The Secret Garden in Paperback and Level 2 Update

The Secret Garden

Buy your paperback copy on Amazon!

Many of you have been waiting for this day. I’m happy to announce that The Secret Garden《秘密花园》is now available as a printed book on Amazon! We’ve realized that doing the first of anything takes more time than the second. The Secret Garden will always be a special story to John and me because it has been a number of firsts: our first Chinese graded reader, our first ebook, and our first print book. Because of that, we’ve collectively spent more time working on the Secret Garden than any other story thus far (although the upcoming “Great Expectations” is going to be a close 2nd). The print edition is now available on Amazon and we are now ready to take larger orders for schools and organizations.

More good news is on the way; our four other Level 1 graded readers will be available in print edition by then end of this March. We are currently proofreading and finalizing the print designs.


Level 2 Graded Reader: Great Expectations

Great Expectations《美好的前途》is on the way! Adapting a Charles Dickens novel has been much larger task than we anticipated. In fact, despite simplifying and condensing the story, it has turned out to be so long that we are dividing the book into 2 parts: 上 and 下. To put it in perspective, our level 1 readers are approx 9-11 thousand characters in length while the entirety of Great Expectations will be approximately 30 thousand characters in length! This new book will be labeled as an “extended reader”, the first ever in Chinese!

Great Expectations will be set in modern day Shanghai. There will be fun easter eggs, specifically regarding the locations in the book which will be real locations and addresses in and around Shanghai. We had a lot of suggestions for Pip’s Chinese name and in the end we selected “小毛” (Xiǎomáo). The expected release date will be in April.


John and I want to thank you for your support and encouragement! We are so excited to make it possible for so many to read in Chinese.


  • Isaac Handler Posted March 5, 2015 11:17 pm

    I just started on Monkey Paw e-book and overall it looks to be a boon for me. I have one suggestion however. The glossary is linked from the text to the glossary but not back again. I get that the words are forward linked from more than one place but it would be way better to link back to first use than to do nothing at all. As it is when I use the glossary I have to use the TOC to get near where I left off and then scroll. It prety clumsy.

    • jared Posted March 6, 2015 12:34 am

      Hi Isaac, thanks for the comment! Your problem is not unique and the solution usually relates to the device or software you are using. If you are using a Kindle, there is a “back” button on the reader that can take you back to the place you just left. If you are using iBooks, touch the page to bring up the navigation menu and there is usually text on the bottom strip in the corner that says something like “go to p 12” (or whichever number) which will take you back to the last link you came from. There is similar functionality built into the kindle reader app for different mobile devices. If all else fails, a crude method is to bookmark the page before you click on a link so you can easily find your way back.

      Hopefully this helps you solve your issue! We had certainly wrestled with this question before until we gained a fuller understanding of the technology capabilities. We wish you all the best in your Chinese learning!

  • Martin Posted March 6, 2015 1:55 pm

    Your books look like a great start for me. I wonder if I could take a shortcut and learn reading them without going through a “normal” one year curriculum before. Or would you consider it as too difficult if I just try to get familiar with the study resources in the grammar wiki and on skritter before I start reading right away (for example the Sherlock Holmes story)?

  • Frank Posted March 8, 2015 11:54 pm

    Printed graded book readers usually come attached with audio files. If Mandarin Companion is now going to produce these types of readers does this mean you all will finally take the time to produce recordings for each book? If so, this is great news and we will at last be able to use these materials to practice our listening skills – arguably the most important component on the path towards becoming truly conversational in Chinese.

  • Nathan Robertson Posted March 28, 2015 9:56 am

    Jared! This is Nathan, I’m the American Fudan exchange student who met you last November. I’m beyond pumped that the Level 2 is getting ready to come out– I’m ready to tackle something more challenging, and the books your team puts out are the best quality I am finding in the marketplace!

    Best of luck and keep up the good work!

  • Anders Posted March 30, 2015 2:41 am

    I’m also hoping that audiobook versions are on their way. You once wrote that you worked on producing them in “early 2014”. Any progress with that? Audiobook versions would make it much more likely that I buy your books and not some competitor’s.

  • Seth Posted April 1, 2015 12:05 am

    I just finished reading the sixty year dream. This is my third book from you guys that I have read and I love them. I am very excited to hear about the level books series coming out soon as I would love to push myself further in Chinese reading. Keep up the great work! I have been letting everyone that I know who is studying Chinese know about these books.

  • Han Posted April 29, 2015 6:07 am

    I’d really really like some audiobooks too! How about recording your existing books? This would help us so much.

  • Kaixin Posted June 28, 2015 11:58 am

    I’m very excited for level 2 to come out! I have been reading readers at 750-1100 word level and your books look like they’re of a very high quality, so I’m looking forward to seeing the next level!! Keep up the fantastic work that you are doing for students of Chinese worldwide!

  • Geoff Posted July 5, 2015 6:02 pm

    Just finished the Secret Garden, and really enjoyed it!

    I’m really excited about the idea of Level 2 books, and hope the first one is out soon. It will be an instant purchase!

  • Rachel Posted April 28, 2016 10:38 am

    I’d also like to echo the comments about audio – would make these books worth purchasing!

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