McGuffey's New Fourth Eclectic Reader

Cover of McGuffey's New Fourth Eclectic Reader

By Williams Holmes McGuffey, Cincinnati, 1879

McGuffey's New Fourth Eclectic Reader

Written by William Holmes McGuffey

Cincinnati, Van Antwerp, Bragg, and Co, 1879

5.5" x 7.5"

Kerlan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections

University of Minnesota Libraries

In widespread use in American schools between the mid-19th and early 20th centuries, this series of graded primers ranks with the Bible and Webster's dictionary among the best-selling books of all time. Their originator, William Holmes McGuffey, was the son of Scottish immigrants and a dedicated teacher. McGuffey replaced rote memorization as the key to basic literacy with a phonics approach that allowed children to build on their experience. The more advanced volumes, such as the one displayed here, featured literary excerpts selected with a view to challenging schoolchildren intellectually and to instill good Christian values.

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McGuffey's New Fourth Eclectic Reader