The nineteenth century was a time of enormous upheaval and change in the United States, in large part because of changes in technology and communication. The reactions of nineteenth-century parents and teachers to the mass press can only be understood in the context of changes that were taking place at the time, particularly changes in family life. Along with changes in the production of printed materials came changes in transportation technologies that sped up the distribution of those materials. Penny papers were readily available to children, and adults wondered about how children's attitudes and behaviors might be affected. Some of the criticisms of the children's exposure to the penny press reflect the fear that children would be desensitized by the sensational stories. The age of the mass press was a time when children's magazines proliferated. Even before the mass press, fiction was under attack by those critics who felt it should be read sparingly, if at all.