Wednesday, September 22, 2010

TOS Review: Salem Ridge Press

Salem Ridge Press sent me one paperback book and two E-Books to review. Salem Ridge Press is committed to wholesome moral books.  They describe themselves on their website as "Salem Ridge Press is a publishing company, established in 2005, dedicated to bringing back quality children’s books of the 1800’s and early 1900’s for a new generation of readers. We strive to republish wholesome "living books" for the whole family, and we hope that you enjoy these books as much as we have! "  Their website has a large list of historical fiction.  
Two of the books were by Emma Leslie, an 18th century author.  Salem Ridge Press has republished her historical fiction 12 book series on church history.

  From Bondage to Freedom was the first book I chose to read.  From Bondage to Freedom is a historical fiction book about the rise of Islam.  At first the book was hard to get into.  The old English wording took some time to adjust to.  After awhile though it became easier to read.  The characters in the book drew you in to their plight.  The character Aseeyah especially caught my interest as she began the book as an outcast due to her blindness but ends up being a leader of her tribe sought for her wisdom.  Asseyah becomes a Christian but all around her is the pagan religion of the Arabic tribes and a new religion being proclaimed by Mohammed.  The story line follows several characters and bounces between the three.  It also switches between Mecca and Constantinople.  This book is obviously written from a Christian perspective.  Not being a scholar of Islam or having much knowledge myself of how that religion came about I can not speak to the historical authenticity of the book.  However the author does a good job of drawing you into the cultural difficulties of the time.  The book is geared towards ages 12- adult but I think I would wait until high school to introduce this book.  From Bondage to Freedom can be purchased in soft cover for $14.95.  Hardcover is available from Salem Ridge Press.

Before the Dawn is another of Emma Leslie's books on Church History.  It is available for  $14.95 for softcover at Salem Ridge Press or in E-Book format from The Old SchoolHouse Store.  This particular book is church history surrounding the times of Wycliffe and Huss.  Again the language is of old but after reading the first book of hers I was more accustomed to it.  Some vocabulary words are defined as footnotes at the bottom of the page to aid the reader in better understanding.  This book pulled me in right away, perhaps because From Bondage to Freedom had warmed me up to the author's style of writing.

Marie's Home available for $12.95 for softcover is written by Caroline Austin.  This particular book is geared towards the 10-adult age range.  So I gave this E-book version, available at,  to my 12 year old daughter to read while waiting for her sister to finish choir.  My girls are hard to keep in books, if you know what I mean. so I printed it out (several pages per sheet) and sent her on her way.  She wrote her own review of the book.
My 12 year olds review of Marie's Home

I liked this book because there were very few dull moments, and you saw Marie grow and mature as she told her history. The only thing I did not like was that there were a few vague points where you did not really know what was happening, until Marie addressed the event afterwards (usually telling her thoughts, feelings, opinions, etc.) You did not know what had happened when a person suddenly dropped from the story line. On the other hand, it had quite a lot of historical insight. The story was set a little before and after the French Revolution, from 1789-1793. It showed all different sides of the story, the French Nobles, King Louis  XIV and Marie Antoinette, and last but not least, the peasants. As Marie and her family happened to be in the French Court as a Noble family and favorites of the King and Queen, things do not bode well for them. But an act of kindness committed by Marie upon their arrival at the French court saves them in an unusual way. The title “Marie’s Home” comes from the fact that Marie and her family move from place to place in England and France but every time they come back to the one place they call home. I would recommend this book for ages twelve and up. All in all it was a great book, and I really enjoyed it. 

I enjoyed these living books from Salem Ridge Press and will definitely add them as a resource when looking for more historical fiction for my children.  They have the entire series from Emma Leslie, plus books on World History and American History.  These books that I reviewed were for an older set but if you check out the reviews of Salem Ridge Press by my fellow crew mates that can be found here you will find reviews of some of the books published for the younger set as well.

These three titles are available at The Old Schoolhouse Store in E-book format


Disclaimer: I received a hard copy of Bondage to Freedom an E-book of Marie's Home and Before the Dawn for free for review purposes only

No comments: