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.
Dream of the Red Chamber is a novel of worldwide influence by the Qing dynasty writer Cao Xueqin. It depicts the rise and fall of four great families—Jia, Xue, Wang and Shi, and tells the love story of Jia Baoyu, Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai, etc. There are four books in this series based on this novel, namely The Rongguo Mansion and the Ningguo Mansion, The Grand View Garden, A Few Incidents in the Rongguo Mansion, and The Decline.
The Grand View Garden tells the story of the construction of the Grand View Garden and things that happened in it. Jia Yuanchun, the eldest daughter of Jia Zheng, was chosen as an imperial concubine and the emperor allowed her to visit her family. The Jia family built a special courtyard for her to live in during the visit, which cost a good amount of money. Yuanchun name the courtyard “Grand View Garden”. When Yuanchun’s visit ended, Jia Baoyu moved in the garden with Lin Daiyu among other sisters and girls of their age. Baoyu teased his mother’s maid Jinchuan. His mother Madam Wang was so annoyed she sent Jinchuan away. Out of shame Jinchuan jumped into a well and died, and Baoyu received a good beating from his father.