The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot

AUTHOR: Caroline Carlson

GENRE: Adventure Fiction

SUMMARY: Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword.

There’s only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.

But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn’t exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.

Written with uproarious wit and an inviting storyteller tone, the first book in Caroline Carlson’s quirky seafaring series is a piratical tale like no other.


AUTHOR: Sterling North

GENRE: Non-Fiction

SUMMARY: Nothing’s surprising in the North household, not even Sterling’s new pet raccoon. Rascal is only a baby when Sterling brings him home, but soon the two are best friends, doing everything together–until the spring day when everything suddenly changes.

Rascal is a heartwarming boyhood memoir that continues to find its way into the hearts of readers fifty years later. This special anniversary edition includes the book’s classic illustrations restored to their original splendor, as well as a letter from the author’s daughter, and material from the illustrator’s personal collection.

Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold

AUTHOR: Janet & Geoff Benge

GENRE: Biography


As the race began, it had seemed obvious that Eric Liddell was overmatched. Now the crowd in the Olympic stadium hushed as this runner from Scotland refused to be passed. As Eric crossed the finish line, the crowd erupted in applause heard all over Paris. Eric Liddell had done the impossible. A new world record had been set!

Eric’s refusal earlier that week to run on Sunday in the Olympic 100-meter race had stunned the world. Now his incredible victory in the 400- meter race further strengthened his belief in God’s promise, “He who honours Me, I will honour.”

Years later, Eric Liddell would be tested far beyond mere physical ability as a missionary to China. His character, perseverance and endurance are a challenging example for all who would obey the call to bring the gospel to the nations.

York: The Shadow Cipher

AUTHOR: Laura Ruby

GENRE: Fantasy

SUMMARY: It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before. Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher—a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction.

Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment house—until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long-held by the people of New York. And if Tess, Theo and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.

I Survived the California Wildfires, 2018

AUTHOR: Lauren Tarshis

GENRE: Fiction

SUMMARY: The people of northern California were used to living with the threat of wildfires. But nothing could have prepared them for the devastating 2018 fire season, the deadliest in 100 years and the most destructive in history.

In the 20th I Survived book, readers join eleven-year-old Josh as he leaves his affluent New Jersey home for the rural northern California town where his mother was born and raised. Still reeling from the life-changing challenges that propelled him and his mother across the country, Josh struggles to adapt to a more rustic, down-to-earth lifestyle that couldn’t be more different from the one he is used to.

Josh and his cousin Eleanor bond during an overnight camping trip. But they suddenly find themselves in the path of a fast-moving firestorm, a super-heated monster that will soon lay waste to millions of acres of wilderness and — possibly — their town. Josh needs to confront the family issues burning him up inside, but first he’ll have to survive the flames blazing all around him.


AUTHOR: Katherine Applegate

GENRE: Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction

SUMMARY: Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree”—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this “wishtree” watches over the neighborhood.

You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever.

Welcome Back to a Crazy School Year

There is some good news for you in all this craziness. We are planning to move ahead with SALT for the 2020-2021 school year!

We have made the decision to shorten the reading lists by 25% since we might not be back on our campuses full time until at least November. We have been working to shorten the reading list and we will have that posted for you soon.

We will be extending grace on timelines to register your schools since getting your teams up and running might take some extra time.

We aren’t sure exactly what the tournament will look like on April 30th, 2021, but we are committed to making something happen if possible. It might even be a virtual tournament, but we will see what the guidelines look like closer to the spring before we make any major decisions.

Please contact us with any questions you might have. We are here to help figure out how to facilitate this and keep the momentum rolling for our kids!

Partial Book List for 2020-2021

We are ready to jump into our third season of SALT. As we welcome 7th and 8th graders to the club, here are the first nine books on our 2020-2021 reading list:


  • Book of Acts NIV Bible (3rd-6th: chapters 1-14, 7th-8th: chapters 1-28)
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis


  • Another Quest for Celeste by Henry Cole
  • The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
  • The Prince Warriors and the Swords of Rhema by Priscilla Shirer
  • The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
  • Yours Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick


  • The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau


  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

These first nine books are listed with details here on the website. We hope you enjoy some great summer reading. Watch for the remaining nine books to be announced in August.

Junior High Added for 2020-2021

We’re happy to announce the addition of junior high students to our SALT program! We are excited to get this up and rolling for the coming 2020-2021 school year. The junior high team will function the same as an elementary team but will have a shorter book list. Our hope here is that the 7th-8th Grade Division teams will be able to dive into more content-heavy books at this level. Please spread the word!

The City of Ember

AUTHOR: Jeanne DuPrau

GENRE: Science Fiction, Children’s literature, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Young adult fiction, Fantasy Fiction

SUMMARY: Many hundreds of years ago, the city of Ember was created by the Builders to contain everything needed for human survival. It worked…but now the storerooms are almost out of food, crops are blighted, corruption is spreading through the city and worst of all—the lights are failing. Soon Ember could be engulfed by darkness…

But when two children, Lina and Doon, discover fragments of an ancient parchment, they begin to wonder if there could be a way out of Ember. Can they decipher the words from long ago and find a new future for everyone? Will the people of Ember listen to them?

The Hobbit

AUTHOR: J.R.R. Tolkien

GENRE: Novel, Fantasy, Children’s literature, Epic, High fantasy, Fantasy Fiction

SUMMARY: In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.

Book Scavenger: The Unbreakable Code

AUTHOR: Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

GENRE: Mystery, Adventure Fiction

SUMMARY: Mr. Quisling is definitely up to something mysterious, and Emily and James are on high alert. First, there’s the coded note he drops at a book event. Then, they uncover a trail of encrypted messages in Mark Twain-penned books hidden through Book Scavenger. What’s most suspicious is that each hidden book triggers an arson fire.

As the sleuthing friends dig deeper, they discover Mr. Quisling has been hunting a legendary historical puzzle: the Unbreakable Code. This new mystery is irresistible, but Emily and James can’t ignore the signs that Mr. Quisling might be the arsonist.

The clock is ticking as the arson fires multiply, and Emily and James’ race to crack the code of a lifetime.

The Lemonade War

AUTHOR: Jacqueline Davies

GENRE: Fiction

SUMMARY: Fourth-grader Evan Treski is people-smart. He’s good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings’ lemonade stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win—or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.

Another Quest for Celeste

AUTHOR: Henry Cole

GENRE: Historical Fiction, Biographical Fiction

SUMMARY: In this sequel to A Nest for Celeste, Celeste is hundreds of miles from home following an unexpected journey aboard a Mississippi steamboat. After mishaps and disasters, she finds herself on the frontier in southern Indiana. It’s 1822, and Celeste meets a tall, lanky boy wielding an ax: a young Abraham Lincoln.

The journey reveals the harsh realities of frontier life for the Lincoln family. But with the help of Celeste’s new woodland animal friends and some creativity, she may just prove that even the littlest creatures can make a big difference. And it’s in losing her way that Celeste finds herself in a place she never expected—home, finally.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

AUTHOR: C.S. Lewis

GENRE: Novel, Children’s literature, Fantasy Fiction, Christian literature

SUMMARY: NARNIA… the world of wicked dragons and magic spells, where the very best is brought out of even the worst people, where anything can happen (and most often does)… and where the adventure begins.

The Dawn Treader is the first ship Narnia has seen in centuries. King Caspian has built it for his voyage to find the seven lords, good men whom his evil uncle Miraz banished when he usurped the throne. The journey takes Edmund, Lucy, and their cousin Eustace to the Eastern Islands, beyond the Silver Sea, toward Aslan’s country at the End of the World.