These early books contain literature for the young reader, along with fables and folklore that have become part of the fabric of our culture. The books have the familiar look and feel of Elson's later "Dick and Jane" books. The literature selected by Elson for this series not only has literary merit, but has been chosen with an aim to deepen children's appreciation of our American history and heritage, and to encourage the development of virtues such as service to others, honesty, self-sacrifice, appreciation for the natural world, and yes, patriotism. Illustrations are used profusely in the first books as visual aids for the young reader's understanding of the text.
Book Eight contains four sections: "The World of Nature, " "The World of Adventure, " "The Great American Experiment, " and "Literature and Life in the Homeland." Part I bursts with works celebrating nature by authors of outstanding excellence. Part II offers adventure stories by Poe, Noyes, Longfellow and Masefield, among others. Par III powerfully acknowledges the debt owed to those who fought for freedom. Part IV describes American life -- sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous, and always inspiring.