Free 19th Century Readers

Here are some 19th Century Readers. I have listed them in sets, in order of edition. This is somewhat misleading because many of the books were for 12-16 months use, so a book would be used for longer than our modern grade levels, in some cases.  Most times the level’s name was simply indicative of coming after the one preceding it.  Because of this I tried to find readers of the same publisher and author. Some series are not as complete as others, usually meaning that the missing book had a price tag on it. I will update as I find missing books from a series.

Find out where your child should begin reading by having them read, either silently or aloud, and asking some basic comprehension questions or asking your child to retell a story after reading a  short piece. Use the reader that is appropriate, moving forward in the series.

Some  readers will have phonics lessons for the little ones and oration lessons for older students. Others have spelling lists, language instruction, and exercises, or questions to check comprehension. I will make a note at the introduction to each set to indicate any special features.


This set of Readers has no primer. Selections include fables, fairy tales, rhymes, myths, nature stories and stories about life. Each book is graduated  to ensure a comfortable transition from one year to the next. This is a typical characteristic of the Readers.

New Century Readers Book 1

New Century Readers Book 2

New Century Readers Book 3

New Century Readers Book 4

New Century Readers Book 5

These readers are also graduated in form, starting with phonics  and sight words in the primer and focusing more on vocabulary and comprehension in the latter years. The exercises in the books include enunciation, spelling, vocabulary, mechanics of writing, articulation and comprehension. The speller covers enunciation, phonics and the mechanics of writing. It includes over 500 exercises covering years of spelling instruction.

Sander’s Union Pictorial Primer

Sander’s Union Reader: Number One

Sander’s Union Reader: Number Two

Sander’s Union Reader: Number Three

Sander’s Union Reader:  Number Four

Sander’s Union Reader: Number Five

Sander’s Union Reader: Number Six

Bonus: Sander’s Union Speller

This set  includes oral exercises in articulation and inflection, new vocabulary defined, reading notes and blurbs about select authors. The Speller includes dictation exercises and enunciation marks. Words are grouped by pattern and language uses.

McGuffey’s Readers Online Tutor -an online tutorial for using the texts.

McGuffey’s Eclectic Primer 

McGuffey’s First Eclectic Reader 

McGuffey’s Second Eclectic Reader

McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Reader 

McGuffey’s Fourth Eclectic Reader

McGuffey’s Fifth Eclectic Reader

McGuffey’s Sixth Eclectic Reader

Bonus: McGuffey’s Eclectic Spelling Book

The New McGuffey First Reader

The New McGuffey Second Reader

The New McGuffey Third Reader 

The New McGuffey Fourth Reader

The New McGuffey Fifth Reader

I’ll be on the lookout for the rest of this set.  They include includes oral exercises in articulation and inflection, spelling and vocabulary words, and comprehension questions. The Speller includes dictation work and words in their various parts of speech.

McGuffey’s New First Eclectic Reader

McGuffey’s New Fourth Eclectic Reader 

McGuffey’s New Fifth Eclectic Reader

McGuffey’s New Sixth Eclectic Reader

Bonus: McGuffey’s New Eclectic Spelling Book

Other McGuffey Readers

The Eclectic Second Reader: Consisting of Progressive Lessons(McGuffey)

McGuffeys’ Alternate Fifth Reader

Mcguffeys’ Fifth Reader of the Eclectic Series

High School Reader

 McGuffey’s High School Reader

Bonus: A History of the McGuffey Readers You can find out more about the McGuffey series and the levels here and here

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