Posted in Reviews

Salem Ridge Press Books – Review

Salem Ridge Press re-publishes children’s books written in the 1800’s to early 1900’s, including Historical Fiction, Allegory, Adventure, and Young Readers – wonderful gems that may have been lost to this generation.  Our family has had the pleasure of reading three of these books.

"Mary Jane:  Her Book" was my daughter’s favourite.  It’s about an almost-5-year-old girl, just like my daughter.  I read this aloud to her one chapter at a time.  We both enjoyed Mary Jane’s little mishaps, whether she was takiong a tumble into a creek or spilling the sugar on her way home from the store.  Even though this book was written in 1918, my daughter was very much able to relate to little Mary Jane – her love of dresses, of dolls, of observing nature.  I enjoyed pointing out some of the differences between the way things were in 1918 vs. our modern times – manual laundry wringers and trolleys.  I loved pointing out moments to my daughter when Mary Jane was helping her mother around the home "just like you do".  At one point, Mary Jane wants to learn to sew and her mother bought her sewing cards to start with, which inspired us to make our own sewing cards for my daughter to learn.  This book is so charming, and it’s very refreshing to read about a little girl being a little girl.  We can’t wait to read the sequel, "Mary Jane:  Her Visit".  Even though the book jacket suggests ages 6-10, I believe it’s a wonderful read-aloud for 4 and up, and also for independent reading by an emergent reader.  Want to take a peek?  Read the first chapter here!

"The American Twins" of the Revolution was my 9 year old son’s favourite book.  Even though we are Canadian, we like to include studies on the U.S., as they are our closest neighbours.  We studied the Revolutionary War last year, and this was a nice follow-up to it.  We will definitely be pulling this book back out when we revisit this time period in the future.  I love books which show children what life was like for children in other time periods.  In particular, this one made my son thankful that we don’t live in war-times and don’t have to worry about soldiers from the other side invading our property.  It was very exciting, as we wondered what would happen next to the Priestly family.  We also had lengthy discussions on slavery, as the family has slaves (as families did at the time).  We found this to be a great read-aloud.  I believe my son would probably be able to read this independently, although he may have trouble reading some of the accents – even for parents it takes some getting used to.  To see what this book is like, read the first chapter here.

"Glaucia the Greek Slave:  A Tale of Athens in the First Century" is part of "The Emma Leslie Church History Series".  This book centres around the beginnings of Christianity from the point of view of Glaucia and her brother Laon.  Written in 1874, the "thee’s" and "thou’s" may make it difficult for a child to read, but we found it to be a good read-aloud.  Discussions about slavery, the Greek and Roman civilizations, and our belief in God all arose from reading this book.  It was very interesting to be a "fly on the wall" at the time when Christianity was just in its infancy.  Read the first chapter here!

Where to Buy Salem Ridge Press Books:  Salem Ridge Press books are carried by major distributors and can likely be ordered by your local bookstore.  In addition, they are available at and  At these titles are offered new for $16.18 and up for the softcover.  At they are offered new for $12.95 US and up.  Used copies are also available at both sites.
UPDATE:  Salem Ridge has informed me that in the next couple of weeks they will also be available through Chapters Indigo – so we should be able to order online or through their stores very soon.


Kimberly is a homeschooling mother of two living with her dear husband of over 25 years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She works from home as a homeschool coach and offers OBM, writing, editing, social media, and tech services. In her free time she likes to hand-spin, knit, read, volunteer in local theatre, and horseback ride.