The series Graded Readers for Chinese Language Learners is composed of 50 books, divided into three subseries, namely folktales, literary stories and historical stories, corresponding to Levels 1-3 respectively. The rich and fun content and easy-to-understand language makes it easy for everyone, whether they are foreigners learning Chinese, children with parents of Chinese origin, ethnic minority students of the Chinese language, or even primary school students in China, to read this series. It enables the readers to gradually improve their Chinese reading skills and enhance their understanding of Chinese culture by reading and enjoying stories.
The “Literary Stories” subseries is based on the Four Great Classical Novels in ancient China. From each novel some epic snippets are extracted and adapted into 4-6 books, each with 20-30 thousand characters. Altogether there are 20 books in the subseries, six of which are from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, four from Water Margin, six from Journey to the West and four from Dream of the Red Chamber.
Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels, tells the story of 108 heroes at the end of Northern Song Dynasty, Song Jiang as their head, who gathered together and rose in rebellion and then were recruited by the government to fight battles. There are four books in this series based on this novel, namely Driven to Join the Liangshan Rebels, The Corrupt Official’s Birthday Gift, Wu Song, and Song Jiang.
The Corrupt Official’s Birthday Gift tells how Chao Gai, Wu Yong and the Ruan brothers took the birthday tribute escorted by Yang Zhi by strategy. Yang Zhi was from a military general’s family. Skilled in martial arts, he wanted to find an official position in the capital. But then he accidentally killed a rogue on the street and was therefore tattooed on the face and banished to Daming Prefecture where he was assigned the task of escorting the birthday tribute to the Prime Minister. Yang Zhi was extremely cautious, but still was robbed of the tribute by Chao Gai and a few others. Yang Zhi was so helpless he went to Erlong Mountain; he met Lu Zhishen on the way. Driven to a corner as wanted fugitives, Chao Gai and the others went to Liangshan. With Lin Chong’s help, Chao Gai became the new chief of Liangshan.