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Scripps News reports: From the publication of the lesson-filled "New-England Primer" to the midnight bookstore parties for the latest "Harry Potter" volume, children's books have provided a valuable -- and fascinating -- window into American culture.
That's the premise of "Minders of Make-Believe" (Houghton Mifflin, $28), the newest book by children's-book historian Leonard S. Marcus. In this highly readable book aimed at adults, Marcus details the rise (and, often, the fall) of major U.S. children's-book publishers, as well as the key role played by librarians in the 20th century in determining what American children should read.