This Adventures in Odyssey book "Attack at the Arena" took a bit longer than usual to read because we were reading it together. My son, Alex, and I were taking turns reading each chapter. Cousins, Patrick and Beth, go on a mission in the Imagination Station to find a silver cup in Rome for Albert. Albert is an ancestor of Mr. Whittaker's that they are trying to help. Patrick and Beth get their necessary wardrobe changed to the time period and begin their journey in the time machine. In a quick change of events the cousins were taken into two different directions. Beth was dressed as the Emperor's slave and Patrick was dressed as a monk. A Roman soldier carried Beth back to the palace and Patrick followed another monk after much persuasion. A lot happens in the story, but they do finish their mission and are given a new one. Alex really enjoyed this story.I received this book from Tyndale Publishers to review. This is my own opinion
Having already reviewed Voyage with the Vikings, I was thrilled to be able to also review Attack at the Arena. In this book cousins Patrick and Beth travel to Rome. The are split up, and have to make decisions without the other's help. Beth becomes a bird slave for the emperor. She has to care for the variety of birds the emperor has. Patrick finds himself rescued by a monk. This monk does not plan anything in advance; he does whatever God tells him to do, no matter how crazy it sounds. The cousins are supposed to retrieve a chalice and bring it back to Mr Whittaker.
I really enjoyed this book. I am also looking forward to reading it with my children, once we finish the book we have already started. I'm sure they will love to find out what happens with Patrick and Beth. I would recommend this book to anyone with young children.
Thank you, Tyndale Publishers, for sending me a complementary copy of this book in return for my honest review.
Attack at the Arena by Paul McCusker & Marianne Hering is the second book in the Imagination Station series from Adventures in Odyssey. Cousins Paul and Beth returned safely from the Viking era with the sunstone only to find that there is another quest them must undertake in order to rescue Albert from Lord Darkthron. Mr. Whittaker, the Imagination Station's creator, gives the children a bit more information about the Station and Albert before sending them to the time of the Romans to find a monk's cup. The kids find themselves in the middle of an arena, and while they escape from the jaws of a tiger, Beth quickly finds herself captured by a soldier and forced to work as a slave with Emperor Honorius' birds, while Paul is helped by the monk Telemachus who has come to Rome with a message for the Emperor from God. First Mia's review: My favorite part was the excitement of Beth being separated from Patrick. I think the illustrations are magnificent. Now my review. Attack at the Arena picks up the story the day after the previous book, and the kids still have much to learn about traveling in time. McCusker shakes things up a bit this time by separating the cousins and forcing them to work individually. Unlike the Magic Tree House series, which has a similar format, this gives depth and intelligence to the story, because each story isn't going to be a carbon copy of the previous book. There is a strong message of faith in the series, especially in this book, as the kids witness the horrors of arena fighting (the author keeps the violence overt) and see how God can touch and change people. May seems like a long time to wait for the next two books in the series!
The books of this series are sure to spark the imagination of young readers. I love the concept and how these stories layer Christian history into the story. I must confess that I have never been much of a history buff but after reading these two books I was online searching, reading and looking for more information about the subjects of these books. In addition to the history, the action, the adventure at the center of these books is solid Biblical teaching by example in how the characters of this book act in word and deed. Your children will be learning a variety of aspects in these books and having fun doing so. One of the many lessons that I took away from these reads is that God is in control. If we follow His will even when it makes no sense it will work out as He planned in the end. We just have to be willing to trust and follow Him. I've seen this happen in my life and really connected with the events of this story, how answers were revealed at the needed time. My children aren't old enough for these reads but I am looking forward to sharing with them. I know that they too will have their interest peaked in history and God's word when they do. This is a really fun series and I can't wait to read the rest of the books. I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.
When my children were young they loved listening to Adventures in Odyssey. My 15 Year old still likes to listen to the cds we have. I like to download them onto my mp3 player and escape to Odyssey every once in awhile. My Husband will listen on the radio occasionally. When I was given the chance to read a book from the new series about Mr. Whitaker's invention The Imagination Station (from Tyndale) I was thrilled.
These books are geared toward children ages 7 and up , about a second grade reading level. This book is the second in series and I would highly recommend starting with the first book. This book is enjoyable by itself but there are some things that happen in the first book that I would have liked to have known about.
Patrick and Beth travel back to ancient Rome in order to get a special cup. They get separated and Patrick ends up traveling with a monk Telemachus and Beth ends up as the bird keeper for the emperor. This book is filled excitement and will keep the beginning reader turning the pages till the very end.