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In the first book of the series, Voyage with the Vikings, cousins Patrick and Beth are visiting Mr. Whittaker at Whit’s Soda Shoppe when they find a mysterious letter in the Imagination Station requesting a Viking sunstone. The letter is old and says that someone named Albert will be imprisoned if the sunstone isn’t found. Whit sends Patrick and Beth to Greenland circa 1000, where they meet Vikings Erik the Red and Leif Eriksson–and find the sunstone as they join Leif on his first voyage to North America. But the adventure is just beginning, for when they return to Mr. Whittaker’s workshop with the sunstone, there is another note waiting for them.

Voyage with the Vikings and Attack at the Arena
by Paul McCusker and Marianne Hering
Published by Tyndale House Publishers
Pages: 128
Ages: Middle Grade

The adventures continue in Attack at the Arena. Patrick and Beth learn that Mr. Whittaker’s fancy ring can be seen inside the Imagination Station but not outside of the machine. A second mysterious letter leads the cousins to fifth-century Rome in search of a special cup that belongs to a monk. If they find the cup it could keep the mysterious Albert out of prison. At the Roman Colosseum, Emperor Honorius is hosting a gladiator battle in celebration of a war victory. Beth attends the event as the emperor’s slave; Patrick attends as a monk’s apprentice but is taken prisoner and sent to fight in the arena. During their adventure, the cousins meet Telemachus (a true historical figure), a monk who believes that fighting is wrong. Telemachus is willing to risk everything—even his life—to stop the killing.

 

An adventure awaits Patrick and Beth as they step inside the mysterious time traveling machine called “The Imagination Station.” From the days of the Vikings to Ancient Rome, each place holds an education that is more exciting than any read in a normal history book. Patrick and Beth are chased by tigers, fight with Vikings and learn that there is more to accomplishing a task than simply setting out on a quest. Each will learn to rely on each other, about the time and place they visit and possibly even gain a little bit more faith along the way in this fantastic new adventure series.

What an incredible series of books! This series is meant to be read primarily for ages 7 to 12, but I actually spent most of my time reading these outloud to Turkeybird. He couldn’t get enough of the adventure, especially the parts when Beth and Patrick were being chased or were fighting with an adversary. Definitely a boy. What was truly enjoyable, for me at least, was being able to stop at points to tell him a little more about the time, people and places that were part of the story. I’m not sure it all stuck, but it was nice to have an adventure series to read with him that I wasn’t afraid would be too graphic but still held his attention. That being said, I absolutely believe this would be a series older readers would love reading on their own as well.

Now, as many of you know, Tyndale House is primarily a publisher of Christian based books, both non-fiction and fiction. When I originally heard about the series I was intrigued but not convinced I’d love it. Yes, I’m Christian, but I’m not always a fan of Christian books. Why? Because, in my experience I’ve found it difficult to enjoy a fiction book without feeling like I’m being preached at or being given a Sunday School lesson. For me personally, if I’m looking for that I’d choose a non-fiction book. Well, I was pleasantly surprised with The Imagination Station series. It does have mentions of things like prayer, God and faith but not to a point where I felt the books were pushing some sort of agenda. It was incredibly well done and balanced! So much so that I’d recommend the series to people who may not be practicing Christians or even religious at all, but perhaps just looking for a clean adventure for their young children.

The Imagination Station series, particularly Voyage with the Vikings and Attack at the Arena, is the beginning of a fantastic set of books I know we will be continuing in our home. Not only will middle grade age children enjoy the adventure and educational aspects without feeling like they’re sitting in a history class, but young children will also love having them read out-loud to them. Perfect for practicing and non-practicing religious homes, this is a series you can be sure will keep your children’s attention without blurring the lines with too much graphic content. An absolutely wonderful beginning to a great series, make sure to check them out as soon as possible!

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 7-12 and earlier with a parent reading out-loud. This series has adventure, education and more! Perfect for middle grade readers and early readers who want to be read to by a parent.

Giveaway!

Thanks to the publisher, Tyndale House Publishers, I have the wonderful opportunity of giving away one set of these fantastic middle grade books! One winner will receive: One copy of Voyage with the Vikings and One copy of Attack at the Arena.
Details: One winner will be chosen at random after the contest closes. You MUST fill out the form below, comments will not count as entries. Only one entry per household. Giveaway is open to US/Canadian Residents only. The giveaway will run from April 5, 2011 until April 24, 2011 midnight EST.

Find The Imagination Station book series at the following spots:
Goodreads
Amazon
Powell’s Books
Indiebound
Barnes & Noble

Thank you so much to the publisher, Tyndale House Publishers, for providing these books for review and giveaway!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our various affiliate relationships.

This giveaway is now closed please check back soon for more giveaways!

5 Responses to Review and Giveaway: Voyage with the Vikings and Attack at the Arena

  1. wonderful review honey!

  2. Gina says:

    Good deal! That’s primarily why I don’t read this genre generally either. Sounds like this one struck a good balance between story telling and faith. Thanks for sharing!

    • Exactly! I was very pleasantly surprised and to be honest, had I not previously known about Tyndale Press I wouldn’t have guessed they were “religious” until the very very end. A very good balance.

  3. These look fantastic. I love the theme/plot.

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