Introducing “Alice”, a French language reader about a girl who kicks…

Last school year, I joined Mike Peto‘s CI novel writing group with the hope of writing a language reader. Having written articles for Le Petit Journal Francophone for three years, I was ready to take on the challenge of writing a longer story. It was so. much. work! But it was so. much. fun! The weekly meetings really kept me going; I highly recommend joining the group if you are thinking about writing a novel. We need more comprehensible reading materials on our bookshelves!

I am so excited to introduce my first novel: Alice.


“When Alice, a girl who lives in the south of France, finds out she and her family are moving to Paris in a month, she is far from happy. Her friend suggests she makes a list of the most important things she wants to accomplish before she leaves. Alice writes four items on her list and sets off on a quest to discover what truly matters to her.”


The novel has 4,700 words and 260 headwords and a lot of words similar to English. I wrote it with level 2 and above students in mind. Here is a sample for you to read in order to decide if the language is appropriate for your students.

Inspired by Dr. Mason’s Story Listening method, I focused on writing an interesting story first, and then made it as comprehensible as possible by reducing the headwords from 700 to 350 (!) but still keeping the language rich. The focus of the book is Alice, and what she is going through. I hope the story will appeal to your students.

For those of you who want to supplement the story, here is a list of ideas/resources for Intermediate students:


I selected the activities above because I truly believe they provide more interesting input and cultural perspective. But remember… reading and enjoying the story is the surest way to acquire language, not doing a lot of extra activities.



  1. Cécile- Merci milles fois. I am already hooked. I can’t wait to read how things develop especially with her simultaneous pursuit of a black belt and a kiss from Bilal. Also, thank-you for all of the links to real places that you explore in your reader. I will order 5 next week.

  2. Cécile,

    I met you at the iFLT conference in St. Petersburg this past summer. I’m very interested in your new book! Because I teach at an all girls school, I’ve been looking for a level 2 reader with a female protagonist my students. They are currently reading Le Nouvel Houdini in the past tense. I read your sample, and I was wondering if you have a present tense and past tense version, or if there is any past tense in the book.


    Susan Goudail

    • Bonjour, I remember you Susan. All tenses are represented in the book, because I wrote it in a natural way. But the story is mostly told in the present, as the events unfold. So, if you are specifically looking for a text written in the past, I would not use my book. If you are looking for a girl your students will identify with, then I highly recommend it. I taught at an all girls school last year and I wrote this books with “my girls” in mind. Bonne chance!

  3. Hello,
    I recently found your blog after looking for Musique Mercredi info. I have since subscribed to your Nouvelles du monde francophone and am looking forward to using this year. I read that are comprehension questions for each article but I cannot seem to find them. If you could steer me in the right direction that would be great.
    Thanks so much for all the great ideas for this novice teacher!

    • Hello, there are no comprehension question with the Petit Journal article. I am not sure where you read this. However if you want to join Le Petit Journal FB group, teachers sometimes share what they do with the articles there.

  4. Salut, Céline! I am so excited to read your new book!!! Is it available to purchase anywhere else? Our school district will not buy from Amazon.

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