This Second Reader is for Younger Classes, consisting of progressive lessons in reading and spelling.
In stories where modern technology has revealed new information or contradicting evidence, questions at the end of the chapter guide the student to discover the most recent findings. New questions have been written for today's student to further reading comprehension and reasoning power, and to reinforce the lesson taught. The accompanying word lists contain selected words from the stories and may be used for reading, spelling or vocabulary work.
The level of difficulty increases with each story. By the time a child finishes the Second Reader, he or she is capable of beginning the Third Reader in the four-book series.
McGuffey's Readers handle morals much differently from today's classroom textbooks, some of which present—without comment—all forms of lifestyles and behaviors. To help a child find happiness, make decisions and set priorities, McGuffey's lessons stressed that a child's first considerations must be to do right and be good. He praised the virtues of self denial and obedience. Reader stories accent piety, honesty, kindness to people, animals, thrift, industry and patriotism.