"The Happy Prince" by Oscar Wilde, "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White and "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway are a few good stories to read while learning English. Qualities such as the depth of the vocabulary used and the complexity of the story help determine whether a book is ideal for use by English language learners.
"The Happy Prince" centers around a swallow and its interactions with a statue of the deceased "Happy Prince." Not truly happy due to the poverty and injustice he sees throughout the day from his perch, the statue asks the bird to slowly tear him apart and give the precious metals and stones that comprise him to the poor.
In "Charlotte's Web," a medium-difficulty book, E.B. White narrates the story of a pig, who, at the beginning of the story, is saved by a girl from being killed due to his small size and lack of value. Later, the pig forms an unlikely friendship with a spider who suddenly disappears, leaving baby spiders that eventually form friendship of their own with the pig.
The "The Old Man and The Sea" describes the long fight an old, experienced fisherman has with the biggest fish he has ever caught. Lasting three long days, the catch propels the fisherman's popularity and allows him to save his ailing fishing business.