Wednesday, April 10, 2013

TOS CREW Review- Salem Ridge Press

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Salem Ridge Press is a homeschool family owned publishing company that is committed to republishing quality books originally written in the late 1800s to early 1900s.  Each book is carefully chosen to uphold the standards of God and high moral convictions.  No fluff, no junk!  Love it!  From their website about their "no kissing" policy-

We want to be an encouragement to young people to maintain the highest standards of purity in their relationships. We have also edited out some derogatory comments that we felt were unnecessary or offensive. On several occasions the illustrations have presented a challenge and so we edited them to keep things modest and appropriate.
In this age of trashy novels marketed for young kids and adults alike, it is refreshing to not have to worry about what you are reading.  Now there's a company one can not help but love!

A Sea Queen's Sailing photo sr-aseaqueenssailing_zps3d316ab7.jpgWe were recently given the chance to review A Sea Queen's Sailing by Charles W. Whistler, which was originally published in 1906.   It is recommended for ages 12- adult.  Covering the areas from Scotland to Ireland to Norway, this high seas adventure will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.  The story opens with Malcolm the Jarl's home in Scotland being invaded and him being captured and put on a ship.  After escaping with two other prisoners they then find themselves on another ship with Gerda, a young queen who was set sail to die on her grandfather's funeral ship.  What follows is a tale of bravery, friendship and loyalty as the three men make it their mission to restore the queen to her rightful throne. 

My 9th grader read this book first, since she is the quickest reader amongst the children.  Because she has been sick, I knew she had plenty of time to get it read.  She enjoyed the book, but did say that the definitions at the bottom of many pages were a distraction for her, because she felt the need to stop and read them as she was reading each page.  We talked about other ways to handle that, such as read each page first and then read the definitions or vice versa, but in the end she decided to just ignore the words and read through, a solution that worked for her.  I, on the other hand, enjoyed having the definitions of unfamiliar words so close at hand and found myself looking at the bottom of the page often.  Different strokes for different folks!

I was second to read A Sea Queen's Sailing.  When planning to use a book as a read along for our family, I try to read it first myself to make sure that one, it does not have any objectionable information, and two, that it is something all will understand and enjoy.  I admit that I did have a slow start with this book, but once into the second chapter I could not put it down.  I found nothing objectionable about it and love the chivalry portrayed in the three men as they work together to reinstate the queen to her throne.  It is not often that we find books today that send messages of bravery and dedication, as well as a great respect for women.  It is something that I appreciate in a book and want my sons especially to read more of.

You know how sometimes something in a book just jumps out and speaks to you?  This happened several times for me, but my favorite being this...
"She looked at me pleadingly, and I smiled at her and bowed, having no word to say at all.  After all, I do not know that any was needed." (p. 103)
What a great lesson to teach our kids- sometimes less is more- no words are needed!  I love when you can use a book as a springboard for discussion, especially with kids.  In my opinion, those are the kinds of books that should fill your shelves.
As of yet, we have not begun this book as a read aloud.  Because of some of the old language and sentence structure, I feel like it would be over the head of our 5 year old at this point.  Instead I am going to make it required reading for our 6th grader next year.  Ships, Vikings, battles and Queens...yes, I think he will like it!
You can order A Sea Queen's Sailing for $14.95, soft cover or $24.95, hard cover.  The CREW had the opportunity to chose from 12 different books to review so I would encourage you to see what they had to say about the other titles.  There is sure to be one there that will interest you!

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