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Studies in the Teaching of English: Introduction


by Franklin Baker — 1908

The responsibility of encouraging and guiding children in reading rests mainly with the schools and the public libraries. In an ideal state of society this task might, perhaps, be assumed by the parents. But in most homes the parents are too busy, or too indifferent, or too uninformed. Hence the appeal that is frequently made for lists of books suitable for children has been met by lists prepared by both librarians and teachers. Such lists as have been made vary not only in size, but in the standards set and in the critical judgments displayed. That recent lists show an improvement in standards and in the appreciation, of the tastes and interests of children is due, no doubt, to tie same general causes as are other improvements in elementary education. The list here offered is a direct response to numerous requests that have come from libraries and schools alike for a fuller guide to children’s books than any known to the author. It includes many books too recent to be in some of the good lists already in existence, and a wider range of topics than is commonly found. Books of “information,” though commonly treated with contempt by those who praise “mere literature,” are none the less interesting and valuable to young readers, and are therefore included. Stories made up of the ordinary commonplace of children’s lives, if told with life and spirit, have also been admitted. The standards of choice have been, the author ventures to believe, rather liberal and catholic than the reverse. He hopes that they have not, however, been so liberal as to make his list an unsafe guide. He has tried to exclude what is cheap and vulgar, what is over-sentimental, what is harmful in ideal. If he has failed at any of these points, the failure may be charged to his taste; or, by the more charitable, to the impossibility of examining minutely the many hundreds of books that were submitted for examination.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 9 Number 1, 1908, p. 1-8
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 9982, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 3:20:53 AM

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  • Franklin Baker


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