Thursday, December 11, 2008

Historical Fiction Anyone???

I love historical fiction. There isn't an easier way to learn about life in a different time period and get a feel for what it would have been like to live then. One of the products I was asked to review was Salem Ridge Press, a publishing company “dedicated to bringing back quality children’s books of the 1800’s and early 1900’s for a new generation of readers.” They republish historical fiction, adventure stories, allegories, and clean, wholesome literature for young readers.

From the publisher’s web page:
  • The underlying philosophy of Salem Ridge Press is found in the Bible: "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 (Philippians 4:8)." Daniel firmly believes that what we read matters and what we take into our minds is a major factor in forming our ideas and character. His goal is to be a blessing to others by providing reading material that fits the qualifications outlined in the Bible. While not every title that Salem Ridge Press publishes is explicitly Christian, all of our titles have strong moral values and encourage positive character.

I was sent 3 different books to read and review. The first was Mary Jane Her Book by Clara Ingram Judson. This was a cute story originally published in 1918 about a five-year-old girl and all of her adventures. It makes a great read-aloud for kids of all ages and transports you back in time. Mary Jane is a busy, little girl with lots of imagination and you never know what she will do next. This book is a great peek into life 100 years ago and we were able to talk about some of the differences between living now and living then.

The 2nd book I was sent was The American Twins of the Revolution by Lucy Fitch Perkins. This book is a fast-paced story based on real events during the American Revolution. Twins Sally and Roger are asked by their father, General Priestly, to help hide a shipment of gold which will be used to pay the American soldiers. The twins, their mother, and two of the family's servants have to transport the gold to George Washington without being intercepted by the British. Some of the words are a bit old fashioned, but most of these are defined at the bottom of the page, another nice feature added by the publisher.

The third book I was given to review was called Glaucia the Greek Slave by Emma Leslie. This book is set in Athens from 59-64 AD and is part of Emma Leslie's historical fiction series about church history. This was an interesting look into a time period that I'm not very familiar with. The book was well written and easy to read. I liked having unfamiliar words defined at the bottom of the page. The story follows Glaucia and her brother Loan as they are sold into slavery after the death of their father. Glaucia is sold to a wealthy Roman family who then goes to Athens. Through the course of the story, you meet Paul and other early Christians (fictional) and see some of the struggles the early church faced during this time. I am looking forward to reading some of the other books in this series.

All of the books published by Salem Ridge Press are available through and you can view a complete listing here. If you scroll down that page, you will also see a list of the historical fiction titles by time period, a great help in matching them to your current studies. Another great thing about this company is that the first chapter of the books is online for free, so you can preview before you order. I am planning on ordering more books from this Salem Ridge Press and encourage you to check them out.

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