New Books

The Story of My Boyhood and Youth by John Muir

Published November 4, 2021 

Born in Scotland where learning was beaten into him and Saturdays spent in the wildness of the moors were his greatest delight, John Muir emigrated to the United States with his family at the age of 11. Upon arrival in Wisconsin, he and his brother worked hard with their father to build a dwelling and establish a farm, but with the little free time they had, they explored the wildlife of prairies and lakes. Working from dawn to dusk gave Muir no time to study, so when his father granted him permission to get up early, he started rising at 1 A.M. to study and work on inventions. Learn more about his adventurous boyhood by reading this stirring account of his life and times in both Scotland and America.  Ages 10-14.

Story-Lives of Master Musicians by Harriette Brower

Published November 2, 2021 

An engaging introduction to 22 of the world's greatest musicians, highlighting their struggles and triumphs, beginning in boyhood and lasting until the end of their days. Much emphasis is placed on the ways they learned their craft, whether at a father's knee, by copying musical scores, or in company of great masters who had gone before. Their travels and greatest successes are recounted in detail, making the musicians and their works all the more memorable for the youthful reader.  Ages 13-18.

A History of Everyday Things in England, Volume II 1500-1799 (Black and White Edition) by Marjorie and C. H. B. Quennell

Published October 16, 2021

A treasure trove of information about the trappings of life in England in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, when everything was crafted by hand, either in the home or in the workshop of a skilled craftsman. Profusely illustrated with drawings and other illustrations showing the buildings they inhabited, the clothes they wore, the ships they built, the conveyances they used, the games and occupations they enjoyed, as well as the implements used in all endeavors, including agricultural pursuits and the preparation of food. A fine book to round out the picture given by history books that focus primarily on political events and the people involved. For each century a timeline is provided listing kings and queens, famous men, great events, and principal buildings that helps the reader connect the things of a century with the people and events of that era. A book that is enjoyed as much by adults as it is by youth. The four color illustrations in the original edition are rendered in black and white in this edition.  Ages 13-18.

A History of Everyday Things in England, Volume II 1500-1799 (Color Edition) by Marjorie and C. H. B. Quennell

Published October 15, 2021 

A treasure trove of information about the trappings of life in England in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, when everything was crafted by hand, either in the home or in the workshop of a skilled craftsman. Profusely illustrated with drawings and other illustrations showing the buildings they inhabited, the clothes they wore, the ships they built, the conveyances they used, the games and occupations they enjoyed, as well as the implements used in all endeavors, including agricultural pursuits and the preparation of food. A fine book to round out the picture given by history books that focus primarily on political events and the people involved. For each century a timeline is provided listing kings and queens, famous men, great events, and principal buildings that helps the reader connect the things of a century with the people and events of that era. A book that is enjoyed as much by adults as it is by youth. Includes 4 illustrations in color.  Ages 13-18.

Paper Modelling by Mildred Swannell

Published September 28, 2021

An introduction to a handicraft for young children that strengthens skills of paper folding, paper cutting and pasting, and ruler drawing while constructing models from paper. Plans for 44 models are included in the book, some simpler and others more complex. The first ten models start with a square piece of paper to form simple objects such as a box and a basket, or more complex ones such as a cart or a barn. Next come 23 models that begin as oblongs, and a final 11 from various irregular shapes. Detailed instructions accompany the plans. Rather than a series of projects to be worked through from beginning to end, consider starting with projects with a few simple pieces and few instructions, and then, as skills increase, choosing projects that match your skill level and catch your fancy.  Ages 6-12.

A First Book in American History by Edward Eggleston

Published September 10, 2021 

Introduction to American History through a series of captivating stories of illustrious figures from Columbus to Lincoln. Often arising from humble beginnings and with many obstacles to surmount, they became explorers, inventors and statesmen, exhibiting ingenuity, persistence, fortitude, courage, and integrity along the way. These unforgettable stories will do much to awaken the reader's interest in American History. Numerous illustrations accompany the text, some suggesting a vivid conception of the narrative while others convey additional information. Bird's-eye maps showing the topography will be of special interest.  Ages 10-12.

Winners in Life's Race by Arabella B. Buckley

Published August 30, 2021

A fascinating survey of the backboned family, starting with fish and amphibians and moving on to reptiles, birds, and mammals of land and sea, detailing not only their life cycles and the structure and function of their anatomical features, but also how they interacted with each other and changing environmental conditions. Dozens of illustrations are included, some with labels for students to copy into their notebooks and others showing animals in their natural habitats. The reader is encouraged throughout to think along with the author, considering this and wondering about that, and in the end marveling at the wonders of creation. Sequel to Life and Her Children which provides an in-depth description of the invertebrates.  Ages 13-18.

The Health Reader by W. Hoskyns-Abrahall 

Published August 5, 2021

An engaging introduction to the systems of the human body and the components of the environment that affect health. In the first half of the book the reader learns about the various systems that make up the body—digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and excretory, as well as the muscles, bones, and joints that allow it to move, the sense organs that enable it to interact with its environment, and the brain and nervous system that control it all. Over two dozen labeled illustrations are included that students can render in their own notebooks as part of the learning process. For further study the author recommends examination of animal organs, such as eye, heart, kidney, and brain that can be obtained from the butcher or purchased in a dissecting kit. The second half of the book deals with establishing habits conducive to healthy living, through choices in clothing, food, and home environment. Given that the choices were more limited a century ago when this book was written, the second half of this book is less useful than the first. The four color illustrations in the original edition are rendered in black and white in this edition.  Ages 13-18.

Stories of the Painters by Amy Steedman

Published July 14, 2021

In this sweeping introduction to the great painters of the western canon, Stories of the Painters presents relatively brief biographical sketches of the men who shaped the world of art as it is known today. Each story underscores the style and signature techniques for which the artist was best known, and also provides insight into their upbringing, careers, and even the political climate in which they worked. In all, a wonderful collection of stories about a wonderful collection of painters.  Ages 10-14.

A Short History of England's and America's Literature by Eva March Tappan 

Published July 7, 2021

A stellar history of English literature from the 5th century to the 19th, introducing the chief writers of each era and the works they are famous for, as well as the relationships that formed among them. The author is a master at capturing the essence of each historical era, showing how that affected the writing that emerged. Two thirds of the text is devoted to England's literature with the remaining third for America's literature. The organizing principle for England's literature is the century, with the century of Chaucer, the century of Shakespeare, the century of the novel, and so on. For America's literature the writers are introduced in groups, such as the transcendentalists, anti-slavery writers, and orators. Illustrations for many of the writers along with numerous short excerpts from their work enliven the text. Recommended for use in conjunction with historical studies to provide a fuller picture of the cultural currents. Includes extensive reference list for both English and American literature for those who want to delve deeper.  Ages 12-18.

Easy Experiments in Elementary Science by Herbert McKay

Published June 28, 2021

A series of easy experiments intended for students of any age (but the younger the better) that leads to the understanding of everyday phenomena. Children are often motivated to devise their own experiments after getting their curiosity whetted by these simple experiments into the properties of air, water, magnets, pendulums, levers, light, and heat. Most of the experiments can be done easily in the home with a few requiring apparatus that can be readily assembled. Through doing the experiments students acquire a considerable amount of scientific knowledge which will stand them in good stead in their future studies. Sixty-six black and white illustrations accompany the text.  Ages 8-12.

Drawing for Children and Others by Vernon Blake 

Published June 22, 2021


Conversational guide to principles of drawing written in a thoroughly engaging way. With lots of suggestions of what to do-draw from nature, make lots of drawings, pay attention to balance-and a few to avoid—do not copy, do not erase, do not hesitate to start over, the author starts budding artists on the path to learning to draw. Through examination of a number of drawings by old masters as well as by the author himself, the reader comes to appreciate the importance of balance, composition, and patterns. Terms such as Perspective, Horizon Line, and Vanishing Point are introduced as well as ways of making drawings look 'solid.' Above all, the reader will come away with the understanding that learning to draw is learning to see, together with a framework for improving his own drawing and for appreciating that of others. A book to read slowly and return to again and again.  Ages 13-18.

Oxford Book of English Verse: Milton to Burns by Arthur Quiller-Couch

Published June 14, 2021

The Oxford Book of English Verse in its entirety is a choice collection of over 800 poems spanning the period from 1250-1900, selected and edited by the eminent British literary figure, Arthur Quiller-Couch. This third part roughly covers the period from 1650 to 1800 and as such guides the reader through the poetic work of one of the more tumultuous eras in English history.  Ages 12-18.

This Wonderful Universe by Agnes Giberne

Published June 7, 2021

A delightful introduction to the science of astronomy, starting with what can be viewed directly from our location on Earth. In due course, the reader becomes familiar with the moon, the sun, and the planets in our solar system, the meteors and comets that visit us from outer space, as well as the stars and nebulae that reside in outer space. As much as possible, the author puts the reader in the role of discoverer: what can be observed and what can be deduced from the observation. She regularly relates stories of the scientists that made the first discoveries and developed theories to explain their observations.  Ages 13-18.

Historic Poems and Ballads by Rupert S. Holland

Published May 30, 2021

A well-crafted anthology of sixty poems and ballads of historical significance, arranged in chronological order with an introduction to each poem that spurs interest in reading it. In addition to providing historical context for the poems, these introductory pieces offer interesting details about the poets and the circumstances surrounding their writing of these poems. Includes sixteen striking illustrations. A fine complement to historical studies.  Ages 6-12.

Blackboard Drawing by Mildred Swannell

Published May 28, 2021

A handy guide to introducing chalk drawing to children so they develop drawing skills hand in hand with cultivating their powers of observation. Beginning with circles, children move on to patterns that can be made within a circle and then drawing of simple objects based on a circle. Ovals are introduced next, and form the basis of instruction on how to draw fish, leaves, and birds. Flowers, insects, and larger animals are then each taken up in turn. The book concludes with ways chalk drawings can be used to excite interest in arithmetic, geography, and history lessons.  All Ages.

Fifty Steps in Sight-Singing by Arthur Somervell

Published May 26, 2021

A graduated series of lessons for teaching the reading of music at sight in both Sol-fa and Staff notation. Teachers should use their own discretion as to when to go on from one lesson to the next, since for some children, the same lesson may have to be worked through several times. A short time (say 15 minutes) spent on these lessons every day will be found more valuable than a longer time once or twice a week. Ear-tests of a series of notes to be written down in the children's notebooks are given regularly. The use of well-known folk songs for practice is highly recommended.  All Ages.

Outdoor Geography by Herbert Hatch

Published May 16, 2021

Excellent resource for parents and teachers who want to introduce geographical concepts to children during outdoor time. There is a graduated series of lessons in each of the six sections (Study of the Sky, Weather Observation, Plans and Maps, Heights and Contours, Land and Sea, Human Geography) so you can draw inspiration from all of them, no matter the age of your children. Exercises range from simple ones like figuring out where north is from the position of the sun to more complex tasks like making a map to scale using a surveyor's chain like the one pictured on the cover. Numerous suggestions for recording observations over the course of a year are included.  All Ages.

Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Published April 30, 2021

The complete text of Longfellow's epic poem inspired by the expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia in 1755 and their resettlement in British colonies in North America, focusing on the maiden Evangeline, her betrothal to Gabriel, their separation during the relocation, and her lifelong search for Gabriel that ensued. Attractive drawings and color illustrations by Arthur Dixon complement the text of this much loved poem.  All Ages.

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

Published April 28, 2021

Accompany Gulliver on his first two voyages, the first to the land of Lilliputian dwarves and the second to the land of Brobdingnag giants. Marvel at how he survives by his wits in these vastly different settings and the miraculous ways he eventually escapes, to return to his native England for a short time before the call of the sea draws him to venture out again. Includes eight color illustrations and numerous line drawings by Arthur Rackham. Ages 10-12.

North America by Nellie B. Allen

Published April 14, 2021

Start your exploration of North America with New England, then proceed south through the Appalachian Highlands and the Coastal Plain before turning west to the Mississippi Valley and beyond to the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and Pacific Coast. Along the way author Nellie B. Allen introduces you to the geographical features that influence the crops grown and the minerals mined, with particular stress on the the way water flows and efforts to control its movement both for agricultural use and transportation of goods. Canada too is visited from east to west, then Mexico and the seven countries of Central America, followed by the islands of the Caribbean. A comprehensive tour that connects the reader to all the countries of North America leading to greater appreciation for its peoples, their various ways of living, and the agricultural and industrial pursuits they engage in. Questions throughout the text and suggested activities at the end of each chapter encourage the reader to consider the material more thoughtfully.  Ages 10-18.

South America by Nellie B. Allen

Published April 10, 2021

Embark on a voyage through all the countries of South America, with Nellie B. Allen as your guide, pointing out interesting sights along the route and sharing stories about them. In that way you will learn about such activities as the tapping of rubber trees in the Amazon rain forest, the picking of coffee berries in Sao Paolo, and the harvesting of cacao beans in Ecuador as well as getting to know something about the workers involved in their production. You will observe the crafting of Panama hats and the spinning of yarn and weaving of ponchos. You will wonder at all the mining activities: nitrate and guano on the coast and gold and other metals in the interior. And you will hear stories of the discovery of the continent by Europeans, how Magellan sailed through his strait and Pizarro conquered the Incas in Peru. More than anything you will come to appreciate that South America is a land of contrasts with moist rain forests and well-watered plains east of the Andes and desert areas to the west. But you must stay on your toes for the author will ask you why one side is wet, the other dry, which products are best cultivated in what environments, and where else in the world you have seen the same crops grown or minerals mined. Questions and activities at the end of each chapter help the reader strengthen his understanding of the material, while the conversational style makes the book a thoroughly enjoyable read. Ages 10-18.

The Ancient World by Albert Malet

Published April 6, 2021

A comprehensive introduction to the ancient civilizations that arose in the Mediterranean Basin, with special emphasis on how geographical features shaped their development. The book is divided into three sections: The Eastern Empire, Greece, and Rome. In the first section the reader encounters the civilizations of Egypt, Chaldea, Assyria, Phoenicia, and Persia, learning not only the basis of each civilization but how they interacted with each other and how they changed over time. In the second section on Greece, the rivalry between Athens and Sparta is highlighted, showing clearly the highly divergent cultures of Athens and Sparta, followed by the rise of Alexander the Great and the conquest of Asia. Turning to Rome, the reader experiences the growth of Rome from its early days to the establishment of the republic, then the rise of the Roman Empire and its eventual decline. Ambitions of leading figures are clearly articulated, along with the strategies they used to achieve their ends. Throughout the narrative the author relates findings that expand our understanding of the ancient world—archaeological discoveries in Troy, Egypt, and Pompeii—and traces the development of things as foundational to our civilization as our alphabet and our form of government. This is the rare history book that is a joy to read, that provokes thought on a number of levels, and that uses language that is often arresting, as when he repeats the words of an Arabian conqueror: "Egypt is in succession a mud field, a sea of fresh water, and a flower garden."  Ages 11-18.

Tales of Troy and Greece by Andrew Lang

Published April 5, 2021

The stories of Ancient Greece, its heroes and its gods have captivated us for millennia. Andrew Lang's vivid retelling in this collection of some of the most famous of those tales is a perfect introduction for younger readers. Here, they will learn of the heroic deeds of Achilles and Ulysses, Theseus and Perseus—stories that will inspire and amaze, no matter the age.  Ages 10-12.

The Complete Book of the Great Musicians by Percy A. Scholes

Published March 24, 2021

Contains in a single volume The First Book of the MusiciansThe Second Book of the Great Musicians, and The Third Book of the Great Musicians. A stimulating introduction to the major composers, the music they wrote, and the instruments they used. For each of the two dozen composers included, the author secures the reader's interest by first relating stories of his childhood, then introducing representative pieces of his music, selected for appeal on first hearing. The reader is led on step by step to develop his listening skills, often through games of the author's invention. As he is ready to learn more about various aspects of musical form and its development, a chapter appears explaining just that. With the author taking special care to show how the paths of the different musicians intertwine and how supportive they are of each other, it seems as if he is inviting the reader to join the musical community and equipping him to be an appreciative listener, if not a musician himself.  Ages 13-18.

The Third Book of the Great Musicians by Percy A. Scholes

Published March 22, 2021

At the beginning of this third volume, Brahms and Franck join the ranks of composers from Europe introduced so far in this series, most of whom had their roots in Germany, Italy, France, and Austria. Next our attention is drawn to Russian music and Tchaikovsky, as a representative of that tradition, and lastly to Britain with special focus on Arne, Bennett, and Parry. An especially interesting chapter on the use of music in Shakespeare is included, along with a history of keyboard instruments. As in the other volumes, each chapter concludes with some thought-provoking questions and ideas of things to do to deepen appreciation of the reading.  Ages 13-18.

The Second Book of the Great Musicians by Percy A. Scholes

Published March 21, 2021

A further course in music appreciation, introducing the composers Schubert, Field, Mendelssohn, and Debussy by the same methods as used in the first volume of this series, then moving on to the major focus of this second book, which is on dramatic forms that have a musical component and musical forms that have a dramatic component. Starting with miracle plays and masques, the narrative then turns to oratorios, and operas. In connection with the latter, Wagner and Verdi, both masters of the operatic form, are profiled, along with Sullivan, who in partnership with Gilbert produced the comic operas for which they are so well known. A section on military music is also included, featuring the instruments on display in army bands.  Ages 13-18.

The First Book of the Great Musicians by Percy A. Scholes

Published March 18, 2021

A delightful introduction to the major composers that takes readers on a journey of discovery and leaves them eager to learn more. In this first book, the reader comes to know Purcell, Handel, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Greg, Elgar, and McDowell, first through stories of their childhood and then through representative pieces of their music, selected for appeal on first hearing. Chapters on Counterpoint, Fugues, Sonatas, Symphonies, and Orchestras appear at just the right point in the narrative.  Ages 13-18.

Heroes of Asgard by A. and E. Keary

Published March 18, 2021

Masterful retelling of the Norse myths with vivid pictures of the heroes, including Thor with his hammer, Iduna with her apples, and Loki with his tricks and schemings. Inhabiting a harsh world where character is revealed in action, some draw admiration for their feats of superhuman strength, overcoming apparently insurmountable challenges, while others stoop to deceitful action with disastrous results. A study in contrasts, not without humor, giving the reader lots to ponder.  Ages 9-12.

The Listener's Guide to Music by Percy A. Scholes

Published March 17, 2021

An engaging introduction to the art of listening, starting with folk music familiar to all, and proceeding to the ways musical pieces are constructed from parts. Using a conversational style, the author draws out from the reader the points he wants to make, illustrating them with short musical pieces that appeal to a broad audience. Along the way he gives tips of what to listen for, strengthening his reader's listening skills by such games as 'Camouflaged Tunes.' In the course of the book, Scholes gives a brief history of classical music and introduces many of the noted composers, whetting appetite for further listening opportunities. Musical terms are introduced only as needed, with a full glossary at the end of the book of terms the student is likely to encounter.  Ages 13-18.

Physical Geography by Archibald Geikie

Published March 16, 2021

Guides the reader in gaining a fuller appreciation of the natural landscape by posing questions and suggesting observations they can make for themselves. Includes such topics as how to determine the shape of the earth, where rain and snow come from, the various ways that water circulates over land, and why the sea is salt. Lays the foundation for a lifetime of ongoing interest in and observation of ever-changing geographical features, with a greater understanding of how it came to be the way it is today.  Ages 13-18.

The Acts of the Apostles by Ellen M. Knox

Published January 26, 2021

The Acts of the Apostles are so rich in variety and interest that they are more frequently studied in schools than any other book of the Bible. This guide leads the reader through the Acts as a whole, showing how the men who lived and walked with Jesus understood and applied the first principles of His teaching and acts to the religious and social problems of their day, while highlighting how these same leaders translated the teaching of Jesus, whether given in parable, paradox or precept, into the spirituality and earnest obedience of their own personal lives, a spirituality which found its natural outcome in the active missionary labour of a St. Peter and a St. Paul abroad, and the no less active though quieter service of a Lydia and a Dorcas at home.  Ages 12-18.

Kristy's Christmas Surprise by Olive Thorne Miller

Published January 22, 2021

When illness keeps Kristy at Grandma's for Christmas, she comes up with a most ingenious way to keep the holiday. She invites neighbors and relatives to a Christmas Eve gathering, announcing only after they arrive that they are all to tell a story of the oddest, most miserable, or most agreeable Christmas they ever spent. There follow 14 heartwarming tales that will call forth tears, dismay, laughter, and surprise. A fine collection of stories for family reading that embody the true spirit of Christmas.  Ages 7-10.

The Pearl Story Book by Ada and Eleanor Skinner

Published January 21, 2021

The Pearl Story Book is a stellar collection for children of stories and legends from near and far about Winter, Christmas, and the New Year. Poems to match the season are sprinkled among the narrative selections, making reading from beginning to end a joyful experience. This is one of four seasonal collections the authors have compiled, the others being The Emerald Story Book for Spring, The Turquoise Story Book for Summer, and The Topaz Story Book for Fall.  Ages 8-12.

Pepin: A Tale of Twelfth Night by Evaleen Stein

Published November 5, 2020

This magical tale follows the life of Pepin, a peasant lad of Medieval France, and circles around the twelfth day after Christmas (the Feast of the Three Kings) as his story unfolds. Raised by his grandfather after the death of his parents, Pepin lives quietly and industriously in a small hut by the edge of the forest. From his grandfather, Pepin learns the story of the wicked duke, Gundebold the Wolf, and learns, too, a consistent generosity that guides him through the twists and turns of his own growing up. A generosity that Pepin will need as the story progresses! Beautifully crafted, and subtly told, this tale will make a welcome addition to any child’s bookshelf!  Ages 9-12.

Desert Neighbors by Edith M. Patch and Caroll Lane Fenton

Published November 4, 2020

Readers will soon imagine themselves nestled amid mesquite trees and yucca plants through this depiction of desert life. Describing both flora and fauna, these stories capture the excitement of the desert, as well as its quiet beauty, and are likely to leave readers curious to learn more and to see for themselves the wonders of the desert west.  Ages 9-11.

Master Skylark by John Bennett

Published October 16, 2020

A Stratford lad, stolen away by the master-players of Lord Admiral's troupe of actors, is transported to London, where his singing charms even Queen Bess and wins for him the title Master Skylark. Through the twists and turns of an engaging plot in which Shakespeare himself plays a part, a vivid picture of life among the Elizabethan players emerges, furnishing context for subsequent reading of Shakespeare's plays.  Ages 10-12.

Holiday Meadow by Edith M. Patch

Published October 16, 2020

Within a sentence, this book takes the reader to the edge of a meadow thick with flowers. He must cross a bridge to reach it, but once safely on the other side, he can stretch and look about. Refocusing his senses, the child is free to listen to a crow's call, pat the old cow Daisy who is munching contemplatively away, notice the rustle of a mouse in the grass . . . and learn the first of many curious things about this 'holiday meadow.' A refreshing read.  Ages 8-10.

Holiday Hill by Edith M. Patch

Published August 27, 2020

Any hill covered with blossoming blueberries, checkerberries, and cranberries must be a very special place indeed. In the fall, the hill will be covered in autumnal gold; in winter, one may attempt to sled down it! But no matter when one goes, they are sure to encounter gigantic boulders to clamber over, a venerable pair of garter snakes, a set of American elm trees, and perhaps even Little Snowshoes the rabbit.  Ages 8-10.

Holiday Shore by Edith M. Patch

Published August 12, 2020

The shore is full of wonders as it defines the boundary between sea and land, and is the one place where the two are mingled together. As waves wash over and over upon the land, the coastline itself is changed, and at Holiday Shore, these waves eventually washed away a little cove that then became a bay. It is in that bay that the subjects of these imaginative stories dwell. There, the reader will find eels, barnacles, king crab, starfish, and many other shoreline wonders to learn about and to marvel over.  Ages 8-10.