Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Review: Voyage with the Vikings

Cover: Voyage with the Vikings

Voyage with the Vikings is twaddle. (I mean this in the nicest possible way.) This book is overly simplistic in it's language, plot, historical elements, and Christian message. It lacks rich, descriptive language; abounds in sentence fragments; and has an incredibly predictable plot. A child could spend ten minutes perusing a picture book on the Vikings and glean just as much factual, historical information.

Perhaps the most disappointing facet of this book was its "Christian" message. It mentions Jesus Christ and God. It states that there is one God and references "the God of the cross" (pg. 94). The moral of the book is that Christians should be kind to their enemies: "Erik was mean to you. But you showed him kindness. That's just like God. He shows us kindness even when we don't deserve it" (pg. 106). However, there is no clear presentation of the Gospel in this book, and it is devoid of Scripture.

If you're looking for a book your child can read easily that is "clean", you'll probably enjoy this book. However, if you're trying to avoid twaddle, steer clear of this book. There is much better reading material on the market! A child may enjoy this book just as a child enjoys junk food, but a steady diet of this sort of writing will ruin a child's appetite for fine literature and deep, thought-provoking writing.

*Many thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!

Words from the wise:
"It is far from my intention to depreciate the value or deny the usefulness of books, without exception: a few well-chosen treatises, carefully perused and thoroughly digested, will deserve and reward our pains; but a multiplicity of reading is seldom attended with a good effect.

Besides the confusion it often brings upon the judgment and memory, it occasions a vast expense of time, indisposes for close thinking, and keeps us poor, in the midst of seeming plenty, by reducing us to live upon a foreign supply, instead of labouring to improve and increase the stock of our own reflections."

- John Newton in his letter "A Plan of a Compendious Christian Library" (Works of John Newton, Volume 1, 236). Paragraphing added by Desiring God

1 comment:

Trisha said...

Wow! That's a gem of a quote, Elizabeth! I think I need to make a poster and put it where we do most of our lessons. Thanks for the review. I speak your language...."twaddle." It's funny when I use that word and others ask me what I mean. :)