Danielle's Reviews > Attack at the Arena

Attack at the Arena by Marianne Hering
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Apr 10, 11

bookshelves: childrens, for-review, middlegrade, series
Read in April, 2011

An adventure awaits Patrick and Beth as they step inside the mysterious time traveling machine called "The Imagination Station." From the days of the Vikings to Ancient Rome, each place holds an education that is more exciting than any read in a normal history book. Patrick and Beth are chased by tigers, fight with Vikings and learn that there is more to accomplishing a task than simply setting out on a quest. Each will learn to rely on each other, about the time and place they visit and possibly even gain a little bit more faith along the way in this fantastic new adventure series.

What an incredible series of books! This series is meant to be read primarily for ages 7 to 12, but I actually spent most of my time reading these outloud to Turkeybird. He couldn't get enough of the adventure, especially the parts when Beth and Patrick were being chased or were fighting with an adversary. Definitely a boy. What was truly enjoyable, for me at least, was being able to stop at points to tell him a little more about the time, people and places that were part of the story. I'm not sure it all stuck, but it was nice to have an adventure series to read with him that I wasn't afraid would be too graphic but still held his attention. That being said, I absolutely believe this would be a series older readers would love reading on their own as well.

Now, as many of you know, Tyndale House is primarily a publisher of Christian based books, both non-fiction and fiction. When I originally heard about the series I was intrigued but not convinced I'd love it. Yes, I'm Christian, but I'm not always a fan of Christian books. Why? Because, in my experience I've found it difficult to enjoy a fiction book without feeling like I'm being preached at or being given a Sunday School lesson. For me personally, if I'm looking for that I'd choose a non-fiction book. Well, I was pleasantly surprised with The Imagination Station series. It does have mentions of things like prayer, God and faith but not to a point where I felt the books were pushing some sort of agenda. It was incredibly well done and balanced! So much so that I'd recommend the series to people who may not be practicing Christians or even religious at all, but perhaps just looking for a clean adventure for their young children.

The Imagination Station series, particularly Voyage with the Vikings and Attack at the Arena, is the beginning of a fantastic set of books I know we will be continuing in our home. Not only will middle grade age children enjoy the adventure and educational aspects without feeling like they're sitting in a history class, but young children will also love having them read out-loud to them. Perfect for practicing and non-practicing religious homes, this is a series you can be sure will keep your children's attention without blurring the lines with too much graphic content. An absolutely wonderful beginning to a great series, make sure to check them out as soon as possible!
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