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This reader undertakes to provide desirable material for work in silent reading without losing sight of the other elements essential in a good reader for pupils in the seventh grade or in the first year of the junior high school.
One task before the teacher of Reading in this year is to foster, by stimulating material, a taste for good reading which it is to be hoped has at least been partially formed in the preceding grades. The selections in this volume are made with the purpose of giving the seventh-grade pupils such virile and enjoyable literature as will make them desire more of the same kind. The character and fitness of the material, not the date of its production, have governed the choice of the editor.
ARRANGEMENT BY GROUPS. There is an obvious advantage in grouping kindred reading materials in sections under such captions as “Adventure,” “From Great Books,” “Our Country,” etc. Besides affording some elements of continuity, the plan offers opportunity for comparison and contrast of the treatment of similar themes. It also insures a massing of the effect of the idea for which the section stands. Secondarily, the section divisions break up the solid text, and because of this the pupils feel at frequent intervals that they have completed something definite.
The groupings make no pretense to being mutually exclusive. On occasion a selection may well be transferred to another section. For example, the Washington and Lincoln stories should be used in the proper season in the “Our Country” section although it is obvious that they belong in “Special Days.” Teachers should have no hesitation in breaking across from one section to another when the occasion or the children's interest seems to warrant.
MECHANICAL FEATURES. Editor and publisher have spared no pains or expense to make this book attractive to children. The volume is not cumbersome or unwieldy in size. The length of line is that of the normal book with which they regularly will come into contact. The type is clean-cut and legible. Finally, enough white space has been left in the pages to give the book an “open,” attractive appearance. No single item has so much to do with children's future attitude toward books as the appearance of their school Readers.
SOCIALIZED WORK. Opportunity for dramatization, committee work, and other team activity is presented repeatedly throughout this volume. Wherever the teacher can profitably get the pupils to work in groups she should take advantage of the cooperative spirit and do so.
CITIZENSHIP. This means more than the passing phase of so-called Americanization. It means a genuine love of country, a reverence for our pioneer fathers, a respect for law, order, and truth. This Reader is rich in patriotic content. It is hoped that the ethical element in the selections will be found to be forceful as well as pleasing. The book emphasizes throughout the importance of the individual and social virtues. If it can help teachers to make clean, upright, and loyal citizens of our great Republic it will not have been made in vain.