"I must have my gossip with the young folks": Letter Writing and Literacy in The Boys' and Girls' Magazine and Fireside Companion
- Children's Literature Association Quarterly
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 38, Number 2, Summer 2013
- pp. 159-176
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This article examines The Boys' and Girls' Magazine and Fireside Companion (1848-1857) as a tool of literacy instruction. In particular, I contend that the correspondence column acts not only as a publication site for young writers, but also as a forum for the editor, "Father Forrester," to instruct readers in letter-writing, a practice he overtly links to the business discourse valued by middle-class, consumer America. In asking readers to compose the column's content, Forrester makes an argument for the value of children's work as writers and mentors young letter-writers into the habits and values of business writing.