The Sky Is Bright with Stars and Other Essays

The Sky Is Bright with Stars and Other Essays

by Weijia Huang, Qun Ao

The Sky is Bright with Stars invites students to investigate the rich textures of traditional and contemporary Chinese culture while sharpening their reading skills. The first in the five-volume Readings in Chinese Culture series, this collection of ten original essays is ideal for students in their second semester of first-year Chinese, or at the “Intermediate-Low” level, as designated by ACTFL proficiency guidelines.

A suitable supplement for any intermediate Mandarin Chinese textbook, or as reading material for independent learners, The Sky is Bright with Stars reinforces students’ grasp of Chinese vocabulary and grammar while also strengthening their understanding of Chinese culture. This cultural focus makes the Readings in Chinese Culture series an ideal tool in preparing for the AP* and other standardized exams. Each 500-700 character essay is printed in simplified and traditional characters on facing pages. A vocabulary list, related words and expressions, and an optional exercise section accompany each lesson. Pinyin versions of each essay can be found in the appendix. 

For students who prefer to read pinyin along with Chinese characters, an appendix including each essay with pinyin is included.


Cheng & Tsui
Publication Date: 
Trim Size: 
6“ x 9"
Table of Contents

English Preface


Abbreviations of Parts of Speech

1. 为什么尊敬老人? Why Do We Respect Elderly People?

2. 狗是人的好朋友 Dogs are People's Good Friends

3. 你喜欢什么颜色? What's Your Favorite Color?

4. 喝茶喝酒喝咖啡 Drinking Tea, Wine, and Coffee

5. 快餐盒饭汉堡包 Fast Food, Boxed Lunches, and Hamburgers

6. 挂件香包吉祥钱 Pendants, Sachet Bags, and Lucky Money

7. 扇子剪纸和风筝 Fans, Paper-Cuts, and Kites

8. 星星的爱情故事 Celestial Love Story

9. 天上星星亮晶晶 The Sky Is Bright with Stars

10. 长城故宫兵马俑 Great Wall, Imperial Palace, Terracotta Warriors

Appendix 1: Texts with Pinyin

Appendix 2: Answer Key

Vocabulary Index

About the Series

Chinese Reading Comprehesion essays for language learning and cultural comparison

The Readings in Chinese Culture Series reinforces students' grasp of Chinese vocabulary and grammar and strengthens their understanding of Chinese culture through a graded series of classical and contemporary essays. The combination of language learning and cultural emphasis found in these texts makes them ideal tools to prepare for the AP* and other standardized tests. The Readings in Chinese Culture Series can supplement any Mandarin Chinese textbook or be used by independent learners. Each text contains ten 500-700 character essays, printed in simplified and traditional characters on facing pages, as well as vocabulary lists, related words related words and expressions, and exercises specific to each lesson. 

*AP is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

About the Author(s)

Weijia Huang is a Lecturer of Chinese language at Boston University with a BA in Chinese Language and Literature and MA in History of Chinese Language with a research field in Chinese Paleography. He is also a columnist for the magazine of The World of Chinese.

Qun Ao is an Associate Professor of Chinese language at the United States Military Academy, West Point. She received Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education with a Major in Second Language Acquisition and Linguistics. She is certified a Tester and Trainer by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages for assessing students in Oral Proficiency Interview for US Academia and Government sectors.