The Ball of Fire (火球)

The Ball of Fire (火球)

A Short Story in Simplified Chinese, Pinyin and English

A boy is stranded alone on a ship in a storm and receives help from a mysterious magical dwarf. Uses just 358 different Chinese words. Priced at $0.99, but you can download it for free from this website, see “Get a Free eBook” in main menu. Available in eBook only.

Believe it or not, it’s possible for you to read and understand this story even if you start off not knowing a single word of Chinese!  We won’t lie to you and say it will be easy, but with time and patience you can certainly do it.

The story is written using only 358 different Chinese words. Each paragraph of Chinese is followed by a paragraph of pinyin (phonetic spelling), so if you don’t recognize a word, you can check the pinyin to see how it’s pronounced.  You can then look up the word’s meaning in the glossary at the end of the book.  A full English translation is also included.

You can also listen to a complete audiobook  of the story, available free on YouTube and downloadable from our website.

This story is written by the best-selling writing team of Jeff Pepper and Xiao Hui Wang, authors of the Journey to the West series of graded readers, translations of Chinese classics including the Dao De Jing, the Art of War, and the San Zi Jing, and lots of other great books.  To learn more, visit