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Thursday, April 11, 2013

TOS Review: Salem Ridge Press: Before the Dawn

I have been blessed with readers.  I honestly don't know what I would've done if both my kiddos came out not loving books.  When offered a free book to review....I have a hard time not jumping on it!  Sometimes it pays off.....sometimes.... not so much.  This time, we came to a cross road.

We received Before the Dawn, written in 1880 by Emma Leslie, out I was thrilled to introduce Abby to Old English literature.  Intended for ages 12 and up, I was pushing Abby a smidge.  Nevertheless, historical fiction IS Abby's thing- so we marched on.

The story of Wycliffe and Huss, this book tapped on some foundational issues that arose in the church during the early days of the Reformation.  I found the story to be very enjoyable and well written.  Though Abby struggled through the vernacular, this book had some jewels between its cover.  As we all know, Old English has its fair share of "slang" and unusual vocabulary ("Forsooth!")- but publisher Salem Ridge Press has done a marvelous job of inserting footnotes at the bottom of each page with definitions of any words that may be unknown to the reader.  Also, there are maps and historical notes to help provide clarity while enjoying the story. Please feel free to read the first chapter of Before the Dawn!  The book retails for $14.95 for the softcover and $24.95 for the hardcover.

I must say that I am totally impressed with Salem Ridge Press!  Initiated by a homeschooler- the mission of the company is to reprint classical literature of the 1800s and early 1900s to be enjoyed by the youth of today.  They stand behind stories that are appropriate with good morals.  Books range in time from the 1500s to the 1790s.  Below is a list of the historical fiction titles by time and location.

By Time Period and Location (Historical Fiction Only)

Time Period

~ 1500 B.C.

59 - 64 A.D.

63 A.D.

66 - 67 A.D.

163 - 166 A.D.

313 - 363 A.D.

594 - 632 A.D.

782 - 785 A.D.

879 - 883 A.D.

935 A.D.

1053 - 1066 A.D.

1052 - 1066 A.D.

1189 - 1215 A.D.

1357 - 1360 A.D.

1366 - 1384 A.D.

1382 - 1453 A.D.

1510 - 1522 A.D.

1517 - 1522 A.D.

1525 - 1526 A.D.

1666 - 1685 A.D.

1774 - 1778 A.D.

1777 A.D.

1779 - 1780 A.D.

1789 - 1793 A.D.



Ancient Rome

Roman England

Asia Minor

Roman Empire



Danish England

Scotland, Ireland and Norway

Saxon England

Europe/Middle East

Europe/Middle East

Medieval England











The Sign Above the Door

Glaucia the Greek Slave*

Hilda the Briton**

The Captives*

Out of the Mouth of the Lion*

Sowing Beside All Waters*

From Bondage to Freedom*

The Magic Runes**

The Martyr's Victory*

A Sea-Queen's Sailing

Gytha’s Message*

Leofwine the Monk*

Elfreda the Saxon*

For Merrie England**

Dearer Than Life*

Before the Dawn*

Faithful, But Not Famous*


Soldier Fritz**

Through Stress and Strain**

The White Seneca

The American Twins of the Revolution

At Seneca Castle

Marie’s Home

* Emma Leslie Church History Series
** Emma Leslie Junior Church History Series

It would be a benefit for you to see the Crew reviews as we had the opportunity to choose from many titles.  Certainly a great resource for your home library!
Click to read Crew Reviews

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