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What Were the Schoolbooks Like?
Readers: Other Readers
The Catholic School Book: Containing Easy and Familiar Lessons for the Instruction of Youth of Both Sexes in the English Language and the Paths of True Religion and Virtue by William Eusebius Andrews. Montreal: Printed by N. Mower, 1817
Readers such as this one often used religious texts and ideas to teach reading skills.
Selections in Prose and Poetry for Public Recitation in Schools, from Canadian and English Sources... by J. George Hodgins. Toronto: Printed for the Department of Public Instruction for Upper Canada, 1858
A note in this book indicates that some of the more sentimental poems are “chiefly for recitation by girls.”
Second Book of Lessons: for the Use of Schools. Toronto: R. McPhail, 1864. (National Series of School Books)
Second Book of Reading Lessons. Toronto: J. Campbell, 1867. (Campbell’s British-American Series of School Books)
Third Book of Reading Lessons. Toronto: J. Campbell, [1869?] (Canadian Series of School Books)
How to Read: a Drill Book for the Cultivation of the Speaking Voice, and for Correct and Expressive Reading by Richard Lewis. Toronto: Adam Miller, 1877
The aim of this book was to “supply the schools of the Province [of Ontario] with a course of systematic training in the culture of the speaking voice, and instruction in correct and expressive reading.”
Public School Phonic Primer: Part I. Toronto: Canada Pub., 
Public School Phonic Primer: Part II. Toronto: Canada Pub., 
American stories could still be found in primers, such as this one on Johnny Appleseed who introduced the apple to parts of the United States. This seems an odd choice since Canada has its own apple story: John McIntosh’s introduction of the famous McIntosh apples in Ontario in the 1830’s.
Public School Second Reader. Toronto: Canada Pub., 1904. (The Public School Readers)
Many stories were included in this reader to teach students valuable life lessons. “Letters of Recommendation” taught the importance of being polite, whereas “How I Turned the Grindstone” warned young people about being exploited by flatterers. Readers often had stories about what were then considered exotic places. “In Other Lands - The Arab,” is an example.