Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Review: Salem Ridge Press


I was first introduced to Salem Ridge Press two years ago. {That review can be found here.} At the time, I was thoroughly impressed by the fact that their goal as a publishing company was to encourage and inspire a generation of readers with its selection of godly, moral literature.

And I’m pleased to report that their standards haven’t changed one iota!

This year, I received 3 different titles for review, consisting of one physical book and two E-books.

First up: From Bondage to Freedom


Originally published in 1877, From Bondage to Freedom tells the story of  two Christian ladies who are sold as slaves; one to Mohammad, the creator of Islam, the other to a Roman household where she struggles with emerging Catholicism.

I not only appreciated the antiquated language of this book, but also the seemingly well-explored/researched background of the particular time period. At times I found the story a bit “dry” and difficult to follow, but I can see this (and other Salem Ridge titles) lending themselves quite nicely to a thorough study on Church history. The book also contains helpful footnotes for some of the more difficult terms. Recommended for ages 12-adult. $14.95 softcover or $10.95 E-book from The Old Schoolhouse Store.

Next, we have: Before the Dawn


This book delves into church history during the early 1400’s. I have to admit that this book appealed far more to me than the first. The pace felt much faster and adventurous, and although author Emma Leslie penned both novels, this one didn’t seem as overly-drawn out as the first.

This title is available in softcover for $14.95 and is recommended for ages 12-adult.


Last but not least: Marie’s Home


Written in 1885, Marie’s Home is set during the French Revolution (1789-1793). Author Caroline Austen does a good job of telling the story through the eyes of both royalty and peasants alike. This title was by far, my favorite. I’ve always had a soft spot for the French Revolution since I was young (don’t ask me why because I couldn’t tell you! LOL). However, I found many places where the story seemed to suddenly shoot off in another direction, leaving me scratching my head thinking, “Huh? What just happened?” Whether this was a deliberate act by the author herself or due to editing on behalf of Salem Ridge Press, I cannot say. However, I was pleased that the story seemed to fill in the blanks as it went along—it just took a bit longer than I’d like at times.

Marie’s Home is available in softcover for $12.95 or in E-book format from The Old Schoolhouse Store for $9.95.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I’m still impressed with both the quality and moral values found in the many Salem Ridge Press titles. Although the stories didn’t appeal to me as much as before, I do think they deserve a place on every homeschooler’s bookshelf, especially those who strive to learn from living books versus “twaddle”, and those who are sick ‘n tired of all the “junk” found in today’s young adult literature. (Can I hear an “Amen”?)

I would highly recommend Salem Ridge Press and award this batch of books 1 thumb up. :)

*Disclosure: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a copy of each of the above titles for free in exchange for this review. No additional compensation was provided and the thoughts/views expressed are my own.*

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