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Graded readers are very useful for practising extensive reading. Extensive reading has several benefits, for example, getting a lot of comprehensible input.

The majority of speakers of Standard Chinese use simplified Chinese characters, so I am looking for graded readers that use simplified characters.

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The graded readers published by Mandarin Companion are available in two versions: with simplified Chinese characters and with traditional characters. The titles include the following:

Higher levels are not available in this series.

Chinese Breeze (汉语风) is a series of graded readers published by Peking University Press (北京大学出版社). According to the publisher, the series has eight levels, although no books at the last four levels appear to be available. According to the introductions to these books, the are eight levels, but I have only been able to find graded readers for the first four levels:

  • Level 1: 300 base words;
  • Level 2: 500 base words;
  • Level 3: 750 base words;
  • Level 4: 1,100 base words;
  • Level 5: 1,500 base words;
  • Level 6: 2,100 base words;
  • Level 7: 3,000 base words;
  • Level 8: 4,500 base words.

The stories in the books are between 8,000 to 30,000 characters long. The contain relatively short chapters with illustrations on most of the pages. The stories are written in Chinese characters only, without pinyin. Any words that are not part of the list of base words are explained in a footnote that gives the word's pinyin transcription and an English translation. In addition to the story itself, each book also has the following sections: a vocabulary index that contains all the words explained in the footnotes, a set of exercises that test your understanding, and a key to the exercises. Each book has a CD with MP3 files with a spoken version of the story – at two speeds: normal and slow.

Below are a few titles:

  • Level 1 (300 base words):
    • 刘月华、储诚志: 你最喜欢谁? Whom Do You Like Most?. ISBN 978-7-301-14155-7. (2008, reprinted 2011).On the CD, both the normal speed and the slow speed are suitable for learners of Chinese.
    • 刘月华、储诚志: 错,错,错! Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!. ISBN 978-7-301-07904-1. (2007, reprinted 2012) On the CD, the normal speed is too fast for learners who have mastered only 300 characters, and the slow speed is still challenging.
  • Level 2 (500 base words):
    • 一张旧画儿 An Old Painting. ISBN 9787301174654.
  • Level 3 (760 base words):
    • 刘月华、储诚志: 朋友 Friends. ISBN 978-7-301-22638-4. (2014, reprinted 2016).
  • Level 4 (1100 base words):

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