In their continued effort to help Mr. Whittaker's ancestor, Albert, the kids go back to the 13th century to find a Mongolian leader's golden tablet. The Mongolian warriors brand them as evil and the khan (empower) is bored by their Christian faith (which his mother practiced). He only cares for the yellow lamas who, he thinks, can give him power to conquer his enemies. Along the way, the children bump into none other than Marco Polo, who is visiting the khan with his father and uncle.
Then the children show the khan that his so-called magical lamas are really just using magnets to move things around - and the khan sends them to jail. Fortunately, though, one of his granddaughters helps the cousins escape - and with a golden tablet in hand. Things get dicey, though, when legendary giant eagles, called rocs, appear and try to feed the children to their babies. Fortunately, the mysterious knight who has appeared briefly in each book in the series appears and saves them.
But there's a twist at the end: Instead of being transported back to Mr. Whittaker's at the end of the story, the children are transported to a dark cave...
What I Like: Both my 5 year old and I agreed this book has more action in it than the previous two Imagination Station books. And the cliffhanger ending made us both glad we have the next book in the series sitting in the "to read" pile. As always, I appreciate that this series focuses on history and having good character; the fact that Patrick and Beth are Christians comes out clearly in their actions.
What I Dislike: This volume seemed to have considerably fewer illustrations (by David Hohn) than the previous two.
Overall Rating: Very Good.
Age Appeal: According to the publisher 9 - 12, but my 5 year old loved it.
Publishing Info: Tydale, 2011; ISBN: 978-1589976290; paperback, 128 pgs., $4.99.
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Special Info: Those looking for an alternative to the Magic Tree House series should know the Imagination Station series is most like the newer, longer Magic Treehouse books, designed for older children than the original books in the series. Also, see our reviews of other books in the Imagination Station series.