children's books

“What does history mean to you?”

What does history mean to you? Is it alive, or is it dead and buried in the past? Is it a list of dry happenings with drier dates, or is it full of exciting or solemn moments and people doing the things you do, only in a finer, bigger way?”

These simple questions, asked of boys and girls in grades 5-8, begin Eleanore Hubbard’s Citizenship Plays: A Dramatic Reader for Upper Grades (1929). She continues, “If you had been present at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, do you suppose you would ever think of it as an uninteresting document of long words?” Of course not!…

Befallen Adventures

He gave them a brief relation of all the  adventures that had befallen him. First published in 1808, mine is the Platt & Peck Co. edition from 1902. An excellent introduction to the classic for kids who haven’t yet mastered their Greek. Originally published at on August 10, 2021 

Our Wonder World

Jesse has been thinking, talking, and writing about wonder for quite a while. I think he’s on to something. I wonder if too many people–especially kids–have lost the ability to feel wonder these days? Certainly you can’t marvel at the heavens if you can’t see them at night. Nor can you find wonder in books …

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Sometimes I Wonder Wander

In case you were wondering, if soldiers didn’t break step while crossing a bridge, the vibration of the rhythmic step and swing of their arms might put too much stress on various parts of the bridge.  The Book of Knowledge: The Children’s Encyclopedia. E.V. McLoughlin, ed. The Grolier Society Inc., New York. 1954. Stay tuned for more on …

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For those unfamiliar with The Book House, it is a series of books for children, and what we now call young adults readers, with each of the twelve volumes being “graded” to kids’ growth. One of the best collections of books for children ever published. I was doing some very intellectually challenging research yesterday. Are …

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Castles in Fairyland

He took the first path he could find, and after walking for a long time he fancied he saw a faint light, and began to hope that he was coming to some cottage where he might find shelter for the night. At length, guided by the light, he reached the door of the most splendid …

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The Weekend Open Thread | Reading? Writing? Thinking?

Reading: I am just starting The Story of Paradise Lost for Children (Eliza Weaver Bradburn, 1830). My copy is an incredibly poorly digitized reprint published by Sagan Press. The back blurb spit out the “The work has been selected by scholars… part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.” Why scholars? I …

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The Escape of Alice: A Christmas Fantasy

This is one of two Christmas books at Zeugma’s Project Gutenberg post today. I’ve only read what’s posted here but it looks just delightful. At Gutenberg. The Escape of Alice A Christmas Fantasy By Vincent Starrett The red linen covers opened slightly, and a little girl slipped out, leaving behind her a curious vacancy in …

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