Saturday, August 16, 2014
Best Books for One Room Schools 1922
During the 1920s one room school houses for multiple elementary grades in rural America were common. So it wasn't unusual that the members of the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Education Association (NEA) were interested in identifying the best books for these schools. In 1922 ALA published a small brochure (at left) titled "A Shelf of Books For A One Room School" which identified 25 of the best books for a one room school. The books had been selected by ballot by librarians and teachers at the conferences of ALA and NEA. The brochure lists the books in order of their popularity with the voters. Number 1 on the list was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Other high ranking books were: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Carroll); Life of Robinson Crusoe (Defoe); Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Twain); Treasure Island (Stevenson); Boys' Life of Abraham Lincoln (Nicolay); Jungle Book (Kipling); Fairy Tales (Andersen); Aesop's Fables; Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (Pyle); and Child's Garden of Verses (Stevenson). Short descriptions and prices were provided for the books, and at the end there is a note that any book dealer should be able to supply the books.