Reviews by Teresa

Journeys Through Bookland, Volume 6

by Charles H. Sylvester

Journeys Through Bookland was first published in 1909. Collected and edited by Charles Sylvester, it was intended to be a progressive approach to classic literature.

The selections are varied and include classic fiction, poetry, non-fiction/essays, biography, nature stories, science, history, myths, folk & fairy tales, and nursery rhymes. This is a fantastic way to approach literature with children, and each selection has been carefully chosen to relate in some way to the previous piece, giving readers both young and old a sense of the interconnectedness of literature, poetry, science, history and nature.

'Journeys' was originally published as a set of 10 volumes with an additional volume called 'The Guide', this being a detailed discussion of the contents, recommended methods of use, topical index, forms of prose and poetry, and a supplemental booklist. Much of the information in the guide was condensed or omitted over time, until eventually in the 1950s the the set was printed in 8 volumes with only a very brief bit of information from the guide in the end of the 8th volume.

The following description of Volume Six comes from the 1922 edition of Volume 10, The Guide:

"Volume Six. In this volume the series of legendary and semi-historical selections is completed. It includes the best of the legends concerning the national hero of Persia, also the story of The Tournament from Ivanhoe, inserted here as a fitting introduction to Scott’s novels. There are several examples of nature studies in literature and several fine stories that have their place in the education of everyone. The best of these stories and one of the finest ever written is Rab and His Friend. A cycle of a religious nature is found in those selections which are named The Imitation of Christ, The Destruction of Sennacherib, Ruth, and The Vision of Belshazzar.

The longest and best story in this book is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This is a model in construction and furnishes the basis for all the studies that would naturally accompany the most elaborate piece of fiction.

The sixth volume is one of interest and one that will give plenty of opportunity for study to those who have the inclination to follow out the suggestions that accompany the selections. Close study should be upon those things which are already somewhat familiar. The high school student will find his time more profitably spent in working on the things in this volume than in poring over the more difficult masterpieces that are sometimes prescribed in courses of study. What we desire is power to read, understand and appreciate, and that is obtained by study upon those things that interest us and about which we know enough to enable us to use our minds to best advantage."

Reviewed on 2012.01.25

Journeys Through Bookland, Volume 7

by Charles H. Sylvester

Journeys Through Bookland was first published in 1909. Collected and edited by Charles Sylvester, it was intended to be a progressive approach to classic literature.

The selections are varied and include classic fiction, poetry, non-fiction/essays, biography, nature stories, science, history, myths, folk & fairy tales, and nursery rhymes. This is a fantastic way to approach literature with children, and each selection has been carefully chosen to relate in some way to the previous piece, giving readers both young and old a sense of the interconnectedness of literature, poetry, science, history and nature.

'Journeys' was originally published as a set of 10 volumes with an additional volume called 'The Guide', this being a detailed discussion of the contents, recommended methods of use, topical index, forms of prose and poetry, and a supplemental booklist. Much of the information in the guide was condensed or omitted over time, until eventually in the 1950s the the set was printed in 8 volumes with only a very brief bit of information from the guide in the end of the 8th volume.

The following description of Volume Seven comes from the 1922 edition of Volume 10, The Guide:

"Volume Seven. On the whole, this is a more mature volume than any that has preceded it and yet there are some selections of a simple character inserted for the purpose of interesting those who cannot yet read very heavy literature. From this point on, however, there is little difference in the grade of the volumes. The way in which the literature is studied marks the difference in rank. In fact, when a person can read intelligently and with appreciation such selections as appear in this volume he can read anything that is set before him. There may be some things that will require effort and perhaps explanation, but it is merely a question of vocabulary and parallel information. Besides the stories, there are selections in every department of literature except those that have been passed in the progress of the plan of grading. The legendary heroes, the myths and the stories of classic literature are no longer to be found. In their place are more selections on nature, more of biography and history and the real literature of inspiration. Some of the last group appear in the form of fine lyrics which everyone loves but which are made more attractive and inspiring by proper setting and helpful interpretations.

In this volume biography, which has had its share of attention in every volume, becomes a strong feature, especially in the fine sketches that are given of famous writers. It is a fact that most writers have lived so quietly and in such comparative seclusion that their lives are devoid of the exciting events that make the liveliest appeal to young people, yet every one has done so much for the world and in such varied ways that there are things in their lives that interest and enthrall the mind if only they are properly presented. Our great American writers have been noble men and women and their lives are models worthy of imitation. That is the thing for us to glory in and for our young people to know, for it is not by any means a universal fact that people who wrote inspiring literature have lived inspiring lives. The literature of nature is probably stronger in this volume than in any other and the selections are of the most absorbing kind. It is not expected to give a vast amount of information but to create a love for reading about the great facts in nature and an appreciation of the beauties in the writings of those who love it. This is the last volume in which there is much fiction and it marks the beginnings of the really fine essays which form a large part of the succeeding volume. The history is of a higher type and includes excerpts from the writings of some of our greatest historians."

Reviewed on 2012.01.25

Journeys Through Bookland, Volume 8

by Charles H. Sylvester

Journeys Through Bookland was first published in 1909. Collected and edited by Charles Sylvester, it was intended to be a progressive approach to classic literature.

The selections are varied and include classic fiction, poetry, non-fiction/essays, biography, nature stories, science, history, myths, folk & fairy tales, and nursery rhymes. This is a fantastic way to approach literature with children, and each selection has been carefully chosen to relate in some way to the previous piece, giving readers both young and old a sense of the interconnectedness of literature, poetry, science, history and nature.

'Journeys' was originally published as a set of 10 volumes with an additional volume called 'The Guide', this being a detailed discussion of the contents, recommended methods of use, topical index, forms of prose and poetry, and a supplemental booklist. Much of the information in the guide was condensed or omitted over time, until eventually in the 1950s the the set was printed in 8 volumes with only a very brief bit of information from the guide in the end of the 8th volume.

The following description of Volume Eight comes from the 1922 edition of Volume 10, The Guide:

"Volume Eight. The notable feature of the eighth volume is the selection from the plays of Shakespeare. Nothing is more important in the literary education of a child than his proper introduction to the greatest of our great writers, and this has been accomplished in the following manner. The Tempest was selected as the play, because it is simple and lively in its style, appeals to young people and has in it just enough of the marvelous, the beautiful and the terrible to make a decided impression on one who reads it for the first time. There are other plays that are greater but none that may be taught so easily to juvenile readers. In this volume there is a brief article on the reading of Shakespeare; this is followed by the inimitable tale of The Tempest by Charles and Mary Lamb; this by the play, The Tempest, practically as it was written; and this, in turn, by a long series of interesting studies on the drama. The whole is attractive from start to finish and the studies are certain to lead the reader to think.

The drama, then, is the new feature of the ninth volume, but this is also the volume of fine essays, the highest type of prose. The essays are best represented by the following titles, all of which may be found in the table of contents of the eighth volume: The Alhambra by Irving, A Bed of Nettles by Allen, Dream Children, by Charles Lamb. These titles, too, show how broad is the field covered by the essay and how delightful a variety there may be in the one style of composition. The departments of Travel and Adventure, Patriotism and History have not been neglected. On the whole it is a serious volume, one which will give the high school student and the older members of the family a plentiful supply of good reading material and a suggestion of study for the evenings of many a winter day."

This is a great volume, especially for 'teens' who enjoy Shakespeare (and for parents), it also contains 'Casabianca', once a staple of English schoolchildren, but now best known for its recitation by the Blackett sisters in the Swallows & Amazons series!

Reviewed on 2012.01.25

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I found this book to be highly disturbing. If you are a parent and read it you will understand. Other than the disturbing parts of it, I think it may have been a good book.

Reviewed on 2006.03.01

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