwell(Author)

I love that Margaret Atwood made this list. We have a new lesson on her in our Famous People section!

I'd recommend Cat's Eye by Atwood. It's one of my favourite novels, and Atwood signed our dog-eared copy when my daughter met her at an event in Windsor. We're going to see her again in May at a local bookstore where she'll read from her new book of short stories.

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