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Fostering Literary Appreciation

A half century ago or so, the ultimate goal of academia was for students to gain an appreciation for the written word. Over time, however, that lofty goal has faded to the point that it hardly exists.


Today, a large number of students, perhaps the majority of them, graduate from elementary school, high school, and college without any literary appreciation whatsoever. Literary courses are no longer a requirement in many schools. And in those schools where they're still a requirement for graduation, quite often students take such courses merely because they must. They cannot define literary appreciation in their own words and can only parrot what is stated about it in their class syllabus. They fail to see the value of literature. They cannot discern any difference between the quality of a literary masterpiece and that of a typical newspaper article. They are stone-blind to literature's many rich benefits, benefits that in general most sharply distinguish mankind from cavemen, independent thinkers from those with hive-mind mentality, and those who look at the past with vision to better the future from the masses who can only idly dream.


Totally Literate endeavors to change this mindset. We have provided some Classics for beginners, some for students a bit older, and some for middle and high schoolers.


Our Classics Library contains just twelve books. Six of which open on our website, and six that open on the Edge Browser. Although this number is sufficient, over time we plan to increase our offerings substantially.


The two forms of Classics differ in that Fables are rather short and pithy, while Classic Stories are comparatively long with numerous pictures. 


Fables can be read in scores of languages, while the Classics can be read only in English. 

  • The Classic Stories and Fables are accessible to members with a Diamond, membership or higher. They are available on desktop only, that is, not on smartphones.

Classic Stories 

1.  The Tale of Peter Rabbit

2.  Little Red Riding Hood

3.  The Three Billy Goats Gruff

4.  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

5.  Animal Farm

6.  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Supine Girl Figure Reading a book in the open jaws of an alligator


7.  The Wolf and the Kid

8.  The Frog Prince

9.  The Dog, the Cock, and the Fox

10. Belling the Cat

11. The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf

12. Rapunzel

To help students get a mental picture of each story, drawings and other graphics have been added judiciously.

  • Those stories that have been written in the Queen's English have been reworded to conform with American spelling and punctuation. And occasionally the punctuation has been modified to enhance readability. 

  • All the stories have been painstakingly reformatted so as to prevent sentences and paragraphs from pausing partway through. And many paragraphs have been shortened to make for easier reading and to prevent them from running over onto a following page. 

  • Stories of antiquity, written in Middle English or Old English, would scarcely be understandable today left in archaic styles. Over the course of history, these works have been rewritten countless times, leaving only the gist of them known with any degree of certainty. Hence, to provide members with a cohesive rendition that leaves no loose ends dangling, Totally Literate has taken poetic license to render its own version of the stories it presents. 

These classic stories and fables are available as downloads at our Campus Bookstore. Once downloaded, each file can be read out loud on a desktop as a more user-friendly Adobe PDF. Also, if students have an Adobe Acrobat subscription as well as a Microsoft Word subscription, they can convert the files into Word documents. Then, even without an Internet connection, they can read along as the highlighted text is read aloud on their smartphone. 

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