from Salem Ridge Press. This book retails for $12.95 for a softcover copy, and $22.95 for a hardcover. It was written by Emma Leslie in 1874 for ages 8 and up. From the website, the author is described:
I was fascinated by this, as I love older books. They focus on so much more interesting issues than more recent fiction, especially Christian fiction which I have pretty much given up entirely. That this book focused on Christian history was a huge plus as well. It really fit well with where we are in our Christian world history curriculum.
Emma Leslie (1837-1909), whose actual name was Emma Dixon, was a prolific Victorian children's author who wrote over 100 books. Emma Leslie brought a strong Christian emphasis into her writing and many of her books were originally published by the Religious Tract Society.
When this book arrived I looked it over, and Emma (my daughter) snagged it immediately. She read it all in one day. :) Tyler (5th grade) and I also read it, but not so quickly. Emma (4th grade) is the type to disappear with a book and hardly sleep or eat until it's done. Love that girl!
The main character of this book is Hilda, a young girl from Briton, in the first century. She and her brother, Bran, are taken captive by the Roman army, and sold into slavery in the city of Rome. Another slave introduces them to a new God that they had never heard of; a God who loves even slaves. They look forward to the "Golden Age" of freedom, but find that true freedom is found in Christ alone. They are able to go and hear Paul speak about this strange God, during Paul's prison time in Rome. (Acts 28:30-31) As the Gospel spreads among the slaves, their masters cannot help but notice the change in the household. The book ends with a twist and you will have to read it to find out why my Emma exclaimed when she handed it to me:
"I'm dying to tell you about the ending, but I don't want to spoil it for you!"
What I liked:
- Salem Ridge Press did a wonderful thing to bring these books back into print, as I feel they are Christian history treasures.
- This book, while fiction, was well grounded in truth.
- The text is very easily read and a perfect fit for the suggested age range. That said, even as an adult, I loved it too.
- Wherever a word in the text is unusual in today's English, there is a footnote definition provided on that same page. This was throughout the book.
- There were also Scripture reference footnotes.
- The illustrations were of the "woodcut" style typical of the 19th century. Love those!
- Salem Ridge Press has said that, at times, they will edit a book to uphold their standards of decency. Read more about that here.
What I didn't like:
- I didn't like. . . that I would like this book so well. I only received one book, and now we want to buy the whole set. (Mom, if you're reading this, I'm hinting about the kids' birthday gift ideas).
Bottom Line:This book was an entertaining way to share early church history with my kids. It was solid and wholesome. We all loved reading it, and I hope to buy more of them. There are 12 books available covering church history in select periods from AD 59 to AD 1522. In fact, you can read reviews of several other books in this series by Emma Leslie if you visit the rest of the Crew:
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