Once again the Imagination Station at Whit’s End sends Beth and Patrick on a time machine adventure. In book 1, these two tried to help the mysterious Albert by visiting the Vikings. In Attack at the Arena, they search for a puzzling silver cup needed to save Albert. Beth and Patrick’s adventures take them to Rome during the era of the first Christians. Beth is captured by a Roman soldier as they seek to take a message to the Emperor. Based very firmly on history, Bible morals, and the teaching of reading skills, this book closes with some puzzles drawn from the story.
Attack at the Arena is book 2 in Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey Imagination Station series. This series is written to engage and enhance the literary skills of ages 7 and up. Prolific writer of articles and books for young people, Marianne Hering knows well how to engage young readers. Award winning author and creator of the Father Gilbert Mysteries, Paul McCosker adds his know-how to these stories. An exciting chapter book with characters young people will find believable and interesting, Attack at the Arena, will fit well into the reading curriculum for both home-schoolers and classrooms. The words will challenge 7-year-olds, but the story interest will keep them engaged in the reading. Older students will enjoy reading this book and be able to draw ideas from such activities as book discussions, journaling, and story mapping. Because of the mysterious Albert who needs help and the terrible Lord Darkthorn who is Albert’s nemesis, readers will look forward to the next book in this series. – Donna Eggett, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Patrick and Beth learn that Mr. Whittaker’s fancy ring can be seen inside the Imagination Station but not outside of the machine. A mysterious letter leads the cousins to fifth-century Rome in search of a special cup that belongs to a monk. If found, the cup could keep the mysterious Albert out of prison.
At the Roman Colosseum, Emperor Honorius is hosting a gladiator battle in celebration of a war victory. Beth attends the event as the emperor’s slave; Patrick attends as a monk’s apprentice but is taken prisoner and sent to fight in the arena. During their adventure, the cousins meet Telemachus (a true historical figure), a monk who believes that fighting is wrong. Telemachus is willing to risk everything—even his life—to stop the killing. When the cousins return with the cup, they find that a third letter has been sent with more information about Albert’s fate.