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THE THIRD READER
With pictures by
FANNY Y. CORY
WHEN a community takes upon itself the responsibility of teaching its children to read it should assume at the same time that greater responsibility of teaching them what to read. A series of school readers designed to teach the art of reading should therefore carry in its pages that which will train in the choice of reading.
The cultivation of this habit should begin with the primer. From the first page the child should go to the book to get thought, not merely exercise in word calling. The succeeding books should gradually develop a high and catholic taste, and foster this taste by establishing early the custom of reading standard books at home. .
Child Classics have been prepared with t'nese principles in view. In addition to providing a definite and flexible method for teaching beginners to read, effort has been made to include only material that may justly be called classic. The selections chosen have borne the repeated test of school-room trial both as to interest and careful grading. Care has also been taken to present a variety of appeal through the heroic, the imaginative, the humorous, the ethical and the realistic.
Recognizing that in school readers abridgments are necessary if the child is to be acquainted with a wide range of literature, and with the larger masterpieces as well as the smaller ones, the text has been cut whenever the whole was of a length impossible to reproduce within the given space or when this whole was in the judgment of the editors unsuited to the child's needs at this time. In each instance the selection was made directly from the original text, credited to this text, and marked "abridged,” with the hope that the child would thus be led at some time to read the whole.
Lists of books for home reading edited for this series by Hamilton Wright Mabie are included in the Third, Fourth and Fifth Readers, not only for the direction of the child and the guidance of the teacher, but also to