Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Salem Ridge Press--TOS Review

A few weeks ago we received the book Soldier Fritz and the Enemies He Fought in the mail  from Salem Ridge Press.  We also received two e-books, Mary Jane--Her Visit  and The American Twins of the Revolution just to give us a better taste of the types of books that this company has to offer.    

Salem Ridge Press was founded in 2005 to offer reprints of quality, previously published children's books from the 1800's and early 1900's.  Following the Charlotte Mason principle of learning through "living books" rather than textbooks, this company offers books that make history come alive for the young readers who quickly become engrossed in the stories these authors weave. 

The stories that I read to my daughter from this company actually reminded me of the books I read when I was a child.  I honestly can't say that I remember one detail from a history class, but I could retell countless tales of the history I learned as I read and re-read stories of people who lived in a different time and place.  Similarly, I quickly became engrossed in the stories we received.  I must confess that I cheated and read ahead a bit because our daily reading time wasn't going quite fast enough, and I wanted to know what was going to happen in the lives of the children in whom I had become so quickly invested. 

One thing that I really appreciated about these books is that they tell a compelling, well-written story in a way that appeals to young (and old) listeners and readers.  My daughter was especially engrossed in the story of Sally and Roger, the twins whose story of living through The Revolution is captivatingly and descriptively told.  I watched Amélie include bits of their story in her pretend play, and I was reminded of my own youth and the hours I spent pretending I was helping slaves escape on the Underground Railroad or attending Queen Elizabeth as a lady-in-waiting.  I love it that I see that same creativity and love for history in my own daughter.  

As their website notes, the founders of Salem Ridge Press believe, as I do, that introducing quality literature to our children helps them excel in writing, vocabulary, history, geography, and science.  This belief is one of the main reasons I made the radical leap of pulling Amélie out of public school and teaching her at home.  History is a living, breathing guest in our home, and I wouldn't trade the creativity or the love for learning she has gifted our family with for anything...even that well-coveted solitary cup of coffee in the afternoon.  :)   

Another perk of Salem Ridge Press is the clarity and organization of their website.  I found it very easy to maneuver through the site and find books not only alphabetically, but also by time period and location, author, and age range.  This organization is especially helpful for parents trying to find books that might pique interest in a fledgling reader or that might supplement the study of a particular historical time period.  You can also find listings by New Releases, Historical Fiction, Adventure, Allegory, and Younger Readers.

While I appreciate the fact that I can buy these books for my kids and not have to worry about my kids reading anything questionable, I take issue with their editing of passages that include any sort of physical affection.  I think it is important for my children to understand the importance of expressing love in a physical way, and while I wouldn't want them to be reading what goes on behind a bedroom door, I want them to read about couples who have healthy, physical relationships.  I believe this exposure will help my kids as they try to maneuver the tricky waters of relationships with the opposite sex.  Besides, if they never read about any other adults in books kissing or hugging one another, they will come to the totally errant conclusion that their parents are just plain weird.  :) 

I do, however, think that these books could be a valuable supplement to any parents' library, and since they are priced fairly reasonably from $10.95 - $24.95, many families could probably afford to choose some favorites to purchase and to enjoy again and again. 

Some of my fellow Crew members also received books from this company. If you want to see their reviews, you can do so here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was provided a free copy of this product for my honest evaluation. I was given no other compensation for this review.


  1. Great review.

    I was not on this list for review but will have to check this company out.

  2. I really liked your review. I agreed with your last paragraph about affection in a book. I had about the same thoughts, just didn't know how to write it up. You did a great job.