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CHI110: First Year Chinese: Books You can Read in the Library

Fall 2017, Y. Chen, J. Moyer, L. Yu

Finding Books in the Discover Advanced

At Smith College, we have a carefully curated collection of easy books - graded readers, picture books, short story collections, and graphic novels or comic books - that are shelved together in the Smith College Neilson East Asian Language collection on the first floor. 

To find call number information and availability, you can do a search in Discover Advanced using the subject heading "Chinese language -- Readers" This subject heading has been assigned to all books that have been specially edited for Chinese language learners. The number of results is still pretty large, so you can limit to the Five College Catalog and even Library Location Smith.

In many cases, UMass Amherst and Amherst have the same graded readers (Mandarin Companion series for example) so if you and your friends want to read the same title, don't hesitate to request the copy from one of the other Colleges. 

Graded readers are assigned levels according to the level of difficulty (amount of vocabulary, length of text). The levels basically correspond to the HSK (Chinese competency exam), going from Level 0 (150 words) up to Level 6 (about 3000 words) 

Picture books, graphic novels, and some of the other materials in this curated collection is much harder to target language-level wise because they are not written for foreign language readers, so you will need to see what is comfortable to you or check with your instructor to find things you can read. 

Picture Books

These are beautiful picture books for children. Not controlled vocabulary, but a wonderful chance to appreciate Chinese culture.

Chinese Breeze Series

The Chinese Breeze Series are "graded readers" with strictly controlled vocabulary so that you are not frustrated by grammar and vocabulary that you do not know. Level 1 is designed for people with a 300 word vocabulary. Enjoy!