Voyage with the Vikings by Paul McCusker, Marianne Hering (Imagination Station #1)

Voyage with the Vikings, the first in the Imagination Station series, is yet another book I picked up for free for my Kindle.  It is also a book I picked up for my daughter to read but wanted to read first. That the book featured a girl as a lead character was a factor as well.

Here is the publisher’s description:

While visiting Mr. Whittaker at Whit’s Soda Shoppe, Beth and Patrick 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. Mr. Whittaker sends cousins Patrick and Beth to Greenland circa 1000. On their quest for the sunstone, the cousins 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, requesting a silver goblet.

It turned out to be a sort of Christian version The Magic Treehouse series.  Kids go back in time and encounter history and must think there way out of the particular mystery they face in order to get back home.  In this case, the perspective of the children is explicitly Christian and their interaction with the people of the past reflects that as does the character building.

With that in mind, it is fairly well done.  Given its length and style it is not surprisingly rather thin on character development and suspense. But it has an interesting hook, the imagination station and time travel, and offers readers a glimpse into historical characters, geography, etc. It is a quick read and I would imagine a good choice for young readers.

I will also note that my daughter was somewhat disappointed that what she thought would be the lead female character actually takes a somewhat secondary role.  She complained that the boy, Patrick, is the one who has all the action scenes and “saves” the girl, Beth, on a number of occasions.  So take that into consideration for any young budding feminists.

But if you are looking for a fun chapter books series from an explicitly Christian viewpoint, this Imagination Station series from Tyndale House publishers is worth a look.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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