The Imagination Station: Voyage with the Vikings Volume 1

Written by Marianne Herring and Paul McCusker


This is the first book in a series combining fantasy, history, adventure with Christian values. The books are sponsored by Focus on the Family based on the Adventures in Odyssey radio broadcasts. They are early chapter books marketed for ages seven and up, but the text is large font and vocabulary not too difficult making them easily understood by a child a bit younger. There are a few black and white simple illustrations assisting a younger reader to grasp story references and providing more incentive for reluctant readers.  At the end of the tale, there is a secret puzzle to solve based on the text adding to the aura of a detective story.  Additional information is available on the website that is included. This is an added incentive for homeschooling parents and classroom teachers who wish to use the book as a springboard for discussion to other historical figures, events or geography of the period.

Beth and her cousin Patrick are at a soda house named Whit’s End. Curiously, it is located in a rambling old house described as a kid’s museum. Beth introduces Patrick to the Imagination Station, which is a kind of time machine.  It’s owner, Mr. Whittaker, invents things. He suggests that the children use his time machine to go on an adventure to visit a Viking ship. He outfits them with Viking costumes. Then he asks a favor. Mr. Whittaker found a note in the Station asking that the traveler bring back a sun stone from a Viking to save someone named Albert. Off they go hurtling into space landing in an open field in front of a herd of reindeer.

The children meet Erik the Red and his son Leif Erickson. Leif has recently returned from his travels.  He has recently introduced Christianity to the land. Leif brings the children back to the Church for their own protection, while he prepares to embark on another voyage. Erik is mystified when Beth challenges him to a game of chess. Unfortunately, the children have still not been able to accomplish their mission to find the sun stone. Will they be trapped back in time in this village or will they stow away on the Viking ship with Leif?  Will they be successful in finding the sun stone and wending their way back to the Imagination Station or are they doomed to remain in the past?

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