Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Review: Salem Ridge Press



Most of my friends and family members are keenly aware of my inclination toward historical fiction. Nothing tickles my fancy quite like a good Jane Austen-ish novel, a quiet house, and a cup of tea!

So, when I received three titles from Salem Ridge Press to review, I was filled with utmost joy and rapturous delight.

My children however, were less than pleased for they have not yet developed their "antique" taste buds. (Well, with the exception of Abby's desire to possess all of Scarlet O' Hara's dresses, that is.)

However, after giving the books a chance, (and not judging them based on the fact that the words were out-dated and there were no dancing puppies, lightsaber duels, or unrealistic high schoolers breaking out in song over it being senior year) they found they actually liked the books as well. Ha!

Just don't tell their friends. (Smirk)

Salem Ridge Press was founded in 2005 by Daniel Mills, a homeschool graduate. Mr. Mills wanted to base his republishing company on the directive found in Philipians 4:8; "Whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

I was very impressed to learn that Mr. Mills shared my belief in that what a child reads influences their character, beliefs and opinions.

The following quote from the website sums it up nicely; "Salem Ridge Press..is 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 books that are well-written, interesting and wholesome..."

Here's something else you won't find among today's publishers; Salem Ridge Press' #1 Rule is (get ready for it...)

No kissing!

Wow, how amazing is that?!

If a title happens to contain said Rule-Breaker, they simply edit it out without compromising the flow of the story. This keeps their company's integrity and your child's purity, in check. :o)

I don't know about you, but I'm so sick of the whole boyfriend/girlfriend garbage that permeates like a foul stench among today's "mass market youth fiction". It makes it that much harder to instill morality and purity into your children, especially as they grow older.

Stepping down from my soapbox now. Ahem. Back to the review!

We were blessed with three books; Mary Jane-Her Book, Glaucia the Greek Slave and The White Seneca. All are beautifully written and based on different time periods in history.

Mary Jane--Her Book (softcover, $12.95, hardcover $24.95), is about sweet Mary Jane, a 5 year old girl who's thoughts and amusements reminded me of Elizabeth Prentiss' character, Susy in "Little Susy Stories".

From tea parties to picnics, I found this book to be very charming and perfect for any girly-girl from about 5 years old and up.

Glaucia the Greek Slave (softcover, $14.95, hardcover $24.95) takes place in first century Athens. Glaucia is a young girl sold to a wealthy Roman family. Glaucia has a passionate desire to find a God who will love her, despite the fact that she's a slave.

As corny as it sounds, I was cheering on the inside when Glaucia finally met the One she'd been searching for. The recommended age range is 10 to adult.

Finally, The White Seneca (softcover, $14.95) takes it's readers back to Colonial America where they'll meet young Henry Cochrane, a 15 year old boy captured by the Senecas. As Henry's story moves along, we see his love for the tribe's way of life grow and deepen, until finally embracing it himself.

But later, Henry is captured by an enemy tribe, which brings the story to a rather exciting place of conflict. And because I oh-so hate it when someone ruins a book for me, I shall not give any more away. :o)

This story, although a bit over his head, was my son Ethan's favorite. The recommended age range is 12 to adult.

All of the books are high quality, and contain a large enough font for even my eyes to read without difficulty. (You know how it is when you read an "older" book, and the type is really tiny? Drives me nuts, but thankfully you won't find that to be the case with these here.)

The books also contain definitions and footnotes at the bottom of the page to help the reader along. (Score! Vocabulary practice without the use of Google!)

If you're in the market for quality, wholesome, "pure" literature without all the "fluff", then I highly recommend you check out Salem Ridge Press.

I give them 2 thumbs up! :o)

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