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The Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library
Kansas government publications, resources and information available from the State Library of Kansas

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Mar 05

A Treasure Chest Full of Great Literature

Posted on March 5, 2020 at 10:07 PM by Bill Sowers

Did you know that March is National Reading Awareness Month.? Get out there and read a book! Or perhaps you might sit down with a child and read a story aloud, or read to your dog or cat! Whatever you do, celebrate a combination of written words that inspire, entertain or inform.

Soooo... What to read? Well, let me take you back into the virtual Reading Room of the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library and pull a great book off the shelf for you to peruse. Don't be put off by the title, "Kansas Fourth Reader." Published in 1919 by the state of Kansas as a reprint of a 1916 edition this thick tome is chock full of poetry and short stories.  Accompanying the literature are informative notes, questions, short biographical information on authors/poets.  Suggestions for further reading accompany most of the readings too. Yes, it is a text book for teachers but it's also a great resouce for classic literature that American children learned for many years.

What struck me about this book were the stories and poetry that I learned/heard as a boy:

"The Owl and the Pussy Cat"
"The Children's Hour"
"Paul Revere's Ride"
"The Village Blacksmith"
"The City Mouse and the Country Mouse"
"THe Spider and the Fly"
etc. etc.

Among the writers whose works are included:

Louisa May Alcott
Daniel Defoe
Ralph Walso Emerson
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Alfred Tennyson
John Greenleaf Whittier
etc etc

A great book for a rainy day when you're tired of Facebook, gaming, texting and the TV. Thumb through the pages and see if you find something you remember, or something new that makes you smile.


A word of caution... This book was published over 100 years ago.  Societal views on some issues/settings within these literary works have changed.  Read them with that in mind.