We recently left Germany where our son had spent most of elementary school and become bilingual through total immersion.

We are interested in obtaining German language textbooks, addressing German subjects like grammar, writing, and reading comprehension (i.e. the range of subjects that would be in an "English" class in an English speaking country) that German children in middle school actually use. Those are the appropriate difficulty for him, not German books for English speakers.

For a while a friend in Germany made photocopies from her daughter's textbooks and sent them on, but it is too much to ask for her to do that constantly.

Does anyone know where I can purchase these? Or if the government makes available PDFs or something?

  • 2
    Please clarify, are you specifically asking about textbooks used in the school subject "German" (which covers orthography, grammar, writing style, text analysis, literature, etc. related to the German language for native speakers), or about any textbooks written in German for any school subject? Mar 13, 2021 at 21:39
  • thanks, clarified.
    – barnhillec
    Mar 13, 2021 at 22:06
  • 2
    It may be off-topic, but it might be worth mentioning. A friend of mine (now an adult) spent a short time in Germany as child, enough to become bilingual, but lost all his German after coming back. It seems that while having a second language may seem like an admirable achievement as adult, children's goals are more about fitting in with their peers. So I'm guessing that without contact with other German speaking children, your child's interest in maintaining their German will be minimal and keeping lessons going in German may be a struggle.
    – RDBury
    Mar 13, 2021 at 23:24

1 Answer 1


If your friend can name the textbooks her daughter uses, you should be able to just normally order them at any German book store (online or offline). The books used in German schools are published and copyrighted by specialized private-sector publishing companies ("Schulbuchverlage"), not the states, so the government unfortunately won't be able to provide free PDFs.

As @O.R. Mapper pointed out in his comment, there is also not "the one textbook" per grade and subject, but typically each school picks the books out of a couple of eligible series by different publishers.

Links to some of the publishing houses:


Some free learning material is available for download on these sites while schools are closed due to the pandemic. You should also be able to just find something fitting for the age of the child.

Besides that, there is of course a wealth of good children's literature for every age, which might be more motivating than school books.

  • 4
    Maybe it should be added that there is also not "the one textbook" per grade and subject, but typically each school picks the books out of a couple of eligible series by different publishers. Mar 13, 2021 at 21:37
  • Thanks for these links, through them I found kapiert.de , which I will subscribe to.
    – barnhillec
    Mar 14, 2021 at 2:43

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