“Take an 11-year-old Bailey Fish, mix in some friends, a quirky grandmother, and life in Central Virginia, and you have the beginnings of a fun and exciting adventure series. Add a dash of history, a smattering of mystery, and wholesome storylines, and you have the perfect recipe for a modern-day, award-winning series of books.
“From a grandmother's point of view, my almost 10-year-old granddaughter loves to read and re-read the series . . . first in order, she recommends, and then to revisit her favorites which seem to rotate.
“From an educator's point of view, the stories are original, entertaining, and (our secret) educational. Following the story, there is an extensive collection of book club questions, Web sites, suggestions for further readings related to the information presented, a glossary, and photographs, maps, and illustrations, all pertinent to the story.
“This is a realistic series speaking to the children of the 21st century with the nostalgia of former favorites like The Happy Hollister series. The Bailey Fish stories are a rare combination in today's offerings for children. What a joy to have these to share as well as the anticipation of the next one!”
Barbara Hass, MA in Education, former teacher and college education instructor of Children's Literature and teacher training at Randolph-Macon Woman's College, University of Virginia Extension Service, Merrimack Education Consortium, Education Director and director of Sylvan Learning Centers, and teacher of grades 4-6.
Two summers ago, we purchased two of the Bailey Fish books at the Lake
Anna State Park gift store. Our daughter devoured them immediately
and asked us to get the next two in the series. We did. She
got so excited about the local history she learned from the books that
she had us throw her a Bailey Fish party at the lake last May for her
The party included a Bailey Fish Cake, hat decorating (complete with secret pocket, like Mae the spy), a scavenger hunt, a Bailey Fish Trivia Quiz, a wonderful taped discussion of the book by the author, a boat trip up to Contrary Creek, and, as a party favor, each of her guests received a Bailey Fish Book. It was a wonderful event. Besides sparking her interest in local history, it has also increased her awareness of the hazards of pollution, particularly at Lake Anna. She and her younger sister now make an extra effort to pick up any trash near the lakeshore. Our children love to look at the sparkly gold-like sand along the shores of the lake. On the few days when the lake is not clear but rather murky they worry that someone is polluting the lake. Finally, our daughter shares her knowledge of the lake and how it came to be, which she learned from the Bailey Fish books, with everyone who comes to visit us. Our daughter is looking forward to attending more educational events at the state park and is looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Denise Parks, Northern Virginia
"I couldn't put (The Wild Women of Lake Anna) down. My favorite part was when she goes off into the woods and solves the mystery." Caitlin Hamlin, fourth-grader, Northern Virginia
"I just finished reading 'The Wild Women of Lake Anna.' I enjoyed it very much. I would like to know where Sugar lived at Lake Anna. Did she live near you and my grandparents? Lexi Davis, age 8
"What makes 'Wild Women' work is Salisbury's empathy with the reader. . . 'Wild Women' is also a teaching tool, helping to build critical thinking skills even as it offers a good read. Although 'Wild Women,' is about a girl, boys will love the adventure that animates the tale." James M. Abraham, book reviewer, Charlotte Sun
"An 'upbeat, cheerful tale of individual empowerment." James A. Cox, editor-in-chief, Midwest Book Review
"This book is an outstanding read for boys as well as girls. It includes an exciting . . . plot with effective use of language, has great appeal for kids, is sensitive to the feelings of youth at this very vulnerable developmental time of their lives, reinforces a positive identity, is presented in an intergenerational context, with problem solving, decency and consideration wove throughout." Muriel M. Van Patten, former State Division Director of Education, Michigan Department of Education
"I began reading the book to the fourth-graders about one month ago and they have really enjoyed it. Linda Salisbury . . . spoke to the class about the method of writing her novel, the story itself, read to them, and even asked them for suggestions for her next book . . . they were of course thrilled to help her." Natalie Wills, fourth-grade teacher, Blessed Sacrament, Arlington, Virginia. Comments were in school newsletter.
"The student (grades three to five) were so excited to learn about . . . the Bailey Fish adventures. They enjoyed hearing about the region in which they live, discovering the powerful blend of fiction and non-fiction, and seeing how stories come alive with real authors. At this time of year, they are learning about the process of writing and getting ready for the state assessments on writing. It was a special way for them to see the connections that authors make to real events and places in their lives, how the process actually leads to a finished product after much research and many drafts, and the actual artifacts that can trigger or contribute to the writing.
"By using your first book as a school-wide springboard with all the teachers reading it aloud to their classes, we were able to join the community of readers and writers that is so exciting for all of us. The questions that the children asked and their attention during your presentation were clear evidence that they enjoyed the books. We look forward to reading the other books in the series and can't wait until the next one is published."Alexis B. Smith,
Director of Elementary Instructional Services
Orange County Public Schools, Virginia