Baldwin's Famous Stories

Authors: James Baldwin
Publisher: American Book Company, New York
Dates: 1896–1912;

James Baldwin
JAMES BALDWIN (1841 - 1925)
James Baldwin was one of the most influential educators and authors in the late nineteenth century. Beginning as an elementary teacher, he became the superintendent of the Indiana Public Schools in its early years, and spent his career helping to produce text books used in schools throughout the United States. At one time it was estimated that almost half of the books used in public schools were written or edited by Baldwin and most of his career was spent dedicated to producing good quality classic books for use in schools.

The books from his Famous Stories series were particularly popular and were used as "readers" in the young elementary grades in schools through out the United States. They are written at a second to fourth grade level and retell dozens of true stories, about half from American history, and the rest from world history. These stories are highly anecdotal in nature, and many have a gentle moral. They do not tell complete histories or biographies, but usually only touch upon a single anecdote in a famous person's life. For example, the stories of "Columbus and the Egg", and "bruce and the Spider", tell only of a single incident in the lives of these famous characters, but at a level of great interest to a young reader.

Fifty Famous Stories Retold   by James Baldwin
This book includes fifty tales describing romantic episodes from history and legend. Most are in the form of brief anecdotes of the lives of well-known heroes or in the history of a people. This book was originally intended as a historical reader, and was widely used in public schools throughout the United States. The stories are selected to be appealing to young children and to lay the foundation for broader literary studies, since nearly all are alluded to frequently in poetry and prose.71 credits

Thirty More Famous Stories Retold   by James Baldwin
This volume was written by the author in answer to the requests of hundreds of children for more stories like the ones they had enjoyed in Fifty Famous Stories Retold. This volume includes stories of historical events, scientific discoveries, and legendary heroes and was intended for slightly more sophisticated students than the previous two volumes in the series. The richer vocabulary and more complicated plot elements in these stories gradually accustom children to following a longer narrative. 79 credits

Fifty Famous People   by James Baldwin
The second of a three volume series of historical readers, this book emphasizes stories from the lives of famous individuals. Some of these persons were more famous than others, yet all have left enduring footprints in the "sands of time," and their names will be long remembered. Though not strictly biographical, each of the stories contains a basis of truth and an ethical lesson which cannot fail to have a wholesome influence. Each story is full of interest and will delight the children with whom it is shared. 66 credits