Overall, the story is engaging and will keep a child's interest. It also gives parents a chance to talk to their children about their beliefs. Additionally, the book sets the stage for growth in many areas, where the child can do follow-up research in conjunction with the story. This is definitely a book that should create dialog between parent and child.
What I liked most:
-The book is just as suspenseful as the last two books in the series (Voyage with the Vikings and Attack at the Arena).
-The book encourages children to learn more about China, Kublai Khan, Marco Polo, Mongol history, knights and more.
-It also does a great job normalizing the historical characters. Ancient history can seem distant and larger than life, but by giving the readers an opportunity to see Kublai Khan's family and granddaughter the book makes it easier to imagine what is actually taking place.
-I also really like the cross word puzzle at the back of the book. This puzzle helps children with their reading comprehension and learning new words.
What I liked the least:
T-he story also introduces the Roc, a mythological bird, as if it existed. Although Beth briefly mentions that she didn't think Rocs were real, the birds have a prominent place in the story. In the story Marco Polo's uncle Amaffeo alleges that the birds (similar to giant eagles) were large enough to carry an elephant (pg. 45). However, when dealing with children, the authors should have been more careful when mentioning these creatures. Of course these stories are fictionally, but I feel that a brief statement at the end of the book describing the mystery surrounding these birds should have made it clear that today we believe Rocs were just mythological birds that may not have existed. (FMI)
-I also did not like the controversial doctrine regarding the state of the dead. Patrick tells Kublai Khan that his uncle and mother who were Christian's when they died are now alive in heaven (pg. 61). However, when I read my Bible most of the texts about death say the dead are only sleeping and will one day rise again.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 (KJV) "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first"
Ecclesiastes 9:5 (KJV) "For the livingknow that they shalldie: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten." Here are some other texts John 5:28 , Revelation 20:1-10
We have been listening to Adventures in Odyssey since my son was born. It is a family tradition that he still enjoys at 13 years of age. If you listen to the show then you are very familiar with The Imagination Station. Since we love the radio broadcasts, our family was excited to receive Peril in the Palace to review.
Peril in the Palace is written by Marianne Hering and Paul McCusker. The story is set in 13th Century China. Beth and Patrick find themselves in an unforgettable adventure courtesy of the Imagination Station. They are kidnapped by Mongol Warriors. They find themselves in the palace where Kublai Khan rejects their gifts sent by Mr. Whitaker. When they try to escape they are prisoned.
I must admit that I had high hopes for this book. I expected it to be comparable to similar books. I must say I was disappointed. The books lack any of the character of the audio stories. The first few chapters seemed rushed and left me wondering what was really happening. I found the story rather unexciting and found it hard to finish the book myself. The reading was easy and I would definitely say it's a 2-3 grade level reader.
How does a target reader react? I would like to give you the review of my 8-year-old 3rd grader.
The Book: Peril in the Palace is about Whit's cousins, Patrick and Beth. 8 Years old. I think a 1st - 3rd grader should read it.
Patrick and Beth get stolen by Mongols in the Imagination Station. Well, if you want to read it, just read it. I can't tell you everything.
Ok, so we are working on her composition skills. We did discuss how she liked the book. She said it was ok. She didn't find it boring or exciting. I asked her if she would like to read more of this series and she said yes.
So the conclusion from our family is the book is ok. It is not a series we are interested in buying. We will continue buying the Odyssey audio stories.
Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for giving us this copy to review. The opinions are completely my own and are not influenced by any third party.
The cousins continue the adventure in the Imagination Station and with Mr. Whitaker's help they end up in China looking for a Golden Tablet. The adventure starts with being kidnapped by Mongol warriors and contines as they meet new friends and some enemies. Sharing the truth about Jesus and sharing God's love help the kids get by and I can't wait to see what the next adventure holds for Beth and Patrick!
*I received this complimentary book via Tyndale House Publishers for purposes of this review however all opinions are my own.
3rd in Imagination Station series is great reading
June 20, 2011
Peril at the Palace by Paul McCusker and Marianne Herning is the third book in the Adventures in Odyssey Imagination Station series. Cousins Patrick and Beth have been traveling through time using the Imagination Station to collect pieces of history to save Mr. Whittaker's relative Albert who has been captured by the mysterious Lord Darkthorn. This time the kids have gone to China in the thirteenth century to get a golden tablet from Kublai Khan, but that might not be as easy as it appears. First Mia's review: I thought this book was really, really cool because they got to meet a princess, and I thought it was funny when Patrick said, "I'll remember you every time I'm in the pool," and Marco Polo was confused. I also thought i cool when Beth was so smart that she figured out that the shamans were using nails. I think if you read this book, you will really enjoy it, because it's one of the best. I LOVE THIS SERIES OF BOOKS!!!!!!! Now my review: This book picks up immediately after Attack at the Arena. While each story is contained, there is a larger mystery going on as the kids try to discover why Mr. Whittaker can't use the Imagination Station any more and who is sending him mysterious notes requesting historical treasures to save his relative, Albert in the past. The kids travel to China where they are quickly captured by Mongols and taken to Kublai Khan's palace where they try to get a golden tablet from him and encounter some wondrous birds. McCusker's writing pulls kids quickly into the story, but unlike the Magic Tree House series each book is unique and the writing is enjoyable for both kids and their parents. There's also an underlying message of faith as Patrick tries to teach Kublai Khan about Jesus, and Beth isn't afraid to unmask the tricks of his shamans. This is a thoroughly enjoyable series and we've already started reading the sequel!
Outstanding, adventure story, chapter book I received free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of their review team.
I will be passing this along to my eight year old grandson to read. Cute story, a bit of history and of course, adventure.
Who doesn't love Whit's End and the Imagiantion Station? The cousins, Beth and Patrick have an assignment to help King Albert but somehow find themselves in Kublai Khan's palace. The stop before Kublai Khan hooks them up with Marco Polo,,,,,,how does this happen and what is the end result.....read the book.
The story keeps moving, is loaded with great principles and totally fun.