Thursday, March 1, 2012

Viking Ships At Sunrise by Mary Pope Osborne

Recommendation: **** (4-star)
Good for your kid who wants to start reading chapter books.

My 1st graders current favorite books are the Magic Tree House Series. This is book #15 in the series and while it may be beneficial to start with the 1st book, these do not have to be read in order (of course your firstborn will insist upon it, but my 3rd born could not care less!).

These books chronicle the adventures of Jack and Annie, a brother and sister who travel to different times and places from their Magic Tree House with the help of Morgan le Fay - a magical librarian from the time of King Arthur. In this particular story the children try to recover an ancient book from Ireland during the Dark Ages. They meet up with Brother Patrick and other monks at the monastery as well as having a close encounter with Vikings.

Positives: This book encourages imaginative thinking as well as teaching history in a fun way. It also reinforces to kids that reading and learning are exciting.

Negatives: None

Talking Points: Since this book introduces us to Brother Patrick (St. Patrick) it provides a great opportunity to learn about the real St. Patrick. The book does accurately say that he brought Christianity to Ireland. Here is a link to some history of St. Patrick that I found very helpful. You may also want to talk about the differences between Catholicism and Christianity. This is another opportunity to clearly speak the gospel into their life! Tell them that we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ alone, not by any works that we do (Eph. 2:8-10), but our faith spurs us on to good deeds. Be sure that they hear it often from you, not just at church.

Age Level: 4-8 years of age (6 years and up could read them independently)

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