Sanders, Charles W., A. M. and Joshua C. Sanders. The School Reader. Fifth Book. Designed as a sequel to Sander’s fourth reader. Part First, containing full illustrations in the rhetorical principles of reading or speaking, illustrated by numerous examples. Part Second, consisting of elegant extracts in prose and poetry from various eloquent writers, accompanied with notes, explanatory of such historical or classical allusions, as the several lessons contain. New York: Ivison & Phinney, 1855.
The Fifth Reader, of which the present is a revised and corrected edition, differs from the preceding numbers of the Series chiefly in offering a wider range of instruction in the principles and practice of good reading. In aim, mode and spirit, it is one and the same precisely with all the other works in this department of education, at present so extensively and so favorably known in the schools as “Sander’s Series of Reading Books.”
To those, therefore, who are familiar with the earlier numbers of the series, all explanations of the plan of instruction adopted in this book, would be superfluous. For the sake of others, however, interested in the cause of practical education, it may be proper to specify, in this place, some of those features of the plan, which are the most prominent, because they have been found most useful.
In the first place, it assumes, that the principles, which, in Reading, as in every other Art, always underlie and regulate the practice, must be clearly understood, before they can be intelligently applied; and, accordingly, the student is conducted through a course of exercises in the science of Elocution, carefully adapted to the intellectual wants of youth, and yet well suited to the exigencies of the school-room. But his process, he comes gradually, though early, to feel, that there is a law of utterance for every sentence, and, consequently, that the surest road to just Elocution is through an intelligent applications of the principles.
In the second place, it proceeds upon the conviction, that every course of instruction in reading is, in an important sense, a course of instruction in taste and morals. Hence, in order to the cultivation of delicacy and correctness in matters of taste, it furnished, for imitation, some of the finest models of style in every variety of composition; while it labors for the improvement of the moral nature, but carefully excluding every thing unsound or unseemly in sentiment or diction.
In the third place, it everywhere heeds the intimations of experience, by throwing in timely Notes, Definitions, and Suggestions, designed to give force and interest to the lessons, by explaining such matters as are likely to be misunderstood, or altogether unknown by the generality of pupils. In this way, moreover, is imparted a large amount of information, historical, geographical, biographical and miscellaneous, not otherwise easy to be so well inculcated.
But, without further specifications of the claims of the series, the present volume is commended to the public with the earnest hope, that it may not be behind any of its predecessors in subserving the purposes of sound education.