Have you ever thought about how many books must have existed in our history that have been forgotten? I mean, we all know many classic books, and we take for granted that if a book “makes it” for several generations, it must be a classic.
And that makes sense–but what about some of the books that have disappeared in print? Based on numbers, it stands to reason that many books that fall out of print might, in fact, be useful, interesting. Maybe they have been forgotten because they were not stylish at some point based on current convention?
While I cannot answer the question of why some books fall out of print, I believe out of print books can contain exciting tales and excellent writing—as well as a peek into our history.
Anyway, I found it interesting that Salem Press is a publishing company that is based upon the idea of republishing children’s books of the 1800’s and early 1900’s. They say that they “strive to republish books that are wholesome, exciting, and well-written.”
This is a Christian company and the publisher, Daniel Mills, has a set of standards in place regarding which titles will be printed—and even these may be edited additionally to make sure the content is considered to be in line with Philippians 4:8:
“Whatsoever things are true, 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).”
I liked what Mills had to say about the books he works with:
“I believe that when we start with wholesome, exciting and well-written books and then carefully review the contents, we are left with some of the absolutely best books that are available today.”
I was given three books to review—two ebooks and one softcover. As my readers probably know, I still have a hard time reading on the computer! Ugh. I just do not care for it. I keep trying…but, yes, I went on to read the softcover one.
Overall, I was honestly surprised by how serious and well written it was—I am afraid that does not say much for what I have been reading! In spite of the subject matter, the book was not difficult to follow.
This book was entitled “Out of The Mouth of The Lion,” from the Church History Series by Emma Leslie. This historical fiction is appropriate for an older child (and up) and deals with the persecution of the early Christians, and gives many details about Rome under Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Asia Minor during 163-166 A.D.
I found the story fascinating. I did cringe a bit, reading about gladiators and the plights of the martyrs, but I really got drawn into the storyline and felt that the setting was well researched. I learned quite a bit about both the early church and some of the Roman customs of the day.
The introduction was helpful, where the publishers have added historical notes for the time period and the novel. Within the book, you can also find word definitions. You can read a synopsis of the story and a sample of the first chapter on the Salem Press site.
The two ebooks I got were:
Yussuf the Guide. An Adventure Title. This sounds like a good one for younger children. We plan to read this aloud after printing it out.
The Official Word: “This is the story of young Lawrence, an invalid, who convinces his guardians, Preston the Professor and Burne the Lawyer, to take him along on an archaeological expedition to Turkey. Yussuf their guide proves his worth time and time again as they face dangers from a murderous ship captain, poisonous snakes, sheer precipices, bands of robbers and more. Memorable characters, humor and adventure abound in this exciting story!”
The Martyr’s Victory. Now that I have read one book in the Emma Church History Series, I am excited to read this one.
The Official Word: “Another title in the Emma Leslie Church History Series, this time set in Danish England in the ninth century. It is a compelling look at the clash between Christianity and the religion of the savage Danes (Vikings) as seen through the story of a small band of courageous monks who choose to go live among their worst enemies in hopes of sharing the gospel with them.”
Currently, Salem Press offers about 27 such titles through their website, www.salempress.com. Most titles are available in soft or hard cover and many can also be downloaded immediately.
The website for Salem Press is easy to navigate and has lots of information about each book, as well as sample pdf’s of many of the books.
One of my favorite things about their website is that you can search for titles with criteria like time period and location or by age range. This helps me see what is available to match up with some of our history studies.
See what my crewmates have to say about Salem Press, here.
I received books from Salem Press for review Purposes. I have given my honest opinion.