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Chinese Breeze Mini-Review: Not as Engaging as Mandarin Companion

Chinese Breeze
Price: $8.95
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Chinese Breeze is a series of graded readers by Cheng & Tsui. The books range from level 1 (300-word vocabulary) to level 4 (1100-word vocabulary) and cover themes such as romance, fantasy, horror, and mystery. Their adaptation of 青凤 (Green Phoenix) from the short story collection 聊斋志异 (Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio) is probably the most engaging story in the collection. The other stories are probably not grand pieces of literature, but rather books to help you improve your reading skills through repetition. 

At the end of the story, you will find a vocabulary list and a series of exercises to reinforce your understanding of the text. You can also stream an audio recording for each book by scanning the QR code on the back cover. Purchasing Pleco‘s OCR reader or handwriting function can help you identify new words, which you can then add to your Anki or Pleco flashcard decks. 

If you are looking for graded readers with engaging storylines, check out Mandarin Companion — they rewrite famous stories using vocabulary appropriate for earlier levels. Next, you can tackle the Readings in Chinese Culture series or the Tales and Traditions series for intermediate to advanced learners. You can also read plenty of graded articles and stories online with Du Chinese and The Chairman’s Bao.

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