Cover Image: Refugees on the Run

Refugees on the Run

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Member Reviews

Not having read any of the Imagination Station books, I was disappointed at the fact that there was absolutely no introduction to what was happening or who the people and terms were. Obviously the cover says that it's book 27, but typically in a series like this (i.e. Magic Treehouse or 39 Clues) you get in to the book and they give a little catch up back story on what the Imagination Station is or who Beth/Patrick/Whit are. All that was included was a couple pages of the last book....which of course, doesn't explain that stuff either.

So my kids and I went in to this book with little to no understanding of what was going on. I caught on fast, because I'm a reader, but I think it was harder for my kids without explanation. Maybe that's why my youngest thought it was boring. Maybe he just wasn't in to it.

I mean, it was about Lithuania in Nazi times during the war. There was a lot of new information about refugees and visas and Japan and Nazis and Jews thrown at the young readers, and not in the most interesting way. In fact it was, for the most part, very direct and to the point.

The writing style wasn't great. Very little description. Most paragraphs and sentences starting out with the characters name. I think that also led to the reason my youngest thought it was boring.

Usually illustrations help with some of that, but not in this case. The same four illustrations were throughout the book plus maybe two or three full page illustrations. But that was even done shoddy, because in the book, it described one of the girls as having braids, but in the illustration on the next page, she had a bob cut and another character had braids. That confused my kids for a while. 

Also, a couple of times it mixed up the Grandma and Grandpa names. Like Grandma Pearl was sometimes called Grandma Ben. But I had an advanced copy, so maybe that was fixed in the final.

What a shame, because if this was a well written adult fiction book, I would have LOVED it. The story was great. The characters were diverse and could have been very interesting. I actually wish it was a historical fiction adult book because I would pick it up and read it right away!
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In this Adventures in Odyssey adventure, cousins Patrick and Beth have been transported to Lithuania where Jews are trying to escape the Nazis who will soon be invading their country. Patrick and Beth need to find the third liquid that the Imagination Station needs to get them home, and along the way, they meet Sempo, a Japanese consul who wants to help the Jews escape by granting them travel visas, and Leza and her family who need to get out of the country. Follow Patrick and Beth as they help everyone they can by standing up for what is right. and relying on God to see them through.

This is a nonstop adventure that will keep kids and adults engaged and on the edge of their seats until the very last page. Highly recommended for the whole family.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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My daughters and I have been fans of Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey since the audio series began, but I have never read an Odyssey book. What fun to encounter Whit and the Imagination Station in print! Refugees on the Run is the third part of a trilogy. Readers who are unfamiliar with Adventures in Odyssey and/or the first two books in the series may find themselves a little confused at first. However, if they read the opening pages that provide the context carefully and then stick with it, the story quickly makes sense. In addition, unfamiliar words are explained in the context of the story. 

In this part of the trilogy, Patrick and Beth need to find the third liquid to repair the Imagination Station, a machine invented by Whit to transport kids across time and space and into all kinds of adventures. The kids find themselves in WWII-era Lithuania. Readers may be unable to turn pages fast enough as Patrick and Beth help Jewish refugees escape from the Nazis!

Homeschooling parents will find lots of opportunities for extending the story. Many readers will want to know more about this lesser-known aspect of WWII. 

This review was based on an advanced copy provided through NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased opinion.
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I have been a fan of Adventures In Odyssey and the Imagination Station since these series of adventures began airing in the late 1980’s. This is the first book I have read starring John Avery Whitaker and the residents of Odyssey. This book is the final of a trilogy requiring the young friends to assist in repairing the Imagination Station.

We find John’s friends in Lithuania near the beginning of WWII. This fictionalized story centers on a relatively unknown series of true events when a Japanese diplomat saved thousands of Polish and Lithuanian Jews trying to flee the horrors of Hitler’s holocaust.

Though this story is fictionalized, enough facts are dropped along the way to allow the reader to dig for the rest of the story. Written for 4th through 6th grade readers, this senior adult found the story interesting and inviting to the end. Like most material coming from Focus On The Family, it also includes a clear statement of the gospel as part of the story. I give the book four stars.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.
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I read this book with my daughter every afternoon after school. It happens that my daughter's school is learning about WWII. So it is very applicable.  Even though the topic is WWII, the book is written in such a way that a child can understand and learn about the period in a more friendly way.

I myself didn't know about the heroic acts of the Japanese counsel. We learned how an act of willingness and courage of a person could save many lives. 

This is what my daughter had to say about the book: 
Great narrative features along the story. 
It's based on a true story. 
I like the way the characters are described. 
I enjoyed the story líne a lot. I learned something new about WWII. 

I definitely recommend this book for young readers.

Thanks to Netgalley and Tyndale House Publisher for providing this book for review.
All opinions expressed on this review are mine alone. 

I just reviewed Refugees on the Run by Chris Brack; Sheila Seifert. #RefugeesontheRun #NetGalley
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In this final of a 3-part story arc, cousins Beth and Patrick find themselves in Lithuania sometime in the mid 1940s. A crowd of Jewish families are trying to get into the Japanese consulate building, in the hopes that they can find the means of escaping from the approaching Nazis. Beth and Patrick find themselves in the middle of the battle, as Beth tries to help a Lithuanian Jewish family and Patrick does his best to assist the Japanese consul.

I really enjoyed this story and the way it presents a difficult time in history to kids in a way that doesn’t completely gloss over the danger, but doesn’t go into detail either. I really appreciated that it introduced me, and thus will introduce kids, to a man who helped rescue many Jews, but isn’t nearly as well-known as others. It’s incredibly coincidental that I read this directly after reading Schindler’s List (seriously, it was not on purpose) and really liked seeing the parallels there.

I didn’t know much about this book or the series it’s part of when I started reading. I also hadn’t read the previous 2 books in the in-series arc, but the beginning of the story did a good job of telling me what I needed to know (which wasn’t much). The slight mystery/puzzle angle to the story, that the kids were trying to find some kind of liquid needed by the Imagination Station, allowed another layer to be added to the story. And though a couple of times throughout the story I thought about how unrealistic certain things would have been, especially the inclusion of children in consulate matters, it’s not too hard to remind myself that Imagination Station adventures are meant to put kids right into the middle of things, and these are programmed virtual adventures, not a real trip back in time. (I have enough experience with Adventures in Odyssey overall to be familiar with the Imagination Station.)

I do recommend this book for kids up to 12 years old, but AiO overall is fairly timeless, so the age limit is a soft one. I already have recommended it to my 11-year-old daughter, who has decided to start at the beginning of the series. As for me, I was left with a strong desire to read the earlier 2 books in this 3-story arc and then eventually will probably go back to the beginning of the series too.
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My 10 year old gave this book "6/5 stars"! 

What an exciting adventure for Beth and Patrick. I knew little about Lithuania and the Jews in WWII. But this was was an excellent way to present the information of what a hero Sempo was. I also loved how Whit explained the remainder of Sempo's life to Beth & Patrick. As Beth says in the book,"I helped because  I could."
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Refugees on the Run by Chris Brack is book 27 in the Imagination Station series. my son has long been a fan of this series. And I love that he learns about history in such a fun and engaging way. I read this book along with my son and I loved how the series is easy to read for young readers while staying interesting for more advanced readers. The subject of this book can be quite heavy. I love how the information is presented in an appropriate way. I am so glad that this series has continued this long and I hope it continues much longer. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.
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I requested this book as my family has watched the Imagination Station movies in the past, I find the book to be just as interesting and twice as needed for my family, I look forward to picking up a copy for my family someday. No content at this time.
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We own almost all of the Imagination Station series that is put out by Focus on the Family. So when I noticed this book was able to read in advance, I jumped at the chance. My kids are HUGE fans of Adventures in Odyssey. I had not read any of the books yet myself. 

What I appreciated about this book is that they revolved the story around a real life hero. The fictional details made the story much more friendly for kids. Writing about the Holocaust can be heavy. While the book did not minimize the Jews need to get out of Lithuania, it did not make the fleeing as desperate as it probably felt to the people living there at that time. I think the lighter approach for kids is definitely a good idea. But being able to introduce real life history is so important.

I actually read this book out loud to my 12 year old. He thought it was a good story. His favorite part was the Model T, and his favorite character was Patrick. When I mentioned the fact that I like the fact that Sempo, one of the key figures was based of a historic person, he noted that many AIO episodes do include real life people. Knowing that encouraged me that he was paying attention!

I had not heard about the Japanese consul helping many Jewish families to escape before. He was definitely a hero. Even though I am clearly not the intended audience, I think I enjoyed this book as much as my son did.

I appreciate Tyndale House allowing me to read a copy of this book before it was released. I wanted to review it. All opinions are my own. And I did my best to express my son's opinions as well, although I must say getting a twelve year old to elaborate was rather challenging.
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