Would I like to participate in a book tour for the new Imagination Station Book Series from Focus on the Family? Ummm…YES! Since my oldest girls, now 27 and 25, were young, Mr. Whitaker, Imagination Station and the Adventures in Odyssey series have been a family favorite pasttime. I remember the days when our radio had to be tuned in at exactly 6 pm to catch the exciting stories. As a parent, of course I loved anything that encouraged our children to think and understand more about being a Christian and what that looks like in every day life, but the kids loved the adventure and “the good guy wins” endings and the ongoing drama of the characters’ lives, too. They “got to know” the characters, understood and recognized different character traits in each and were excited to follow “their stories”. This radio drama tradition didn’t stop with our older kids. It has carried on through all five of our children. Our nine-year-old (soon to be 10 on Thanksgiving day) adores Adventures in Odyssey and I suspect our grandkids will be enjoying them soon, too. Whether you know about Adventures in Odyssey, or not, you’re going to love this series and thanks to Focus on the Family and Tyndale House Publishing, you’ll have a chance to win the whole set in the giveaway they’re sponsoring here!
Focus on the Family has recently added to the Adventures in Odyssey fun, with the Imagination Station book series. Currently, there are six completed books in the set, but seven and eight are just around the corner! If you’re not familiar with Adventures in Odyssey, my first recommendation is that you head over to the website and listen, but I also want to share what Imagination Station is, to give you a little background for this fantastic historical fiction series.
Mr. Whitaker is the owner of Whit’s End, a fun soda shop where kids can hangout. Mr. Whitaker is also an inventor and a Christian. Whit’s End is full of interesting contraptions and inventions, but the most amazing is the Imagination Station, a time machine that sends the users back through time to visit different times throughout history and always landing them smack dab in the middle of a fantastic adventure, that ends up teaching Biblical lessons. The Imagination Station book series has taken those fun-tastic adventures into print, and even better for a homeschooling mom, written them into the historical fiction genre. Historical fiction is a fabulous way to draw students into history. While the actual characters and their stories are fiction, they are woven into the true culture, traditions and events of history, so students are learning as they enjoy the drama. For a teacher, this is a win-win-win — educational, interesting and fun, plus students are reading because they like it!
The Imagination Station book series begins with Voyage with the Vikings, where the main characters are on a quest to find an ancient relic, a mariners sun stone, in order to save a young boy. The adventure lands them smack in the middle of a Viking village, where they meet Eric the Red, and his son, Leif Erickson, who much to his father’s dismay, has recently become a Christian. The two kids learn courage, friendship and experience firsthand, the power of “loving your enemies” in the midst of this exciting adventure. Students will learn about the Viking culture, where they lived, what they believed and how they traveled. The book would be an awesome kick-off for a unit study about the Vikings.
The series continues with 5 more books:
- Book 2 – Attack at the Arena – The main characters (and your students) will meet a Roman emperor, a true historical figure, Telemachus, and visit the Coliseum as the quest for a silver goblet is carried out.
- Book 3 – Peril in the Palace – Beth & Patrick search China in 1271 to find the golden tablet of Kublai Khan and are captured by the Mongols.
- Book 4 – Revenge of the Red Knight - 15th century England is the setting for this adventure. Wrongful imprisonment, jousting matches and England’s War of Roses are the backdrops for the moral lessons in this adventure.
- Book 5 – Showdown with the Shepherd – Patrick and Beth have to retrieve a stolen ring in the Holy Lands in the 10th century BC and return a stowaway back to 1450′s England. Bears and giants and intrigue! Oh my! A great lesson in faith.
- Book 6 – Problems in Plymouth – Marching forward, through history, Book 6 lands readers in Plymouth Plantation in 1621. Beth and Patrick must set things right between the Pilgrim settlers and the Indians to keep the course of history from being permanently altered.
These books are fantastic! My daughter has pored over each exciting page and I have enjoyed reading along with her and discussing the Biblical lessons and historical significance of each one. They are written to be enjoyed by those as young as seven. I think for the average seven-year-old, some of the vocabulary could be challenging if they are left to read on their own, but these would be fun and exciting read-alouds with an older reader. At least six more titles are planned for the series, with Book 7 due to be released in January 2012 and Book 8 in May.
We were absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity to review this delightful six-book set and excited to add them to our family library! Our kids and grandkids will enjoy them long into the future. I encourage you to use the links above to get these bargain-priced books for your own book- and history-buffs. Amazon offers them at only $4.99 each, and they are currently part of Amazon’s “Buy 3, Get 1 Free” special, meaning they will be easy on the Christmas budget and the enjoyment will last well beyond the holidays. Plus, one lucky Busy-at-Home reader will win the six-book set for their own family! Enter the giveaway, below.
I received the six-book Imagination Station series, from Tyndale House, in order to evaluate them and write this review. Mo monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.