Posts tagged ‘Vikings’

HANDY FOR HALLOWEEN

23 HALLOWEEN CRAFTS for KIDS: Halloween Costume Ideas and Spooky Décor

Compiled by Prime Publishing Décor

 

This book is an interesting read that can be shared by the whole family. Halloween costumes have become ridiculously expensive. There are some good ideas here for easy to make costumes from materials found around the house. Skeletons, monsters, knights, fairies, and superheroes are featured. Directions are included for luminaries, wreaths, pinecone owls and spooky spider webs. Monster snot is a meringue dessert that is sure to please.
Younger children can help with the simpler crafts and older children can get involved with paper mache, cutting and gluing materials. What a fun way for a family to share a chilly, Fall weekend afternoon or evening!
Recommended for siblings and families to share or a classroom project.

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BRIDGING THE GAP

The Middle Ages: People of the Middle Ages – Kings, Queens, Minstrels and Merchants, Vikings and Knights – 2nd Edition

Written by Dominique LeBeouf

 

This book presents a simplified view of the Middle Ages, a period that is often overlooked and misunderstood in history. The author tries to support her view that the period was not stagnant and dark but rather vibrant. LeBeouf discusses each of the main classifications of groups living during this period. There are brief individual studies of a few like Saint Nicholas, Joan of Arc, and Alfred the Great. She discusses major groups of the period such as the Vikings, minstrels, merchants, clergy, vassals, women, and children.

The book is not particularly well-written and there are many editing errors. Its value lies in providing an overview of the entire period and allowing readers to investigate topics further. The book permits readers to choose areas for comparison, contrast, and discussion. Homeschool parents might want to feature particular topics. Classroom teachers might divide the class into groups to launch further study after previewing this summary.

Recommended as an introduction to the Middle Ages, but not as a verifiable historical guide for ages ten and older.

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FIGHTING FOR IRISH INDEPENDENCE: WAR AGAINST THE NORSE CLANS

Freedom Within the Heart

Written and directed by Mark Mahon

Pencils and Inks by:

Miguel Caceres

Colors by Veronica Gandini

Freedomwithintheheart,pic

This is a graphic novel based on a screenplay. Mahon bases his tale on the ancient history concerning the feuds between the Irish and the Norsemen and begins in 910 A.D. The pagan Vikings pillage the Church and meet with little resistance from the Irish. A short period of peace follows and the action picks up in the home of the Kennedy clan. Two young brothers Malhoun and Brian are listening to the legends of the battles. They are the protagonists who will struggle with the Norsemen in the near future.

There are lots of battle scenes depicting gruesome warfare, greed, cruelty, revenge and family tragedy. The plot is well developed and flows smoothly. The characters and their emotions are aptly portrayed in words and graphics. Drawings and colors are vivid and rich with minute attention to detail.

Lots of violence depicted in the battle scenes and the implied violence meted down to the women and children of the clans. For that reason, I would recommend parents of children under twelve review it for objectionable material. Recommended as an exceptionally well done graphic novel for lovers of that genre who enjoy history.

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VIKING DISCOVERIES

The Viking

Written by Marti Talbott

This book is the first in a long series of books about the MacGreagor Clan. Although they can be read independently, it is probably better to read this first book which sets the historic background and tone for all the others.

TheViking,picTalbott introduces the reader to fourteen year old Stefan Rosetti who is embarking on his first voyage as a Viking. His father Donor commands his ship Sja Vinna; which is headed for the shores of Scotland; but Stefan is unaware that his father has plans for both of them to remain in Scotland, the land of his mother’s birth. Unfortunately, they are attacked immediately after going ashore. Donor is killed; Stefan escapes and searches for a new beginning.

Stefan becomes the protector of a woman named Jirvel and her daughter, Kannak. Jirvel’s husband Eogan has deserted them, and their lands are in disrepair. Stefan rapidly gains their trust; he feigns to be their relative from the lands to the North. The women belong to the Macoran clan and are under the protection of their Laird. Jirvel and Kannak plead with him to allow them to remain single as many suitors seek to marry them. The Laird experiences struggles with his wife Agnes and two wayward twin sons who plot against him. I do not want to give away too much of the story, but there are lots of twists and turns in the plot for all the characters. Stefan will lose his freedom and eventually uncover his true identity.

The characters are well developed and the plot line moves swiftly. This is the kind of book you want to read in one sitting. The dialogue is authentic but not difficult to understand. Talbott combines history, romance and adventure in pleasing proportions. I recommend the book for ages fourteen and older. Let me give fair warning….. as soon as you finish reading, you will want to pick up the next in the series!

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TIME TRAVELING

The Imagination Station: Voyage with the Vikings Volume 1

Written by Marianne Herring and Paul McCusker

ImaginationStationpic

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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