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Easy books for Norwegian beginners

If you want to learn Norwegian, there is one thing that is really important: Read a lot!

Start with comic books

My advice for learning Norwegian is to start with comic books or illustrated books. It is also important that the theme is something you find interesting and that you like the illustrations in the books you choose.

Many years ago, I moved to Italy with no Italian language skills. Knowing English and Norwegian did not help much, so I had to learn the language. I started attending language school and began reading Italian comic books. The combination of words and images and understanding the text through both those elements made learning easier.

Be patient, read a lot

After some time, I could read simple books, then books without illustrations that were slightly more challenging. I did not look up every word I did not understand. It was better to try to understand them through the context. This way, I learned many new words more or less subconsciously.

I still try to improve my Italian language skills, and I read, for instance, Italian novels. You need to be patient. You have to read a lot and not care that you do not immediately understand everything you read. Slowly but surely you will start to learn more and more Norwegian.

Nine good books

Bergen (2018) by Anja Dahle Øverby

Bergen av Anja Dahle Øverbye

Summary by Leser søker bok: Bergen is a comic book novel about Maria, a student in Bergen. The book is about depression, self-harm and being alone. But it is also about friendship.

The book contains amazing illustrations. The illustrations support the text well. It is easy to read and there are not many difficult words. Many pages contain no text.

Trær jeg har møtt (2017) by Anna Fiske

Trær jeg har møtt av Anna Fiske

Summary by Leser søker bok: Anna Fiske has met many trees in her life, and many of them have strong memories connected to them. The story follows Anna throughout her childhood, teenage years, and adulthood, and the trees are always there.
Through happiness and sorrow, always with a poetic and sincere look at the trees and people.

Mulysses (2017) by Øyvind Torseter

Mulysses av Øyvind Torseter

Summary by Leser søker bok: Mule Boy loses his job and apartment in the same day. Depressed, he visits a sleazy harbour joint. There he meets a millionaire explorer. Together, they set sail in search of the worlds largest eye, the only thing the millionaire’s large collection is missing. But suddenly a storm is upon them, and someone has used up all the hot water in the shower!

Mulysses is a peculiar graphic story filled with humour and excitement. The text is easy to read, containing short sentences and clear writing.

Kvinner i kamp – 150 år med frihet, likhet, søsterskap (2018) by Marta Breen

Kvinner i kamp av Marta Breen og Jenny Jordahl

Summary by Leser søker bok: 150 years ago, women had few rights. They did not have the right to vote or get an education. How have women all over the world fought for justice and equality? When did the fight for equality start? And what is its status today?

Kvinner i kamp starts at the fight against slavery and goes all the way up to the current me too debate. The text is easy, with clear drawings. Some names and references may be difficult to read.

Fargene som forsvant (2017) by Constance Ørbeck-Nilssen

Fargene som forsvant av Constance Ørbeck-Nilssen og Akin Düzakin

Summary by Leser søker bok: In a country ravaged by war, a mother and daughter are sitting in a basement. They are waiting for the planes that are coming soon and the bombs that will fall. They think about the time before the war. And how everything has changed. The book is about how it is to grow up in a country ravaged by war. The contrast is not the best, but there is a lot of air around the text.

Large and nice illustrations support the text. Few difficult words. Every page has an illustration and a short text. Appropriate for teenagers and adults. Recommended for use in a language cafe.

OG (2016) by Veronica Salinas

OG av Veronica Salinas

Summary by Leser søker bok: A novel about having recently arrived in Norway and missing your native country.

The book contains short sentences, and there is a lot of air on its pages. There is a clear distinction between past and present. There are few long words, and the chapters are short.

Brev til Noreg (2018) by Hilde Sandvik og Mona Ibrahim Ahmed

Brev til Noreg av Mona Ibrahim Ahmed og Hilde Sandvik

Summary by Leser søker bok: Mona comes to Norway from Somalia. She tells how it is to come to a new country. About school, Norwegian society and the language. Mona feels like an outsider in Norway, but she does not feel at home in the Somalian community either. It is difficult for her to live up to everyone’s expectations.

The book is a powerful portrayal about being an outsider. The style is casual, and the story has a strong drive. Some sentences are long.

Askeladden som kappåt med utlendingen (2018) by Christian Opdal Eid

Askeladden som kappåt med utlendingen

Summary by Leser søker bok: Askeladden som kappåt med utlendingen is a book for adults. It is a beautiful book with a powerful message. The style is based on the Norwegian fairy tales. This is a modern story about Askeladden/ The Ash Lad, fearless and curious, who fights the scary foreigner. It is up to the reader to find out who the real trolls of the story are.

The pages have a lot of air, and the layout is nicely organised. The short text is in the middle of the page, and the clear illustrations support the text well.

Sitt hos meg (2018) by Kristian Bergquist

Sitt hos meg av Kristian Bergquist

Summary by Leser søker bok: Honest and sometimes brutal about loneliness and depression. But the poems also contain a lot of humour.
The poems are short and simple, yet contain a lot of content. The texts can feel liberating for someone who has experienced depression, who may recognise and acknowledge the content. Those who have not experienced something like this can learn a lot.

The book has an airy layout. The poems have a common theme that is easy to follow.

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