I used this book as a read aloud for my 4,5,7, and 9 year old boys, although my 9 year old could read them on his own. I love the whole idea of this series! It is an exciting adventure series, but also so much more! The books contain a lot of Historical Content and they are Christian based which is something many adventure type series books for this age group is sadly missing. The chapters are short enough to keep the younger children engaged and eager to read more. Even my 2 year old loves looking at the illustrations. Each book is linked to the others in the series, but you don't necessarily have to read them in order to understand and enjoy them (we have not read books #1 and #2.) Definitely would recommend!
Once again we join cousins, Beth and Patrick and inventor, Mr. Whittaker on time traveling adventures aboard the Imagination Station. In these next two books we first travel to China in 1271 meeting up with non-other than the famous world traveler Marco Polo as he is on a visit to Kublai Khan in Ã¢â¬ËPeril in the Palace'. I find this a very interesting relationship and time period selection as we continue on with the Imagination Station series. I have to say, they have done a wonderful job so far in selecting the time, place and cast of characters for these books. That is a big part of what has drawn me in. These are exciting books about intriguing times of history that are sure to help kids grow in their interest of both reading and history. And once again these books do a great job of integrating God's truths with lots of teachable moments as Patrick and Beth navigate through their adventures with hope and faith. Right up after the cousins run in with Mongol warriors they find themselves in England at the time of knights, castles and jousting in the Ã¢â¬ËRevenge of the Red Knight'. The books are very well paced reads and I could not put these latest books down. I was also surprised that several mysteries and answers were revealed in Ã¢â¬ËRevenge of the Red Knight' which is book 4 out of a now 12 book series. There is no lack of suspense though as new twists come to the storyline and I think revealing some of the unknowns early on was great for me to become even more invested into the plight of Mr. Whittaker and his distant relative Albert. These next two books have solidify this as a must read series for young readers for me.
I received a copy of each book for the purpose of this review from Tyndale House Publishers.
Book 3 in the Imagination Station series ends with young cousins Beth and Patrick landing unexpectedly in a dark cave. In book 4, Revenge of the Red Knight, they soon discover the Imagination Station has taken them to the time of English knights, as a young knight's squire approaches them with a knife. Fortunately, they soon learn he's a friend - the squire of the knight who has shown up in all the previous books in the series. This knight, Sir Andrew, soon appears in the cave, straight from the 13th century where he was wounded fighting off the terrible rocs in book 3. But before Beth and Patrick can help him, men enter the cave and accuse them of stealing Lord Darkthorn's treasures.
Patrick and the squire are put in stocks, but Beth escapes and learns one of their accusers is the real thief. She heads for Lord Darkthorn's castle to tell Albert - the man Beth and Patrick have been trying to save with their many trips through time. Sir Andrew appears again and this time agrees to fight the thief. An exciting, knightly tournament ensues, exposing the thief as the bad guy. But he runs away - straight into the Imagination Station. When Patrick and Beth go inside the Station, they can't find him. And when they go home to Whit's End, Mr. Whittaker vows to discover a way to find him in history before he can damage time.
What I Like: This may be the best Imagination Station book yet, simply because it's full of action. My 5 year old loved it, and is anxious for the next book in the series. I also appreciate that character is a common theme in this volume. For example, when Sir Andrew agrees to the tournament, Beth says, "That was a noble thing to do." Sir Andrew answers, "It was the right thing to do." And just before the tournament, Sir Andrew asks that the tournament (a "joust of peace" where the looser will fall off his horse, but not be wounded or killed) glorify God.
What I Dislike: Nothing
Overall Rating: Very Good.
Kristina Seleshanko, Christian Children's Book Review
My nine year old daughter read all 4 books in one day--she loved them that much! So nice to have a good, clean series for our godly children to read without worring about the negative influence. AMEN!!