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Classics Library

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.


Today, a large number of students, perhaps the majority of them, graduate from elementary school, high school, and college without any literary appreciation whatsoever. In fact, literary courses are no longer a requirement in many schools. And in those schools where they still are a requirement for graduation, quite often students take such courses merely because they must. Sadly, many students cannot define literary appreciation in their own words and can only parrot what is stated about the subject in their class syllabus. These students don't see the value of literature. What's more, they cannot discern much, if 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 most markedly distinguish thinking men 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 TV-watching masses who at best can only idly dream.


Totally Literate endeavors to change this mindset. One thing we've done thus far is to provide classics--some for beginners, some for students a bit older, and some for middle and high schoolers.


Our Classics Library contains is quite small currently, but we intend to enlarge it considerably over the months and years to come.  Six of which open on our website, and six that open on the Edge Browser. 


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.

 Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes

  • Hush Little Babby

  • Mary Had a Little Lamb

  • Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

  • Jack and Jill

  • Little Miss Muffet

  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

  • Little Tommy Tucker

  • ​Lou Lou, Skip to My Lou

  • Old MacDonald Had a Farm

  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat

  • Lullaby and Good Night

  • Rock-a-bye Baby

  • Humpty Dumpty

  • Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater

  • Jack Be Nimble

  • Itsy-Bitsy Spider

  • The Farmer in the Dell

  • Rub-a-Dub-Dub

  • The Muffin Man

  • Round the Mulberry Bush

 Classic Stories 

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit

  • Little Red Riding Hood

  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

  • Animal Farm

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    Epic Poem


Supine Girl Figure Reading a book in the mouth of an alligator


  • The Wolf and the Kid

  • The Frog Prince

  • The Dog, the Cock, and the Fox

  • Belling the Cat

  • The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf

  • Rapunzel

To help students get a mental picture of each story, drawings and other graphics have been added, albeit 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 are also 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, aka Traditional. Also, if students have an Adobe Acrobat subscription as well as a Microsoft Word subscription, they can convert these files into Word documents. Then, even without an Internet connection, students can read along as the highlighted text is read aloud on their smartphone. 

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