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WILLIAM H. ELSON
AUTHOR ELSON READERS AND GOOD ENGLISH SERIES
CHRISTINE M. KECK
HEAD UNION JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH, GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
SCOTT, FORESMAN AND COMPANY
For permission to use copyrighted material grateful acknowledg-
The literature for this book was selected after an extendea study of junior high school courses and a wide range of conferences with teachers of English familiar with the ability and interests of eighth-year pupils. The material not only ranks high when tested for literary quality, but it also meets the requirements for both classical and standard contemporary writings. Then, too, it scores high when tested for social and civic ideals, answering the question as to how literature may be effectively related to life. The school is asked, particularly in recognition of the new postwar spirit, to stress certain fundamental American ideals. Outstanding among these essentials are loyalty, service, appreciation of the dignity and joy of honest work, courage, thrift, coöperation, and good citizenship-ideals of which American youth gained a new conception during the World War that the school should perpetuate. This book aims, therefore, in addition to the æsthetic and ethical purposes commonly recognized, to set literature to work in the service of social and civic ideals.
The literature brought together in this volume is so organized as to aid in the realization of these aims. A helpful Introduction, "The Service of Books,” sets out the controlling ideas of the text as a whole, and makes in simplest fashion the beginnings of literary criticism. There are four main divisions or Parts, each distinguished by unity of theme, centering about the world of nature, the heroism of adventure, ideals of liberty and service, and the homeland in story and legend and romances of toil. Each Part has an illuminating Introduction that emphasizes the dominant idea of the group, and a Review that makes clear how each selection helps to bring out this idea. Each main division is made to stand out clearly by illustrations that typify the theme and by topical headings that help the reader to visualize the group-units. The Notes and Questions call attention to the relation the selection bears to the main thought of the group. By these unique means the organization of the literature is emphasized and fundamental ideals are kept dominant.
This book supplies stories and poems in such generous quantity as to provide in one volume a complete one-year course in literature together with a suggested course in correlated library reading. There is material suited to all the purposes that a collection of literature for this grade should supply: silent reading both for the story-element and for getting quickly at essentials; intensive reading for detailed study; reading for expression; memorizing; dramatizing; public reading and recitation; plot study, and the rest. Moreover, the book includes a wide variety of types: ballads, lyrics, short stories and tales, addresses, letters, essays, and a pleasing drama. Provision is made for library reading that correlates with the stories and poems of the book, enriching the text, and giving motive and purpose to the pupil's outside reading. Class readings of particular units and selected passages are suggested for oral expression and for entertainment, thus giving motive to reading aloud.
The study helps are more than mere notes on the text; they aid in making significant the larger purposes of the literature. Particularly illuminating are the Introduction, “The Service of Books," and the Introductions to the four Parts; these Introductions should be read by pupils before beginning the stories and poems of the several groups, for they interpret and give greater significance to the units. A Review at the end of each group not only takes stock of the joy and benefit derived from the reading, but also shows how each story or poem helps to bring out the main thought of the group. Biographical and historical notes supply abundant data for interpreting the literature. Individual and class projects are suggested throughout the book for laboratory practice. A comprehensive Glossary contains the words and phrases of the text that offer valuable vocabulary training either of pronunciation or meaning. An additional feature that will appeal to many teachers is the list of common words frequently mispronounced given in the helps to study.
THE CHAMBERED NAUTILUS,