Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Review: Battle for Cannibal Island and Escape to the Hiding Place
Battle for Cannibal Island and Escape to the Hiding Place are books 8 and 9 in the Imagination Station series. Similar to the Magic Tree House series, these books feature two young children who are able to go back in time and experience history. In this series, the vehicle that transports them is a machine called the Imagination Station.
Battle for Cannibal Island - Cousins Beth and Patrick embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they find themselves on British ship in the 1850's. On board is missionary James Calvert whose desire is be to left on an island with cannibals so he can preach the gospel. There really isn't a lot of talk about the act of cannibalism except on page 16 where it is defined (Beth says, "Cannibals? The ones who eat people?") and then on pages 95-96 where the cannibal king says, "I kill and eat my enemies."
Escape to the Hiding Place - Cousins Beth and Patrick find themselves in Holland during WWII. Their mission is to deliver a baby to a hiding place or safe house, avoiding the Gestapo and imprisonment. One of the historical characters in the book is Corrie Ten Boom (see her book, The Hiding Place). This was an intense book with more mature themes: a group of people are killed (not described, just stated in the book) but a German officer rescues the baby, a man dressed like a women to avoid being caught, the children race through the streets avoiding and lying to the German police. My point is I'm just not sure this is a book you hand to a second grader to read by themselves. If your child does read this book I think you need to be there to discuss it.
Why I wouldn't recommend them....The topics of these two books deal with more mature issues than their other books have been and for some families this may not be appropriate for their emerging reader. I was a little surprised and somewhat disappointed at the topics they chose for these books. There are so many historical topics they could have chosen besides cannibalism and the awful tragedy of the Jewish people during WWII.
Why I would recommend them....If these are topics that you are covering in your homeschool, these books would provide a more age appropriate text than anything else out there. As I said before, they are well written for the grade level (2.1 and 2.2). These books would also make a nice read aloud, which would allow the parent to edit and explain while reading.
Having said that, I will neither recommend or not recommend. I've provided the information and each family must make their own decision.
I received these books free from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.