The Elson Readers: Book Five (revision of Elson Grammar School Reader, Book One)
These early books contain literature for the young reader, along with fables and folklore that have become part of the fabric of our culture. The books have the familiar look and feel of Elson's later "Dick and Jane" books. The literature selected by Elson for this series not only has literary merit, but has been chosen with an aim to deepen children's appreciation of our American history and heritage, and to encourage the development of virtues such as service to others, honesty, self-sacrifice, appreciation for the natural world, and yes, patriotism. Illustrations are used profusely in the first books as visual aids for the young reader's understanding of the text.
Book Four serves as a transitional book for children moving from "learning to read" to "reading to learn" as Elson put it. It eases the child from the early "picture books" to the advanced books filled with more complete and increasingly complex literature. Book Four is divided into five thematic sections and introduces the reader, perhaps for the first time, to the stories of Beowulf, Sigurd Roland, and other great works of Western literature.