I recently received this email from a high school teacher in Florida:

I came across your textbook reviews online and they all seem to focus on college level chinese and traditional characters.
I just started teaching high school Chinese and I’m looking for a textbook that will allow me to focus on tones, simplified characters, and pinyin. A workbook or audio cd that goes along with it would also be helpful.
Do you have any recommendations?
Thanks in advance.


Then, in a follow-up email, she said:

… the focus is on language, culture and society. Unfortunately, the language aspect of the class is not supposed to be too intensive, but I would be happy if the students could get the tones down and learn some basic survival Chinese and sentence patterns. I’m thinking about using the New Practical Chinese Reader available on Amazon.com. Do you have any experience with this book?

I haven’t ever used the New Practical Chinese Reader, but I know that the Far East series I reviewed has simplified versions of their books and they have some books for younger learners, too. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen many books targeted at high school students. I’ll bet John might know, though. Can anybody else help Ruth out?