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Thursday, May 30, 2019

New Release — Expressly Yours, Samantha (Cotillion Ball Saga Book 7) by Becky Lower

Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over eighteen. Must be expert riders. Willing to face death daily. Orphans preferred. 

With the death of her Aunt Hilda, Samantha Hughes is desperate to find a way to escape her Uncle Jack. The wanted poster for Pony Express riders just may be her way to freedom—death would be preferable to what Uncle Jack has planned for her! But can she pose as a man long enough to reach her eighteenth birthday a few months away? 
Valerian Fitzpatrick is ready to be his own man—as a Pony Express rider! The weight of responsibility in the family business is not for him—a Pony Express rider will give him the freedom he craves. When he befriends fellow employee “Sam” Hughes, he figures out her secret, and friendship quickly turns to much more between them.
With Samantha still in terrible danger from her uncle, Val vows to protect her. But Samantha is determined to keep Val safe as well, and she’s on the run again. Can Val find her before it’s too late? And once he does, will he give up his life of freedom for the sake of Samantha’s love?


     The ceremony at the cemetery was hardly long enough to be called a service. The minister quoted a Bible passage and said some nice things about her aunt, but her casket was lowered into the ground within a matter of minutes. Samantha hesitated at the gravesite, tossing a handful of earth on the crude casket as the graveyard worker pierced the mound of dirt beside the site with his shovel, and began filling the hole he had created the previous evening The scraping of a shovel in the dirt and the scent of freshly turned earth would forever remind her of Aunt Hilda.
     Jack wasted no time at the gravesite and hurried to the tavern with his pouch of coins.
     Samantha took the letter containing Aunt Hilda’s dying words to the post office. She would accomplish this final act for her aunt, however futile it may be, since she fully expected her aunt and her grandmother to meet at heaven’s door at the same time. And then she’d be off, leaving this small town, and Uncle Jack, behind. But she still didn’t have a clue where she might head, with little money and no means of transportation.
     A sign at the post office caught Samantha’s eye. She feigned disinterest as she snuck sidelong glances at the poster about the new Pony Express, reading one line at a time.

Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows.

     She tore her glance from the sign and studied the customers queued up in front of her.
Another quick look.

Not over eighteen.

     She posted her letter and turned away from the window, catching the last of the poster’s message.

Must be expert riders. Willing to face death daily. Orphans preferred.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Beautiful Worlds - Mainly Medieval. How I Research for Them

There are two 'schools' of historians - optimists and pessimists. The first looks to the positive side of historical events. The latter tends to a more gloomy view. It's the rosy and the grubby views of history.

In creating the past in my stories I tend to the more rosy view of history, apart from where I feel readers need to be shown the 'grubby' side as a contrast, or for high stakes, or to endanger my heroines or heroes. But the worlds I try to create I try to make appealing - and romantic in the uplifting, optimistic sense. I rather celebrate the best in human nature and show the 'best' of past societies and cultures.

So how do I go about it?

First I read. I read children's non fiction books (lots of social history and pictures), general histories, specialist histories and finally original, primary sources where I can - letters, chronicles, laws, coroners' rolls. An amazing amount of detail can be found in the last two. Look at the Sumptuary Laws of the 1300s, aimed at restricting expensive dress - that tells me that everyone in England was dressing as richly as they could. And coroners' rolls give lists of accidents that are both vivid and chilling: a man dies because he fell through his privy floor and drowned in his privy, a child perishes because she falls into the fire. These cases are tragic and horrific but they give clues to the world.

These details are grim, so in my world they would be touched on only briefly, if at all, but I need to know them and use them where appropriate.

Other more positive details I try to slip into my novels - as deftly as possible, so I don't have slabs of research and a fact-mountain in the middle of my story. For these details I find pictures invaluable. The beautiful drawings of Les Tres Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry show ordinary people at work and play and the world in which they do so. It may be an idealized world, but I find it endlessly inspiring.

I also focus on pleasant things - hobbies, past-times, pleasures and show my characters at play. I also show my characters at work and try to make those sections interesting, in that my people have unusual skills - everyone likes to learn new things.

To build the world I start with geography - the land itself. Where a character lives defines how that person survives on the land and what skills the person will have. Is it wooded and fertile, with soft, rolling hills, or bleaker and harsher? Uplands also have their beauties and I research what animals and plants grow in my fictional kingdom, taking care to include those species which were once common but are now rare. I also take care that my animals and plants are appropriate to the period - in the Middle Ages, I can't have a bunch of English villagers munching on potatoes, which weren't introduced from the New World until much later.

After I have 'made' my land I consider the people. What do they look like? Do they have any unusual aspects in their appearance? Do they have any particular habits of movement, speech or dress? What are they clothed in?

Clothes are always fun for a writer, and for a reader. Roman Britain gives me a lot of scope as there were all kinds of luxury fabrics such as silk available to the rich, plus wonderful jewels. Ancient Roman houses - the ones the rich could afford - can also be shown as very beautiful, with wall paintings and under-floor heating.

After the fall of the Roman Empire the wattle and daub houses that replaced the grand villas might sound drab, but certainly in this country it's the dream of many British to live in a thatched cottage and that is what many of the dwellings were, in essence. When I create them for my beautiful medieval worlds, I stress their snug warmth and living heat.

Returning briefly to clothes, the later Middle Ages also has furs and silks and richly dyed woollens, plus an array of hats and jewels and shoes.

To create a beautiful world of the past I also evoke pleasing sounds and scents - the bells ringing the church hours, the twitter of birds, the rattle of drums, the scent of baking bread, the smell of a bluebell wood - and more.

Selection is the key. As I try to evoke the past and create a beautiful past, I select those details that will transport the reader into fields of wild flowers and colorful, vibrant cities.

It is my pleasure to do so, and I hope it is my readers' pleasure to enjoy the results.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Book Review: Prettiest Little Horse Thief by Gail L. Jenner



Rebecca Williams doesn’t need a man. One abusive husband was enough and now that she’s widowed, she resolves to make her own way in the world of horse trading – with only Shih-chai, her Navajo “grandfather,” as companion and hired hand.

Colt Ryman is a stranger who happens upon Rebecca after a cowboy-turned-thief assaults her. He finds himself captivated by the beautiful but stubbornly independent widow, and he determines to make her his own.

In the heat of the moment, and after Rebecca’s life and reputation are again threatened, the widow finds herself married to Colt Ryman. In spite of her protest, however, she comes to discover that this stranger is more husband than the late Frank Williams, and that love can sometimes, quite unexpectedly, have the power to heal.

My Review:

I love a rescue story, especially when this is how the hero meets the heroine -- he's a good man who won't stand aside when he sees evil happening. Give me a heroine who's both vulnerable and strong and a hero who knows what he wants, and I'm swoonin'. This is an enjoyable little story that's easy to fit in when you don't have a whole lot of time to read but need a little escape.

Purchase Link:

Thursday, May 23, 2019

New Release — Everlasting Spring: Women of Destiny by Kit Prate

Beautiful Chicago socialite Mary Kathleen McQuade’s life is planned and charted as she has always expected it to be—until two men rip away the facade in a fight for her love—or her wealth. 

Devlin Culhane is a rebel who leads the wretched band of McQuade’s Tannery workers in founding a labor union to fight for their most basic rights. The union comes before all else—even his love for Mary Kathleen.

Edward Dennison has devised a Machiavellian scheme to wrest away the McQuade wealth while crushing the striking workers beneath his heel—and stealing everything from Mary Kathleen in his madness.

With two desperate men pitted against one another, there are bound to be casualties—including her own heart. Can Mary Kathleen stop this blood bath before it goes too far? Seizing her destiny with fierce determination, she sets out to restore the financial empire that is hers alone. But can Devlin Culhane give Mary Kathleen her heart’s desire—an EVERLASTING SPRING—before Dennison sees him dead? 

Originally published as A Woman of Chicago.


     Victoria straightened under Danforth’s steady scrutiny, willing herself to ignore the pain that racked the battered flesh on her shoulders and across her abdomen. “I won’t leave, Karl.” She held her head erect, her chin tilted defiantly, almost as if she were daring him to strike out at her again. “This is my home and I have no intention of leaving it—or leaving my son.”
     Danforth laughed coarsely, as if someone had told him a particularly ribald joke. Breaking off, he turned, his face ashen. “You are no longer fit to live in this house, Victoria.”
The bitter denouncement stung. Until now she had managed to keep her private and public lives separate. She had been no less discreet than her spouse. “What I’ve done is no worse than the things you have done, Karl. Nowhere will you find one set of Commandments for women and another set for men.”
     Her blasphemy offended him. He raised his hand to strike her, catching himself when he saw something deep in her eyes that stopped him. He realized she really did not care that there might be a scandal.
     “You’ll go to Europe, Victoria.” He smiled then, something ominous in the grimace. “You’ll go,” he repeated, “or I’ll swear in court that Charles is your bastard child and that you’ve deceived me—and the boy—from the very beginning…”


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Discovering a Side of my Dad I Never Knew

(With Memorial Day coming up, I thought I’d share this personal story about my father, who was a veteran. Let’s take a few minutes to think of those currently in our military branches and all of the veterans, who through the years have served to preserve, protect and defend our country and our democracy.)

    My father served in the Army during World War II. He was stationed in Europe, was wounded, and received a Purple Heart.

     He never spoke of his service. He died in 2009. And that’s all we ever knew about it.

    Until now.

    In sorting through our parents’ attic, my sister and I discovered a small box filled with mementos related to his experiences as a soldier

    He was drafted into the Army and assigned to the 4th Infantry. We found his draft card.

                             Dog tags                                                    Wallet

But the most interesting find was a yearbook-style history of the Word War II experiences of the 4th Infantry. I never knew these accounts were compiled and published, let alone that my father had one.


There are photos and accounts of the experiences of the 4th Infantry. In the margins at several points, my father had penciled notes of his personal experiences.


And in the back of the book are pages and pages of photographs of the men who fought in the various companies. Many of them look like young kids. And the sheer numbers in just the 4th Infantry begin to bring home a sense of the unimaginable numbers of service people who fought in World War II.


Tucked inside the book, was one clipping:

My dad and I were never close. Finding these mementos, which were important enough for him to keep all these years, has given me an intimate look at a side of him I never knew. I wish he could have shared recollections of his war experiences with me.

 In a way, I guess, he has. 

Have you discovered a side of a parent you didn’t know about when you were growing up?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The National Road by Becky Lower

Today, a road stretches from east to west across this vast land we call America.  It has been called, since its inception, the National Road.

Today, it’s called Route 40 and is nicely paved, with rest stops along the way, signs directing a driver to points of interest along the way. It wasn’t always so civilized. It was once a vast forest that needed to be hacked out, and the actual road which stretches west from Maryland to Indiana was not accessible until well into the early 1800s. However, it was the road used by millions who were making the trek from the original eastern states to the west.  About 620 miles long, it was begun in 1754. First major highway funded by the Federal Government. Construction began in 1811 at Cumberland, MD, over the Allegheny Mountains, through southwestern PA and on to Wheeling, WV.

Plans were to continue the road as far as St. Louis, MO, but Federal funding ran dry, and construction was halted at Vandalia, IL. Today, the full road, from east in Baltimore to west in St. Louis, was designated “The Historic National Road” in 2002.

Before the road, though, people were using waterways to traverse the area. The Ohio River was a main conduit. Lewis and Clarke set off on their Corps of Discovery expedition began on the Monongahela River, which merges with the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers at Pittsburgh.  So technically, their voyage did not set out from St. Louis, as is claimed. It starts much farther east. 

Let me take you back to the year 1754 for a moment. The Ohio River Valley was a vast wilderness and was considered the western frontier of the United States. The country was divided up between the English, the French and the Spanish. Settlers on the east coast wanted more land to settle, and wished to move west. But the land was harsh and lawless. A young major named George Washington was sent on a diplomatic mission by the governor of Virginia, Robert Dinwiddie. The French, with whom he was meeting, politely told Major Washington they were not giving up their territory, which spread from the Great Lakes to New Orleans.  Dinwiddie needed to put boots on the ground, and quickly, if Americans had any hope of expansion beyond the east coast.  In March, 1754, A fort was erected in The Forks,  which is better known today as Pittsburgh. In April of that year, Dinwiddie sent George Washington out with orders to make the fort secure, and to build up supplies. As part of his mission, he was charged with building a road that could handle heavy wagon traffic and artillery. 

The road did not come easily, however. The terrain was rough, mountainous and covered in woods and brush. The men building the road quickly exhausted from the strenuous labor and short rations.  It took them six weeks to advance the road sixty miles, to the site of the Great Meadows, near present day Uniontown, PA. While they were camped out there, Washington got word the French were advancing upon his crew.  Lt. Colonel Washington decided to take the battle to the French, and met their commander, Joseph Coulon de Villieers de Jumonville, after a long night of trekking with forty of his men through the dark treacherous forest. Ten French soldiers were killed, 21 were captured. Only one man under Washington’s command was killed in the encounter. At least one French soldier escaped, compromising the mission. So, without reinforcements, Washington could not attack The Forks. The French were deeply entrenched in the Ohio Valley and had the assistance of the native Indians. He needed to finish the road. 

This skirmish between George Washington and Ensign Jumonville was the precursor to the French and Indian War.  Washington retreated to Great Meadows and set about building a fort, which he called Fort Necessity.  When the rest of the Virginia militia arrived, along with British troops from South Carolina, George once again turned his attention to the road. Most of June was spent opening a road from Fort Necessity to Gist’s Plantation, in the direction of The Forks.  However, a large contingent of French advancing on Fort Necessity forced Washington to move back to the fort, where he ultimately surrendered to the French after days of heavy fighting and casualties. The French burned Fort Necessity and Washington returned back east. This was his first taste of military battle, and was good training for the upcoming Revolutionary War.

In 1755, General Edward Braddock, joined by Washington’s Virginia militia and native American Indian scouts, returned to the road, chopping their way to Fort Pitt. Their mission was to take Fort Duquesne from the French.  The fort was strategically placed at the confluence of the Ohio River with the Allegheny and the Monongahela. The going was rough, however, and the French got wind of the project. They attacked the road workers and mortally wounded General Braddock. 

Work on the road west continued during the seven-year long French and Indian War. This first-funded Federal road was partly responsible for the Revolutionary War, as the British tried to recoup some of their spent money by increasing the taxes on goods coming into the country. Following the Revolutionary War, work on the road continued, sanctioned by our nation’s third president, Thomas Jefferson. By 1818, the road stretched from Cumberland, MD to Wheeling, WV. In 1820, Congress authorized a continuation of the road to St. Louis, MO. This road eventually became the first leg of the long journey west through St. Louis and St. Joseph, MO and on to Oregon and California.

As an aside, to celebrate my birthday month, I am offering my novella, An Unconventional Courtship, for free to anyone who wants to find out how Charlotte and George Fitzpatrick met and feel in love. You can download your copy here:

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Writing Tips

By Kristy McCaffrey

As a writer, I always appreciate advice from other authors. But when I’m asked for my own writing tips, I glance over my shoulder, because surely there’s a famous author standing behind me. Still, there are a few bits of advice I can offer.

Surround yourself with people better than you.
This is how you’ll improve. And you can always improve.

Friends make the world a sweeter place. Friends can give you endless ideas about how to move forward in your career. And, finally, to get support, you must give support. Read your friend’s books. You’ll learn much.

Trust your instincts and intuition.
Follow your creative impulses—they’ll always be right and true. But be more business-like and discerning during the editing process and the subsequent marketing of a book. Don’t crumble at the first sign of criticism.

Learn the craft.
This will be an ongoing process that never ends. You’ll make mistakes. Learn from them and move on.

The 80% Rule
If a story is 80% good enough, I send it off to the editor. With good editing, I strive to bring it up to 95%. It’s impossible to reach perfection, so stop tweaking and release your creation to the world.

Be authentic.
As an author, as a writer, and as a person. You are your writing. At the same time, your job is to be as invisible as possible within the work itself. Dig into your characters and plot. Embrace research.

Follow your own path.
Your journey won’t look like anyone else’s, so don’t compare yourself to another author.

Have fun.
If playing with words and stories wasn’t buried deep in your bones, you wouldn’t be doing it in the first place. There are no limitations, really, so don’t place any on yourself.

Be humble. Be curious. Be grateful.

Connect with Kristy

Monday, May 13, 2019


Previously published in 2017.

I love history. That’s no surprise, of course, to anyone who knows me. I not only enjoy writing about the past but researching those bits and pieces that make the historical story I’m writing realistic, interesting and accurate.

Research comes in many forms. I can spend hours in a library, hunting through books. Or online, looking for one particular fact. But my favorite type of research is the kind I didn’t plan.

You’ve probably had the same experience. You stop to grab lunch at a restaurant off the freeway and discover the nearby town has, for more than a hundred years, hosted a festival in celebration of prickly pears. Or that there is a fully restored Civil War-era mental hospital only a few blocks away.

In my trips to research a story, I’ve come across some fun facts. Did you know there was a salt war in Texas? Neither did I was researching for this blog. Bonus: I discovered the Texas Historic Sites Atlas while looking for a picture of the marker.

Were you aware there was a Revolutionary War battle in St. Louis, Missouri? That’s right, halfway up the mighty Mississippi. The Battle of Fort San Carlos was fought when British-led Sioux, Sac, Fox and Winnebago warriors attacked a newly built French entrenchment in May of 1780. That historical fact came from a local newspaper article my mother forwarded to me.

Or that the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi was The Battle of Wilson’s Creek, just south of Springfield, MO. I learned that when I drove by the exit sign off the interstate. Though the north “won”, they were exhausted and low on ammunition, so they retreated to Springfield, giving the Confederates control of southwestern Missouri for the duration of the War.

Ever heard of Crash, Texas? It’s a town that was built for the express purpose of allowing spectators to witness a train crash up close and personal. A friend sent me that news story.

Then there’s the Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Race, begun in 1848 and revived in 1977. I found out about it when researching the coach stops along the Santa Fe Trail after visiting the Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri.

I love running across obscure information while I’m researching something else. And you can find some of the most interesting—and mostly useless—tidbits in some unlikely places. ebay® is one place that surprised me. I found some cool info on china and crystal and Texas artifacts there while researching my release, Wild Texas Hearts.

Now, please excuse me. There’s a museum website I want to peruse.

What’s the most unusual fact you discovered in the most unlikely place?

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Book Review: A Knight's Choice and Other Romances by Lindsay Townsend



Six wonderfully sweet medieval short romances in a single anthology. Perfect feel-good reading!

A Knight’s Choice—Morwenna must marry to satisfy her family’s ambitions. Her choice is one of two brothers, but which?

Midsummer Maid—The romance and magic of Midsummer works for everyone—including a beautiful dairymaid and a less-than-handsome woodsman.

The Philosopher and the Herbalist—A light-hearted Not-Beauty and Not-Beast tale, with a romantic twist.

The Bridal House—Alis is reluctant to marry. Her betrothed presents her a beautiful bridal house that might help her see matters in a happier light.

The Seal of Odin—A dark tale of romance set during the age of the Vikings and early Christianity. Sometimes, love is found where we least expect it.

Ugly Meg—Once pretty, now scarred, Meg lives and works in seclusion in Bath—but other jealous guild members are plotting against her. Will fellow carpenter Matthew Warden come to her aid? If so, what will be his price?

My Reviews:

A Knight’s Choice
What's a "seed-pot" woman to do when faced with a future with one of two brothers and not much of a voice in which one she gets (ah, daddy's ambitions!)? Travel with both of them back to their home and quietly watch, observe... and discover who they truly are. And maybe find a way to make the choice for herself. Swoony cute story!

Midsummers Maid
Clare and Haakon have a mix of a beauty and the beast and a damsel in distress story that is charmingly cute. Both outsiders in their own ways, things happen on a midsummers night that allows fate to step in and entwine the two together. She's got a chance to show her grace and courage and acceptance, gifting him with exactly what he needs, and he's got a chance to be provider, protector, and leader, gifting her with exactly what she needs. Love feeling their connection and see their love blossom.

The Philosopher and the Herbalist
Super short story but with a huge gut-catching message I don't want to spoil. Definitely a beautiful truth we all need a reminder of, both sides of the coin....

The Bridal House
This is a quick glance at Alis discovering her hea. Short and sweet.
And I want her house. (sojealousnotjealous)

The Seal of Odin
A twisted story with a gentle lesson in forgiveness and faith. I wasn't sure what to expect, but didn't guess what happened!

Ugly Meg
Whew!! What a way to end this little anthology of stories. Meg had a beautiful life, and then it was taken away from her... or so she thought, until someone found his way past her fears and hurts.
This was another story that had a few surprises in it (I was not expecting the "special items" haha) and delivered a sucker-punch of a beautiful lesson - seeing deeper beyond skin deep and finding the beauty there that shines through. Definitely a story to remember and take the truths deeper inside.

What I truly loved with this whole group of stories is the common thread weaved through each of them in some design. Seeing past skin deep or other's judgement and pursuing what's truly valuable and worthy. This is a great set of stories to enjoy and absorb truths from.

Purchase Links:

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

McGuffey Readers – Student textbooks of the 19th Century by Kaye Spencer #PrairieRosePubs #OldWest #Education

Long before Fun with Dick and Jane and Run Spot Run, there were McGuffey Readers. 

McGuffey Readers—these two words immediately bring to mind the ubiquitous Old West one-room schoolhouse. Well, for me, anyway. I have a set of these Readers. While they aren't first editions, they are true-to-the-original reprints. (enlarge the images to clarify the small print)

So what, exactly, are McGuffey Readers? They are a set of six student textbooks leveled for grades first through sixth. The set also includes a spelling book and a Primer (for the emerging reader). These textbooks were popular in America from the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century. McGuffey Readers and the 18th century textbooks, the New England Primer, provided the educational foundation for countless numbers of students. The McGuffey Readers were so successful that they sold more than 120 million copies between 1836 and 1960.¹

The man who created the Readers was William Holmes McGuffey. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1800 to Scottish emigrant parents, and he died in 1873. His mother was his first teacher, and he was an intelligent and curious learner.

William Holmes McGuffey - Image credit below

While he was still quite young, opportunity came his way, and a benevolent preacher took William McGuffey into his home. McGuffey was now in a city where he was able to study surveying, mathematics, and Latin. This gave him the necessary knowledge to enter college, which he eventually did, but his finances were poor, and it took him some time to earn his degrees.

Now, backing up a bit, McGuffey took a job as a teacher in a one-room school house when he was fourteen. He faced the challenge, as did all one-room schoolhouse teachers, of having students ranging in ages from six to twenty-one. He had few resources. The Bible was the primary reading material, since textbooks were not common.

Over the years, and in between his teaching jobs, he attended two colleges, earned his degrees, and eventually gained a position as a professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He taught at other universities during his lifetime, too. He was married to Harriet Spining, a judge’s daughter, and they had five children. He was a philanthropist of great generosity. After Harriet died in 1850, he remarried.

McGuffey was a professor at Miami University when he began working on the first four Readers. The content included his “own writings, clippings from periodicals, and selections from standard works”².

Standing on the little portico at the north door, McGuffey assembled the children of the neighborhood for regular reading classes. In his dining room he tested his original theories about teaching children. He noted the pieces they liked best and carefully watched their pronunciation. He seemed to love and understand children.²

McGuffey Reader - Primer level - example pages

William McGuffey put together the first four books, and his brother Alexander completed the fifth and sixth books. The books were designed to become increasingly challenging as the student advanced through the levels. Slate work enhanced the readings. Family lore has it that Mrs. McGuffey authored the Primer, but she kept this a secret out of modesty and delicacy².

The Readers were first published in 1836-1837 and the next edition came out in 1879. This was when they underwent revisions in content and approach to stay current with the mores and societal beliefs of the time. For instance, the original editions reflected McGuffey’s strong Calvinist values with the themes of righteousness and piety written throughout, whereas the 1879 editions reflected a more secularized slant on morality and values. It is interesting to note that by 1879, the Readers still carried McGuffey’s name, but he didn’t approve the content and he didn’t contribute to the revisions.

McGuffey Reader - Spelling book - example pages

Two contributing reasons for the decline in popularity of the McGuffey Readers was schools needed textbooks of less overtly religious content, and the rise of consumable workbooks caught on. However, McGuffey Readers didn’t disappear completely. They still have a following in the private school setting and homeschooling environment.

McGuffey Reader - Second level - example pages

McGuffey Reader - Sixth level - example pages
Hamlet's Soliloquy is on the right-hand side.
My maternal grandmother (b. 1907) used McGuffey Readers during her first years of teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in northeastern Colorado (c. 1925). Once she moved to the 'city' (Fort Morgan, Colorado), the 'Dick and Jane' books were the books she taught from. I have many of those books, too.

Are you familiar with McGuffey Readers? I’d love to hear your stories.

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Until next time,

Kaye Spencer


¹Lynch, Matthew. “The Story of American Education and the McGuffey Readers.” The Advocate. 2 September 2018. Web. 14 May 2018.

²Smith, William E. “W. H. McGuffey.”  Miami University, 1973. Web. 14 May 2018.

Library of Congress. Rare Book & Special Collections Reading Room, Selected Special Collections, McGuffey Reader Collection. 15 November 2006. Web. 14 May 2018.

“McGuffey Readers”. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 27 March 2018. Web. 14 May 2018.

McGuffey Readers: Kaye Spencer’s personal collection

William Homes McGuffey - Unknown (, „William Holmes McGuffey“, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons: