AbstractAre basal readers obsolete? The confirmed individualist is likely to answer with a thunderous, "Yes!" The more conservative teacher, loyal to materials which have served him well, will respond with an equally resounding, "No!". At times the critics and advocates of basal readers have taken such extreme positions as to leave themselves little opportunity for evaluating the readers objectively. Although the mounting tide of research in the English language arts has not yet revealed the one best way to teach reading - if indeed such a one may be found - it has emphatically demonstrated that children learn to read by several different methods and by using a wide variety of reading mate rials, among them basal readers.