If any of you are looking for high-quality authentic Japanese reading material to add to your collection, I just found a few lists of books that have been designated as Worth Sharing by the Japan Foundation. The website says that these books are ones that they recommend should be translated into other languages. Even though they are not being marketed as learning material, the recommendation means that they should be good reads and teach you a lot, especially about Japanese culture.
The Japan Foundation has several groupings of books, but the one that caught my eye was Lifelong Favorites - Selections from the Bookshelves of Young Readers in Japan. This is a list of 59 highly recommended children’s books. They are tagged as Folktales, Long Time Sellers (1970-2000), and 21st Century Classics. They are also tagged with the appropriate age group, from 5-Up to 12-Up. So that might be able to help you pick something at your level, at least with regards to kanji.
They have 5 additional groups of books:
- Shedding light on Japan’s youth
- Exploring Japan’s diverse regions
- Illuminating love in Japan
- New ways of living in Japan
- Imagining Japan’s tomorrow
So… they have lots of interesting books to recommend to you. They aren’t free of course, but they might give you some ideas for things to look for to buy as you learn Japanese.