Readers only need to be familiar with 300 characters in order to enjoy these entertaining Chinese novels!
If you know an older child (8+) or even an adult who is learning Chinese and wants to start to practice reading, this set is great!
These books are the brainchild of Jared Turner and John Pasden, two Americans who both learned Chinese as adults and who learned the value of "extensive reading" first-hand.
Together, and with much editing help from native Chinese speakers, they created the incredible Mandarin Companion Graded Readers. To learn more about why graded readers are important, especially for older language learners, we recommend that you check out their post "Why Graded Readers?".
Level 1 is intended for Chinese learners at an upper-elementary level. Most learners will be able to approach this book after one to two years of formal study, depending on the learner and program. This series is designed to combine simplicity of characters with an easy-to-understand storyline which helps learners to expand their vocabularies and language comprehension abilities. The more they read, the better they will become at reading and grasping the Chinese language. The stories are written using a core set of 300 characters, which include the first 150 characters from the Breakthrough level and which are a subset of the 450 unique characters used in the Level 2 set.
Each book contains lots of useful features for Mandarin learners, including:
- A page to introduce to the story's characters (this is important because even learners who know several hundred Chinese characters often struggle to differentiate proper nouns)
- Key words that the reader is not likely to know are added gradually over the course of the story accompanied by a numbered footnote, with Pinyin and an English definition provided at the bottom of the page.
- Key vocabulary which readers may not be familiar with (they even highlight where the vocabulary diverges from the most popular university textbooks and the HSK vocabulary lists)
- Discussion questions for each chapter
- A map to show the location where the story takes place (this is great for students to start becoming familiar with Chinese place names)
- A list of useful grammatical structures found in each chapter
Below is the list of titles included in this set:
- 《秘密花园》The Secret Garden
- 《卷发公司的案子》Sherlock Holmes
- 《盲人国》The Country of the Blind
- 《王子和穷孩子》The Prince and the Pauper
- 《猴爪》The Monkey's Paw