A Riveting Chapter Book to Entertain and Teach Your 3rd-4th Grader

Being captivated by a good chapter book can be a challenge in our screen-driven society. But these may well capture your kids attention!

Like many families from the ’90s, I have fond memories of our Saturday mornings. But unlike many others, it wasn’t Saturday morning cartoons that pulled us from our beds on the weekend—it was the kid’s radio programs on our Christian radio station.  

It wasn’t quite as simple as just getting up and turning on the radio, however. Because we lived in Alaska and our station was transmitted from a different time zone, we either had to get up at 4 a.m. to hear our favorite programs or talk my brother into getting up and taping them for us.

One way or another, we almost always caught our favorite shows—Ranger Bill, The Sugar Creek Gang, and the iconic Adventures in Odyssey. Listening to these radio shows blaring through the house on Saturday mornings will forever be one of my favorite childhood memories.

Along with loving radio programs, I was also an avid reader. I read books faster than my parents could supply them and the books I loved best were historical novels.

I loved getting lost in the storylines—imagining myself in one historical time period or another, meeting so many interesting people.

Kids today get to enjoy something I never had a chance to as a child: the combination of both the epic Adventures in Odyssey world and the captivating nature of a good book.

Riveting chapter book

Opening The Imagination of Your Young Readers

Adventures in Odyssey has a delightful chapter book series that combines the quirky residents of Odyssey, the brilliance of the Imagination Station, and a solid dose of real-life history to create a binge-worthy collection of books for your 7 to 12-year-old.

While I’m sure you’ll want to collect all the Imagination Station books, these stories are written so you can jump right into the series with whichever storyline sounds interesting; and the newest book released is quite the escapade.  

Islands and Enemies by Marianne Hering takes your children on a wild ride back to 1521. Cousins Patrick and Beth step into the Imagination Station and end up on a ship called the Victoria where they accidentally make a bad first impression on the sailors and the Captain.

Accused of witchcraft, the cousins must prove their innocence to keep from being thrown overboard while working onboard with crew members watching their every move. In the process, they end up swimming with dolphins, saving a penguin, and witnessing a miracle!

What age is this chapter book written for?

This book is written for ages 7-12. It’s a chapter book with a few fun illustrations throughout the pages! There is even a secret word puzzle to solve at the end of the story.

Are there any scary elements?

Because this story takes place on a ship in 1521 there is talk about being thrown overboard, mutiny, battles, witchcraft, and starving. While I doubt the tense moments in this book would bother many children, if your kids are on the younger side and/or are bothered by scary stories, parts of the book could be triggering. If anyone feels concerned, I suggest being ready to discuss the story with their kids and the true historical events that inspired it.

What is the historical setting?

This book is based on true events from 1521. The Victoria was the first ship to circumnavigate the globe. Many of the main characters are based on real people who were part of that voyage.

Does this book discuss faith?

Yes! The captain of the Victoria claimed to be a devout Christian and preached about Christ to many people. There is a discussion about miracles and baptisms. Beth and Patrick, who are from the fictional town of Odyssey, also spend time praying and learning important lessons about their faith along the way.

Islands and Enemies is a rollicking adventure through dolphin-infested waters—and it opens a window into a fascinating time in history. If you like supplying your children with books that teach while entertaining, this might be just what you’re looking for. If you’d like to check it out for yourself, click HERE.

Natasha MetzlerNatasha Metzler writes from a small farm in Northern New York where she lives with her husband and three miracle children. In between homeschooling the older kids she blogs and writes books. Pain Redeemed tells the story of her journey through infertility and Counting Grains of Sand tells of how God built her family from splintered pieces. She also writes fiction that celebrates the goodness of the Father, like her Women of Promise series and the allegorical fairy tales found in her Daughters of the King collection. You can find her blogging at natashametzler.com, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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