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A story of family and war by Ken Yoder Reed



Masthof has recently released plans to publish Both My Sons, a major new historical novel by Ken Yoder Reed, on October 6, 2016.   The novel tells the Coming to America story of immigrants—Swiss-German refugees—in 1710.

The immigrant refugee story of the 1710 Swiss-Germans resembles the 2016 Syrian refugee story.  Like the Syrians, the Swiss-Germans came as ‘boat people’.  They were targeted by pirates.  The death rate was sometimes as high as 30% of a ship.  And they landed in the English-speaking colony of Pennsylvania that suspected their loyalties.  Between 1710 and 1750, an estimated 50,000 fled Germany’s inter-religious wars, brutal taxation by petty overlords and the destruction of all crops in the once-in-a-millennium freeze of 1709.  Those who arrived safely faced wilderness conditions.  In a few short years, frontier raids by the French and their Native American allies triggered demands that the settlers give their sons and wagon teams to defend the fragile colony.


Both My Sons recounts the life of one such immigrant father, his two sons and his dysfunctional family. Both My Sons is generating strong interest ahead of its release date. "Both My Sons is a fictional visit to another time and set of locations, interweaving the Mennonite and Scotch Irish immigrants’ stories” says John Landis Ruth, Author of The Earth is the Lord’s.  Local New York Times bestselling author, Phyllis Pellman Good, calls it “A novel of passion, haunting sorrows, raw disappointments, and grand possibilities.” 

Copies of Both My Sons will be available for pre-launch purchase by Masthof regular customers for the special price of $16 (a 20% discount from the retail price of $19.99) and will be able to receive the book by September 8, one month before the Launch Date. In order to receive the discount you need to use the code REED when you checkout on Your copy of the book can be picked up at Masthof offices or mailed to you on September 8.  Mail orders will include a shipping and handling charge. Click here to purchase your copy.

We would also like to invite our regular customers to the special events surrounding the publication of this book:

  • Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society is hosting a Launch Party for the book on Thursday, October 6, at 7pm at the Historical Society auditorium, 2215 Millstream Road, Lancaster, PA 17602.This is an opportunity for you to meet the author, Ken Yoder Reed.Reed will speak about the research and process of writing this important book.Other guests include Historian John Ruth, who will present a talk on the historical settings that surround the Coming to America story of the Swiss-Germans and an interview with Chuck Faust, Commander of the Pennsylvania Regiment of Colonial Re-enactors.The event is free to the public.
  • Masthof Press and Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society are co-sponsoring a coach tour to visit sites mentioned in the novel on Saturday, October 8, from 8 am to 5 pm.The tour will include visits to the historic Pequea Settlement, Hans Herr House, Harris’ Landing (Harris Mansion), Paxtang Presbyterian Church and Light’s Fort (Lebanon).A colonial militia re-enactor will meet the tour at Harris’ Landing.
  • Tickets for the Coach Tour are very limited and the bus is filling quickly.The cost is $75 for LMHSociety members and $90 for nonmembers. Lunch is included in the tour.Reserve your spot online at or by calling (717) 393-9745.
  • The Nicholas Stoltzfus Homestead will also host an Author Event at the Stoltzfus Homestead at 3 pm, Saturday, October 15.The Reed will speak about the research and writing of his historical novel, followed by a light supper (donations welcome).

Ken Yoder Reed grew up in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, in a 250-year-old log house built around a spring in the cellar, with gun-slits in the stone cellar walls for self-defense.  After several years as an editor for the Mennonite Publishing House, he moved to San Jose, California and became a high-tech recruiter. 
Reed divides his time today between sourcing engineering talent and writing novels.  His childhood sparked this story.  Readers of his previous historical novels, Mennonite Soldier and He Flew Too High, will welcome the historical accuracy and page-turning drama of the latest novel.

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Morgantown, PA 19543


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