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Character Growth
An Exhibit on Children's Literature

Character Growth
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Pollyanna (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Raggedy Ann Stories (by )
  • King Solomon's Mines (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Children of the New Forest, The (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Dog of Flanders, A (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Story of the Treasure Seekers, The (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Call of the Wild, The (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • King of the Golden River, The (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Wide, Wide World, The (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Hans Brinker; Or, The Silver Skates : A ... (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Gulliver's Travels. (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Treasure Island (by )
    Book Rating (30)
  • The Railway Children (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • The Secret Garden (by )
    Book Rating (45)
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Character Growth:  An Exhibit on Children's Literature


Childhood reading builds character and books open young minds to the world and the limitless realm of imagination, and learning. Prior to the advent of mass media communication, books and letter writing were a part of the daily lives of people. Reading letters and books were considered the entertainment of the day. Recreational reading was anticipated with enthusiasm and brought joy to everyone in the home. Additionally, reading to children below age 6 helps them develop critical skills like solving mysteries, recognizing patterns, literacy and diction. In this exhibit, entitled "Character Growth:  An Exhibit on Children's Literature," the world's greatest children's writers and famed novelists, explores the most extensive digitally remastered classic children's literature in the world. From Classic Children's Literature titles, Baby's ABC Book to The Velveteen Rabbit - building character in young ones begins with parental guidance and books. 

Pre K - Elementary
Pre K - Elementary

Recreational Reading is an effective way to develop a child’s literacy skill so that they will be successful into their future. The Growing Children through Reading: A "Character Growth: Exhibit on Children’s Literature" engages classic books that can meet the literacy levels of children pre-Kinder to Kindergarten, Middle School and to High School (Head Start and Even Start Greater Collaboration Needed on Measures of Adult Education and Literacy, GAO).

Children ages 0-5 (Pre-Kinder to Kindergarten) like being read to. Ages 0 to 2 are responsive to visual images, while those aged 3 to 5 enjoy tactile learning. This age group are auditory learners who listen and respond to languages being spoken around them, which they mimic through their vocal chords.    

Baby's ABC Book is a great book to read out loud to children because of its rhyming story line and color pictures; it also introduces them to letters of the alphabet. Mother Earth's Children: The Frolics of Fruits and Vegetables is another great book that uses rhyme and pictures to teach children about different types of vegetables. This book can be accompanied with real vegetables for them to touch as they associate them with what they hear and see in the book.

Children aged 6 to 7 (1st to 2nd Grade) still like being read to, but they are learning to look at written text, read independently, and classify information. They learn self expression through reading out loud, acting, playing, art making, drawing and practicing writing. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas; A Visit from St. Nicholas is a great book for kids aged 6 because it is a poetic story about Santa Claus preparing for Christmas delivery. It can be read aloud or silently, using the colorful pictures to help students identify the different reindeer that help Santa through the night. For those aged 7, Bambi is a story of a young deer who loses his mother, seeks a mate and learns his father’s lessons about human hunters in the forest. Known as the first environmental novel, this book helps readers understand the difference between good and evil.

As children reach ages 8 to 10 (3rd to 4th grade), they are beginning to think about themselves in their social worlds. They like to read for facts and to memorize information. But they also begin to appreciate humor. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz can be read by those aged 8 as it can put the readers into the shoes of Dorothy Gale who is swept away by a cyclone to the mystical land of Oz. Through Dorothy’s journey with her friends, students can learn how to negotiate feelings of heartlessness, intellect and courage, to return back to safety. The Blue Fairy Book can be great for a 9 year old reader interested in getting lost in famous folk tales like those contained in the Grimm's Fairy Tales such as: The History of Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, and Hansel and Gretel. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is great for 10 year old readers who enjoy a spooky tale about a haunted place and the headless horseman who pursues Ichabod Crane into his disappearance.

Middle School
Middle School

Middle Schoolers, between the ages of 11-13 (5th to 8th grades), are entering a time of transition. Cognitively, children in this age group move between concrete to abstract ideas, which may be a bit dogmatic. But like in elementary school, they still like reading out loud, memorizing and enjoying music and the arts. They are learning more about personal independence, and may experience family conflict. Silent reading and self reflective writing about themselves in the world suit this age group.  

The Invisible Man can be read by 11 year olds who are interested in exploring the realms of Science Fiction. Written by H.G. Wells, this book features Griffin, a student who had a laboratory accident and turned himself invisible with chemicals. Through a series of events trying to evade the town of his condition, he is eventually tracked down and killed by a mob. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is another tale of injustice, beauty and unrequited love, which could relate to the 13 year olds own feelings navigating social rules, relationships and dreams.

The Story of My Life, about the life of Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan, can be read by 12 year old readers interested in stories of resilience despite obstacles. Although Keller was born deaf and blind, she became an influential lecturer and social activist for people with disabilities. The Wonderful Adventures of Nils is a story about a mischievous child cursed into a little person by a mythical dwarf. Twelve year old readers might identify with Nils, who finds himself caught in various trials to prove that he is reformed into a better person, in order to return to human size.

High School
High School

High School youth continue to experience intense emotions of family and relationships, with an expanded sense of school responsibilities and future pressures.  It is a time to expose them to literature that expands their thinking on social issues, and prepares them for the challenges of adulthood. Youth aged 14 to 15 (8th to 10th grades) develop capacity for abstract thinking, which includes anxiety, but also exploration of lofty ideas, values and social issues. The Brothers Karamazov could be read by 14 year olds who are thinking about the effects of tumultuous society on the family and the importance of finding love and connection with them despite the changes. Similarly, Romeo and Juliet reflects angst of forbidden love that 15 year olds might be familiar with.

Ages 16 (11th Grade) readers develop their abstract thinking, applying ideas to current and future situations as well as to broader issues. The Metamorphosis is an interesting read for this age level because it is about Gregor Samsa who wakes up as a large insect, which wreaks havoc on his family’s routine. The book raises questions about people living dreary careers and lives, family expectations, and the injustice of being treated as dispensable.

Those aged 17-18 (12th Grade) continue to have abstract thinking but also develop practical problem solving skills. They increasingly demand emancipation and look forward to higher education. For those aged 17, The Lost Continent: The Story of Atlantis could be a great book to expand the imaginations of this group through exploring past worlds, increasing a sense of possibility for their own futures. The Yellow Wallpaper would be a great read for 18 year olds to explore themes of women’s rights and health as was written in a time when women were depicted as mentally weak and fragile, to be controlled by patriarchal medical and professional institutions. This can infuse young people with a sense of history about past injustices, and inspire them to make a difference in their world.


Bibliography

Baum, Lyman Frank.  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  Chicago: G.M. Hill Company, 1900.

Dostoyevkey, Fyodor. The Brothers Karamazov. (n.p.) 1900.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. New York: Feminist Press, 1899.

Gordon, Elizabeth.  Mother Earth's Children: The Frolics of Fruits and Vegetables. Chicago: P.F. Volland & Company, 1914.

Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm. Grimm's Fairy Tales. Ed. by Edna Henry Lee Turpin. New York: Maynard, Merrill and Company, 1903.

History of Little Red Riding Hood, The. London: J.L. Marks, 91 Long Lane, Smithfield, 1850.

Hugo, Victor. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. 1831. Reproduced by World eBook Library, 2005.

Irving, Washington. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  (n.p.)  1820.  Reproduced:  World eBook Library, 2005.

Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. (n.p.) 1912. Reproduced: Blackmask Online, 1999.

Keller, Helen. The Story of My Life. New York:  Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1905.

Lagerlöf, Selma. The Wonderful Adventures of Nils.  New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1912.

Lang, Andrew.  The Blue Fairy Book.  Longmans, Green & Company, 1889.  

Moore, Clement Clarke.  'Twas the Night Before Christmas; A Visit from St. Nicholas. Boston: Houghton Miffin Company, 1912.

Saalfield. Baby's ABC Book. World Public Library Association, 2007.

Salten, Felix.  Bambi. Trans. Whittaker Chambers. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1929. Reproduced: World Public Library Association, 2007.

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. London: J. Pattie, Brydges Street, Covet Street, 1839. Project Gutenberg Consortia Center, 1998.

U.S. Government Accounting Office. "Head Start and Even Start Greater Collaboration Needed on Measures of Adult Education and Literacy: Greater Collaboration Needed on Measures of Adult Education and Illiteracy." Washington D.C., March 2002.

Wells, H.G. The Invisible Man (n.p.) 1897. Reproduced by World eBook Library, 2002.

Burroughs, Edgar Rice. The Lost Continent: The Story of Atlantis. New York: Ballantine Books, 915. Reproduced: World eBook Library, 2005.




Children's Literature Collections
Children’s literature collections are great tools to not only build young people’s literacy skills; they can also provide them with language to understand their own thoughts and feelings, and to introduce them to broader societal issues.  The Growing Children Through Reading: An Exhibit on Children’s Literature explores grade-appropriate books that meet literacy levels of students as they grow from pre-Kinder to High School.  Explore more age-appropriate books in the collections below


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Top 100 books on Classic Chilidren's Literature


  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Pollyanna (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Raggedy Ann Stories (by )
  • King Solomon's Mines (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Children of the New Forest, The (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Dog of Flanders, A (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Story of the Treasure Seekers, The (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Call of the Wild, The (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • King of the Golden River, The (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Wide, Wide World, The (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Hans Brinker; Or, The Silver Skates : A ... (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Gulliver's Travels. (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Treasure Island (by )
    Book Rating (30)
  • The Railway Children (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • The Secret Garden (by )
    Book Rating (45)
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Top books on Contemporary Chilidren's Literature


  • The Lion and the Mouse : Preformed by Wa... (by )
    Book Rating (210)
  • The Rabbit and the Turtle : Preformed by... (by )
    Book Rating (90)
  • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type : Pref... (by )
    Book Rating (30)
  • Clifford and the Grouchy Neighbors : Pre... (by )
    Book Rating (45)
  • Peter's Chair : Preformed by Wally Amos (by )
    Book Rating (30)
  • The Very Greedy Bee : Preformed by Wally... (by )
    Book Rating (45)
  • Zomo the Rabbit : A Trickster Tale from ... (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Jump, Frog, Jump : Preformed by Wally Am... (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Calabash Cat : Preformed by Wally Amos (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • The Crayon Box that Talked : Preformed b... (by )
    Book Rating (105)
  • How Rocket Learned to Read : Preformed b... (by )
    Book Rating (45)
  • The Cow Who Clucked : Preformed by Wally... (by )
    Book Rating (75)
  • Otto : Preformed by Wally Amos (by )
  • Hunches in Bunches : Preformed by Wally ... (by )
    Book Rating (61)
  • Cows Can't Fly : Preformed by Wally Amos (by )
    Book Rating (75)
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Top 100 books on Children's Early Learning


  • Stories for Children : A Book for All Li... (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • Stories for Children : A Book for All Li... (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • The King of the Golden River, Or the Bla... (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • The Arabian Nights Entertainments Comple... (by )
    Book Rating (175)
  • The History of the Fairchild Family : Or... (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • Grimm's Fairy Tales (version 2) (by )
    Book Rating (30)
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio (by )
    Book Rating (151)
  • Mrs. Peter Rabbit (by )
    Book Rating (132)
  • Jack and the Beanstalk and Other Stories 
    Book Rating (3)
  • The Three Jovial Huntsmen : One of R. Ca... (by )
  • Aunt Friendly's Gift (by )
    Book Rating (118)
  • Little Bo-Peep; A Nursery Rhyme Picture ... 
    Book Rating (3)
  • Anne of Green Gables (by )
    Book Rating (9)
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (by )
    Book Rating (1)
  • The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle (by )
    Book Rating (75)
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Children's Literature Collection


  • Jack the Giant Killer 
    Book Rating (132)
  • The Wide, Wide World (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • The olive fairy book (by )
  • Through the looking-glass and what Alice... (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Walden; Or, Life in the Woods : Volume 2 (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • An Indian Boy's Story 
    Book Rating (141)
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. H... (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • The Pilgrim's Progress (by )
    Book Rating (30)
  • Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (by )
    Book Rating (75)
  • The Wrecker (by )
    Book Rating (118)
  • The son of a genius : a tale, for the us... (by )
  • The Adventures of Maya, The Bee (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • Tom Swift and His Aerial Warship (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • The Green Flag, And Other Stories of War... (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • Black Beauty (by )
    Book Rating (51)
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Education


  • World Health Organization : Technical Re... (by )
    Book Rating (175)
  • Foreign Assistance Global Food for Educa... (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • A General Catalogue of Colgate Universit... (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • Academie des Sciences, Lettres et Arts d... (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • President Bushs Historic Investment in E... (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • School survey of Lawrence, Kansas (by )
  • The University of Modern Life, An Addres... (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • Beyond Architecture (by )
    Book Rating (118)
  • The Story of the Hall of Fame, Including... (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • Life of Sir William E. Logan First Direc... (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • 2003 Service Annual Survey Social Assist... (by )
    Book Rating (175)
  • Ho-Chunk Nation Communal Service Program (by )
    Book Rating (132)
  • Mistakes in Teaching, How to Correct The... (by )
    Book Rating (1)
  • Catalogue Number [Of the Bulletin] (by )
    Book Rating (175)
  • Bibliothek der Gesammten Deutschen Natio... 
    Book Rating (3)
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Audio Books Collection


  • Tree-Dwellers, The (by )
  • International Women's Literature Collect... (by )
  • Atrocities of the Pirates, The (by )
  • Gunman's Reckoning (by )
  • Briefe (Epistolae) (by )
  • Jungle Book, The (by )
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  • Indiana (by )
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  • Short Science Fiction Collection 030 (by )
  • Public Domain Hymns 01 (by )
  • Aged Stranger, The (by )
  • New York Idea, The (by )
  • Under the Lilacs (by )
  • Sara Crewe: or, What Happened at Miss Mi... (by )
  • Short Story Collection Vol. 018 (by )
  • Westminster Larger Catechism (by )
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DjVu Editions Classic Literature


  • The Holy Bible (by )
    Book Rating (15)
  • Anna Karenina (by )
    Book Rating (47)
  • The Golden Bowl (by )
    Book Rating (132)
  • The Tragedie of Troylus and Cressida (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • Moby-Dick or the Whale (by )
    Book Rating (31)
  • The Bostonians (by )
    Book Rating (1)
  • Areopagitica (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • The Portrait of a Lady (by )
    Book Rating (16)
  • The Maine Woods (by )
    Book Rating (132)
  • French Ways and Their Meaning (by )
    Book Rating (1)
  • Walden Or, Life in the Woods (by )
    Book Rating (30)
  • The Tragedie of Julius C‘Sar (by )
    Book Rating (32)
  • Paradise Lost (by )
    Book Rating (1)
  • Pride and Prejudice (by )
    Book Rating (196)
  • Paradise Regained (by )
    Book Rating (132)
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Educational Resource Collection


  • Department of Education [Cfda No. : 84. ... (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • Department of Defense Office of the Secr... (by )
    Book Rating (175)
  • Department of Education [Cfda Nos : 84. ... (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • Department of Education [Cfda No. 84. 10... (by )
    Book Rating (118)
  • Department of Education 34 Cfr Part 682 ... (by )
    Book Rating (118)
  • Department of Education Submission for O... (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • Policy Lincletter Campaign 2000: Where D... (by )
    Book Rating (132)
  • Department of Education Submission for O... (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • Department of Education 34 Cfr Part 86 R... (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • Department of Education [Cfda No. : 84. ... (by )
    Book Rating (118)
  • Department of Education National Committ... (by )
    Book Rating (175)
  • Department of Education [Cfda No. : 84. ... (by )
    Book Rating (175)
  • Archived Information Office for Civil Ri... (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • Department of Education Submission for O... (by )
    Book Rating (132)
  • Department of Education Educational Rese... (by )
    Book Rating (155)
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Educational Videos


  • Hyperbolas : Conic Sections: Intro to Hy... Volume Algebra series (by )
  • Price elasticity : Elasticity of Supply Volume Microeconomics series (by )
  • TEDtalks Global Conference 2012 : Vikram... (by )
  • TEDtalks Global Conference 2007 : Franco... (by )
  • Pre-Raphaelites : Hunt's The Awakening C... Volume Art History series (by )
  • Competition Math : 2003 AIME II Problem ... (by )
  • Geithner Plan : Geithner Plan III Volume Finance and capital markets series (by )
  • Null space and column space : Null Space... Volume Linear Algebra series (by )
  • 2008 Bank bailout : Bailout 6: Getting a... Volume Finance and capital markets series (by )
  • TEDtalks Conference 2005 : Anna Deavere ... (by )
  • Rational expressions and equations : Sol... Volume Algebra series (by )
  • Acids and bases : Strong Acid Titration Volume Science & Economics series (by )
  • Public goods and externalities : Negativ... Volume Microeconomics series (by )
  • Vi Hart : Doodling in Math Class: Connec... (by )
  • Thermodynamics : Gibbs Free Energy Examp... Volume Science & Economics series (by )
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Project Gutenberg Consortia Center


  • Elsie Dinsmore (by )
    Book Rating (132)
  • The Voyage of Verrazzano (by )
    Book Rating (132)
  • The Lost House (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • Histoire des Voyages de Scarmentado (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • The Bakchesarian Fountain and Other Poem... (by )
    Book Rating (175)
  • The Dwelling Place of Light, Volume 3 (by )
    Book Rating (175)
  • Ascension du Desir, Poesie (by )
    Book Rating (132)
  • The Renaissance : Studies in Art and Poe... (by )
    Book Rating (175)
  • The Story of the Odyssey (by )
    Book Rating (175)
  • The Wandering Jew, Volume 6 (by )
    Book Rating (132)
  • Philip Dru : Administrator (by )
    Book Rating (155)
  • La Constantin (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • Rampolli (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • Rejected Addresses : Or, The New Theatru... (by )
    Book Rating (175)
  • Smith and the Pharaohs, And Other Tales (by )
    Book Rating (200)
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Literature


  • Filosofia de la Elocuencia (by )
    Book Rating (132)
  • The Translations of Beowulf; A Critical ... (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • A Key to the Exercises of Woodbury's New... (by )
    Book Rating (200)
  • Bell's British Theatre : Consisting of t... (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • Kars and Our Captivity in Russia : With ... (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • Wiener Studien (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • Kinai Bibliografia (by )
    Book Rating (175)
  • Bar. Long Liue the King (by )
    Book Rating (155)
  • Les Natchez : Vol. 1 Volume Vol. 1 (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • A Laboratory Course in Physics for Secon... (by )
    Book Rating (3)
  • Nouveau manuel complet des ponts et chau... (by )
  • Précis analytique des travaux de l'Acade... (by )
  • Short French Grammar (by )
  • Thematisches Verzeichniss der im Druck e... (by )
  • The Value of Money (by )
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