Just like the other Imagination Station books, this one is awesome! This is the second in a sub-series revolving around the Revolutionary War. We read this book as part of a homeschool unit study on the American Revolution. Like the other Imagination Station books, this had all of my kids (ages 6, 9, and 10) on the edge of their seats--I read this series aloud to my 6 year old while my 9 and 10 year olds read them silently (mainly b/c they can't wait to see what happens next!) My oldest daughter devoured this book in one day and she can't wait to read the next--Surprise at Yorktown!
"Captain Bazely just gave orders to sail to New York. He's going to send us to the prison ship there," Beth informs the others in Marianne Hering and Nancy I. Sander's The Imagination Station series book, "Captured on the High Seas."
At one hundred and forty-four pages, this fourteenth in the series paperback book is targeted toward ages six to nine years old. With no profanity, sex, or extreme violence, this fictional tome concentrates on James Forten, a young black hero who offered his freedom for America's independence. Illustrator David Hohn includes over a dozen black and white drawings throughout the storyline. At the end of the book, there are pages dedicated to a secret word puzzle, three questions and answers, and a promotion for the next book in the series with authors and illustrator's biographies.
In this historical tale, cousins Beth and Patrick do not return to Whit's End as usual in the Imagination Station, a special time traveling machine Mr. Whittaker designed. Due to a musket ball leaving a crack in the machine's window during their last trip, they remain stuck in the American Revolution, this time delivered to a large ship at sea.
When they learn they are on the Royal Louis by fifteen year old James Forten, a black who fights ardently for America's freedom, they are captured and delivered to a British warship to be transferred to a prisoner boat.
On board the Amphion, Beth pretends she is a boy and assists the cook with his nosey parrot while Patrick and James are instructed to teach the captain's son, Henry, how to read and write. Obstinate and bratty, Henry keeps the two boys busy.
Eating hardtack, playing marbles, or making a ditty bag, the young ones try to disarm the British warship. As Patrick and Beth secretively dump gunpowder overboard, Henry throws the ship's cannon rammers into the sea.
After James, Patrick, and Beth are transferred to the prisoner boat, James sacrifices his freedom by saving Daniel Brewton while Patrick and Beth escape in the Imagination Station.
Not only teaching some historical facts, the lesson learned is how one patriotic person willingly gave his life for another. Children will be delighted to read of the adventures at sea when America was becoming independent as they anticipate the next book in the series.
Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader's honest opinion.