A friend of mine let me borrow the out-of-print book, Let the Authors Speak, by Carolyn Hatcher. It is a guide for parents in choosing twaddle* free books.
Here are a few quotes from her introduction:
"Many parents are ready and willing to help their children, we just need to know what has worked in the past, and we also need a good dose of confidence in our own abilities."
"Ideally education involves growth over a lifetime. We are born with a desire to know, but if a child's first years of insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge are neglected or fed only junk food, these desires weaken, atrophy begins and apathy results. Just as the body needs the proper nourishment, exercise, and rest, so does the mind."
"Most children begin school with a strong, healthy curiostiy. They want to know- they're full of questions. Within two or three years, sometimes less, many have lost interest in learning. We are either not feeding them properly or we're giving them junk food. Even children get tired of a steady diet of junk food. If ideas are nourishment, then how do we present them and where do we find the best?"
*English educator Charlotte Mason (1842-1923) used this term to describe junk food books. I'd love to know what she found to be twaddle in her time. I think she's roll over in her grave if she could see what this generation is injesting!