Saturday, March 19, 2011

Illumination Station

Illumination Station: The Big Adventure, is written by and illustrated by Jennifer Mauter. The story takes place in the town of Illumination Station, a place with only two streets: one named Commandment Drive and the other Temptation Highway. The first leads those who follow it to a life of peace and contentment while the second leads to bitterness and unhappiness.

All the inhabitants of Illumination Station are lightbulbs of varying designs and intensities. Their power of illumination comes from their being “plugged into” God’s word and following his commandments. Those that do shine brightly; those that don’t are darkened bulbs.

The story centers around two characters, Wally and Sam. Wally has been raised to love God and follow Him. His family attends church regularly and his parents are leaders in the community. Sam’s father yells a lot. His family goes to church, too, but their commitment isn’t as strong as Wally’s family and they don’t always shine as brightly.

Sam loves adventures and Wally loves to follow him. This is usually a good thing, but when Sam leads Wally down Temptation Highway, bad things happen and the boys must face the consequences of making poor choices.

The pencil sketch illustrations are both creative and expressive, and they enhance the text.

What I Like: The story teaches children valuable lessons about responsibility, family values, and the dangers of giving in to temptation and making wrong choices.

What I Dislike: There are some typos in the text. They’re not major issues, but they are distracting. And, the author has a habit of starting most of the chapters in the present tense, and then abruptly switching to past tense. Again, it’s not a major issue, but it was a bit disconcerting.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: The suggested age group is 9-12. I think that the style of the book, and the way it is written, is geared more to a bit younger audience, more like 7-10.

Publisher Info: Tate Publishing and Enterprises, 2009; ISBN: 9781606960592; Paperback, 88 pages, $9.99.

Buy now at $9.99!

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