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Growing Up with Dick and Jane: Learning and Living the American Dream
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Growing Up with Dick and Jane: Learning and Living the American Dream

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  73 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
They're back!

Growing Up with Dick and Jane reunites us with two old friends, Dick and Jane, who, for forty years, taught so many of us to read. Here's the all American brother and sister team. Look! It's Dick, in his striped polo shirts and shorts, always ready for an adventure. Look! Look! It's Jane, in her pretty dresses, eager to have fun and learn about life. There's s
Paperback, 112 pages
Published August 16th 1996 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Oct 24, 2015 Scott rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. I started elementary school in 1963 and can remember reading the Dick and Jane books. Although I seem to recall that our school had older versions of the books, and I thought they were old fashion. Growing up with Dick and Jane explains the why behind the Dick and Jane books, which I found extremely informative. I thought it is well written and does an excellent job at describing life in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I do recommend this book.
May 22, 2014 Kristin rated it it was ok
An interesting book, but probably not because of what the authors intended. This discussion of the classic reading primers is more of a celebratory hagiography than a critical examination. Because of that, many of the reading series' problems are unintentionally replicated in this book. While about 5 pages are devoted to the ways in which this white, middle-class, hetereonormative reader didn't necessarily reflect all Americans' experience, the rest of the book relies on and reinforces reductive ...more
Mar 11, 2016 Webajeb rated it really liked it
This was really fun to read, and it brought back so many memories! I'm one that did grow up with Dick and jane, and I lived during the most perfect time in our country to be a kid. Idyllic, for sure, it was such a happy childhood. No wonder I think it's a shame that mothers don't stay home with kids anymore, that dads don't spend their weekends taking the family on outings. You may say it's not fulfilling enough for women? But I say kids only have a few years of childhood, make it the best child ...more
Jul 08, 2013 Robert rated it liked it
Recommended to Robert by: Helen-joe Owens
My mother gave this to me. I believe the thinking was that as a school teacher I would have an interest in this.

I finally got around to reading this a decade later. It is an interesting read. Dick and Jane was a Scott-Forsman reading program that developed in the 1930s and continued until 1965, although they continued printing until 1970. The series was based on whole word recognition and not phonics. This was a bit confusing as it seemed as though there was a phonics component to the program t
Lori Anderson
Apr 11, 2008 Lori Anderson rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans and history enthusiasts of the 50's
Shelves: history
I read this because it was referenced in Bill Bryson's "Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" (a HIGHLY recommended book).

I was born in 1969 but for some reason love pretty much anything to do with the 1950's, so this book was a fun read. It's short, but has some good tidbits about the history of the times and what it was like to learn to read and grow up in that era.

I also enjoyed reading about the social reasons behind why the Dick and Jane readers eventually fell out of the school systems.
Todd Maxwell
Mar 20, 2014 Todd Maxwell marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Andrew Miller
Nov 26, 2012 Andrew Miller rated it really liked it
Kismaric writes to a general audience in a fun and engaging way. She uses Dick and Jane to study issues of race, gender, consumerism, and cultural history in the 1940s and 1950s. As an educator, I was particularly drawn to the way in which Dick and Jane functioned as a way to make learning fun. I have increasingly discovered the importance of entertaining my students, not making light of the content, but rather drawing students into the content through humor, excitement, and relevance.
Nov 02, 2012 Tara rated it really liked it
This actually explains a lot. It is kind of about not the evolution of America, but the evolution of the child and societys' expectations and how they have changed over the decades. I like how the series tries its' hand at racial tollerance but introducing African-American nieghbors. I read this series when I was in kindergarten, and I thought it was too easy.
Jan 17, 2012 Mel added it
Love the historical perspective and how Dick and Jane contributed. I wasn't alive when the system was in use but I grew up with references to it constantly. Sort of glad it wasn't used when I was growing up though because the repetitious language is really annoying. Love the pictures though.
Chris Antonsen
Aug 12, 2013 Chris Antonsen rated it really liked it
This is a nifty and zippy history of two fictional, idealized characters used to enculturate generations of Americans into hold a narrow and specific set of expectations for adulthood, civic consciousness, personal identity, and success. (Hint: It was damaging, though this book doesn't say so.)
Apr 05, 2013 Megan rated it really liked it
A very interdisciplinary look at the educational phenomenon that was "Fun with Dick and Jane." Difficult to read as a linear text, but it is fun to just jump around the book and read the sidebars and articles.

My copy also came with paper dolls of Dick and Jane. Win.
Mar 16, 2008 Laurie rated it it was amazing
If you need a flashback to your elementary school years and the reasons for sociological trends in our nation's history. Pictures of the air raid drills in the school hallways. It helps understand the whole basal reading series phenonmenon and the Wonder Bread years.
Karen Engel
May 30, 2012 Karen Engel rated it liked it
For those of us who learned to read with Dick and Jane books, it was a marvelous trip down memory lane. I do remember being in first grade and having my first primer. Parents were invited to sit with us and we were able to read aloud.
Aug 17, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: grownupbooks
Mentioned in "Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid." Nice for nostalgia's sake, but not much else.
J.L. Martin
Fascinating look at Dick and Jane via the history of the time in relation to the art/story.
Jul 16, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Ahhhh, the memories of reading circle with our own copies of the blue book!
Dec 12, 2007 Gina rated it it was amazing
Interesting history about the readers.
Margaret Mackey
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Apr 28, 2016
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Denise rated it it was amazing
Dec 08, 2015
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Nov 01, 2015
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Oct 24, 2015
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