Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
All the Christ-honoring stories from Imagination Station teach a moral lesson in a subtle way, but that’s not the only reason kids love them. Islands and Enemies by Mariann Hering from Tyndale gives children likeable characters to cheer on and an adventure to keep them on the edge of their seat for the entire book.
The plot is exciting, the history accurate, and, like the rest of the Imagination Station series, the books are wholesome. While history is being rewritten more and more, I love that Magellan is portrayed accurately as a devout Christian, though not perfect.
The Imagination Books are set in the town of Odyssey where John Whittaker owns a store with a soda fountain. Oh, and did I mention the Imagination Station in the back that allows children to time travel to take part in exciting moments in history?
Our Experience with Islands & Enemies
Because the book starts out with very-typical-conflict that all of us homeschooling parents deal with regularly. Beth is being a know-it-all and Patrick is annoyed. They both behave badly.
After we read the first chapter of the book, we actually talked about their conflict. I asked some questions:
- Why were Beth and Patrick made at each other?
- What did they both do wrong?
- If they could do everything over what do you think they could have done and said?
This led to some good discussion.
What We Learned from Reading the Book
We learned a lot about Magellan and his trip around the world. It actually caused us to take a rabbit trail and learn more about his voyage.
We learned about life at sea for those daring explorers of the 16th century.
We learned a little bit about dolphins.
We learned about relationships–how easy it is to hurt a relationship–though this was very subtle.
What We Liked about the Book
My grandchildren actually were super-excited for me to read the book. They have read a few of the Imagination Station books and they saw that this was a new one.
The book was engaging. No need to ask them to listen or be quiet. They were attentive each time we read all the way through the book.
This is What We Enjoyed:
- We liked the writing style of the author–easy to follow and full of suspense. We kept wondering what would happen next.
- We liked the plot–it was interesting and full of action.
- We liked the characters, especially Beth and Patrick, but we also like Magellan and his men.
All in all, it was a five-star thumbs up!
Who Will Enjoy Reading Islands & Enemies
This is a great read aloud book because it has enough action and is well-written so that it appeals to all ages. Even teens read Imagination Station books. My youngest grandchild is 3 and loved the book.
It is a great choice for an older struggling reader because it is an easy read for children, but it is interesting enough for older kids.
How to Add Islands & Enemies to Your Homeschool Day
If you are studying American history next year, this would be a perfect read aloud when you study the Age of Exploration.
Children could read this book on their own during free reading time.
Or use this as a family read aloud any time.
It would be a great book to read and talk about in a book club setting for children.
Learn More about Tyndale
More About Adventures In Odyssey’s Imagination Station
You can tell I really like Odyssey’s Imagination Station books! You can learn more about them HERE.
Here are the 28 books in the Imagination Station series so far:
- Voyage with the Vikings by Paul McCusker & Marianne Hering (Greenland circa 1000)
- Attack at the Arena by Paul McCusker & Marianne Hering (5th Century Rome)
- Peril in the Palace by Paul McCusker & Marianne Hering (China 1271)
- Revenge of the Red Knight by Paul McCusker & Marianne Hering (Medieval Times)
- Showdown with the Shepherd by Paul McCusker & Marianne Hering (David & Goliath)
- Problems in Plymouth by Paul McCusker & Marianne Hering (First Thanksgiving, Pilgrims)
- Secret of the Prince’s Tomb by Paul McCusker & Marianne Hering (Ancient Egypt)
- Battle for Cannibal Island by Paul McCusker & Marianne Hering (Fiji 1852)
- Escape to the Hiding Place by Paul McCusker & Marianne Hering (Holland, WWII)
- Challenge on the Hill of Fire by Nancy Sanders & Marianne Hering (St. Patrick Ireland)
- Hunt for the Devil’s Dragonby Marianne Hering & Wayne Thmas Batson (Libya 13th Century)
- Danger on a Silent Night by Marianne Hering & Nancy J. Sanders (Nativity Story, Jesus)
- The Redcoats are Coming by Marianne Hering & Nancy J. Sanders (Revolutionary War)
- Captured on the High Seas by Marianne Hering & Nancy J. Sanders (Revolutionary War)
- Surprise at Yorktown by Marianne Hering & Nancy J. Sanders (Revolutionary War)
- Doomsday at Pompeii by Marianne Hering & Paul McClusker (79 AD Roman Empire)
- Fear of the Spear by Marianne Hering (Ecuador 1950s)
- Trouble on the Orphan Train by Marianne Hering (USA 1872)
- Light in the Lion’s Den by Marianne Hering (Daniel—Old Testament)
- Inferno in Tokyo by Marianne Hering (1923 Earthquake Tsunami)
- Madman in Manhattan by Marianne Hering (Thomas Edison)
- Freedom at the Falls by Marianne Hering & Sheila Seifert (Civil War, Underground Railroad)
- Terror in the Tunnel by Marianne Hering & Sheila Seifert (Baltimore
- Rescue on the River by Marianne Hering & Sheila Seifert (
- Poison at the Pump by Chris Brack & Sheila Seifert (London 1854)
- Swept into Sea by Chris Brack & Sheila Seifert (Paul’s Shipwreck-New Testament)
- Refugees on the Run by Chris Brack & Sheila Seifert (Lithuania WWII)
- Islands and Enemies by Marianne Hering (1521 Magellan’s Voyage around the world)
More about Focus on the Family
Focus on the Family is a ministry that helps Christian families grow in their understanding of Scripture and apply the Word of God to everyday life. Learn more about Focus on the Family HERE.
Read More Reviews!
Would you like to learn more about Islands & Enemies and other books from Tyndale’s Imagination Station? You can read more reviews from the TOS Review Crew HERE.
Check Out Our Review Crew Blog
I also encourage you to check out The Old Schoolhouse’s Review Crew Blog. You can read reviews on all kinds of homeschooling products for all ages.
I highly recommend this book! You will be inspired by Patrick and Beth’s teachableness and faith! In fact, I recommend you collect all the books in the Imagination Station series!
Until next time, Happy Homeschooling!