Sheep Among Wolves Publishing

A Charge To Keep – Book Review

Cover photo taken from

Cover photo taken from

Book Details

  1. Title: A Charge To Keep
  2. Author: Isabella MacDonald Alden
  3. Publisher: Joyce E. Nolt, 1593 Lancaster Road, Manheim, Pennsylvania, 17545. Please note, that this book is a reprint of an old edition and has been edited by Joyce Nolt. It is available online in its original format under the name The Man of the House, but as we have not reviewed that edition we cannot recommend the online version at the present time.
  4. Genre: Fiction
  5. Number of Pages: 169
  6. Theme: New York life in 1800’s
  7. Age Range: 12 and up
  8. Links: Click here to read chapters one and two


Fourteen year old Reuben Stone takes very seriously his responsibility to provide for his widowed mother and younger sister Beth.  But times are tough in  New York in the 1800’s, and steady work for young boys does not come easily.  Will the influence of his friend and neighbor, Miss Pricilla Hunter, be enough to help him stick to his “charge to keep” without resorting to work that may bring more temptation than it is worth?

This quick moving adventure is encouraging for anyone who has faced the trials of fulfilling their duty in a world full of temptation. The character traits displayed by the godly individuals within its pages are an example worthy of our imitation.

SAW Rating System

Good Qualities – 4/5

Great Qualities -4 /5

Red flags

  1. Romance and morality—No issues
  2. Disturbing content—A horse runs out of control; a thief is interrupted in his crime; and a boy bullies his co-worker. All are portrayed accurately, but not graphically.
  3. Language—No issues
  4. Alcohol and drug use—The evils of alcohol abuse are discussed. A drunken man passes out and loses control of his horse.  The topic is explored in a very realistic manner including some of the repercussions of alcohol use.  The temperance movement is briefly discussed. As with the events noted above, there is no gratuitous description, just a gentle, but accurate portrayal.
  5. Spiritual content—The book is written from an evangelical perspective and focusses on responding as a Christian no matter what the external circumstances.
  6. Family roles and Behavior—There is a little grumbling from the teenage girl.
  7. Mature subject matter—No issues