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Patrick's boots crunched in the snow on the sidewalk. He was on his way to Whit's End. His cousin Beth walked beside him.
Patrick's nose felt frozen. He clutched a small gift bag in his hand. It had a big red bow on it.
"I still think your decision is weird," Patrick said to Beth.
Beth shook her head. "Mr. Whittaker will understand."
"But I don't understand," Patrick said. His words turned into little clouds around his mouth. "I'm bringing him a present. But you're going to tell him that you're not giving any presents this year. To anyone." Beth frowned. "You left out the reason why I'm not giving presents. It's because I'm saving my money to give to the poor." She said the last part in a dramatic voice.
Patrick opened the door to Whit's End. The bell on the door jingled as he stepped inside. Beth followed close behind.
Mr. Whittaker stood behind the counter. He was making a milk shake. He looked up and smiled. "Merry Christmas!" he said.
"Merry Christmas!" Patrick and Beth said together.
Patrick walked to the counter and held out the bag to Whit. "My mom baked these for you," he said.
Whit took the bag and looked inside. He closed his eyes and sniffed deeply. "I love gingerbread cookies. Thank you," he said. "You're welcome," Patrick said. He glanced over at Beth.
Beth looked away.
"Do you mind if I share these?" Whit asked Patrick. He put the gift on a shelf behind him. "If I eat them all myself, I'll gain weight. Then I might have to ask for a new belt for Christmas."
"Sure," Patrick said. "They're yours. You can do whatever you want with them."
The cousins took off their mittens and sat at the counter.
Whit busied himself with making mugs of hot chocolate. "Are both of you ready for Christmas?" he asked them.
"Almost," Patrick said.
"I am," Beth said.
Whit raised his eyebrows. "You've already done all your Christmas shopping?" he asked her.
Patrick looked at Beth to see how she would reply.
"I'm not shopping for Christmas this year," Beth said. "I'm not giving gifts."
"Oh?" Whit said.
Beth lifted her chin proudly. "I'm giving my money to needy families," she said.
Whit looked impressed. "Well, that's a sacrificial thing to do," he said.
"She didn't say she wouldn't take any gifts," Patrick said in a sharp tone. "She said she isn't giving any."
"I'm not asking for any gifts this year. I have told everyone not to give me gifts," Beth said. She frowned at Patrick. "I don't want any money spent on me. It should go to the poor instead."
Patrick looked at Whit. "Help me, Mr. Whittaker," he said. "What's it going to be like with no Christmas presents under the tree? It's crazy."
Whit rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "You don't always have to buy gifts," he said. Then he turned to Beth. "You could make something by hand-like decorate a picture frame or knit a scarf."
"I would still have to buy the supplies," Beth said.
Patrick put his face in his hands and groaned. "You can't have Christmas without presents. It's ... it's ... tradition."
"It wasn't always tradition," Beth said. Then she looked doubtful and asked Whit, "Was it?"
Whit put some mugs of hot chocolate on a tray. "Let me deliver these drinks. Then I'll show you the answer," he said.
"Show us?" Patrick asked. Then he realized what Whit was saying. "An Imagination Station adventure?"
Whit chuckled as he walked away with the tray.
Patrick looked at Beth. Beth seemed excited for a second. Then her expression changed to serious. "This won't change anything," she said firmly.
"Are you sure about that?" Patrick asked.
"You'll see," Beth said.
* * *
Whit led the cousins down a set of stairs to his basement workshop. They crossed the room to a large machine. It looked like the front of a helicopter. The Imagination Station! Patrick patted its side and felt the cool metal.
The Imagination Station was one of Whit's inventions. It was kind of like a time machine. It let kids experience history for themselves.
Whit pushed a button, and the door slid open. The cousins climbed inside and sat in the seats.
Whit pushed several keys on the machine's control panel. The Imagination Station started to hum. Lights flashed on and off.
"I hope you enjoy yourselves," Whit said.
"What will this tell me about giving gifts?" Beth asked.
Whit smiled and waved. "Push the red button when you're ready," he said. The doors slid closed.
Patrick reached out and pushed the red button.
The Imagination Station started to shake. It seemed to move forward. Then it rumbled. Then it whirred.
Patrick felt the machine speed up. It zoomed along through a kind of tunnel. The tunnel seemed to get smaller and smaller.
Suddenly, everything went black.
Excerpted from Danger on a Silent Night by MARIANNE HERRING, NANCY I. SANDERS, DAVID HOHN. Copyright © 2013 Focus on the Family. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
(1) Present Problems.................... 1
(2) Magic!.................... 10
(3) The Palace.................... 19
(4) Apellus.................... 31
(5) Three Wise Men?.................... 40
(6) Only One King.................... 49
(7) Simeon.................... 57
(8) The Lion of Judah.................... 68
(9) Herod's Lies.................... 72
(10) The Secret Meeting.................... 82
(11) Footsteps.................... 87
(12) The Baby Jesus.................... 101
(13) Trapped!.................... 115
(14) The Vision.................... 121
(15) The Workshop.................... 128
Secret Word Puzzle.................... 136
Posted July 29, 2014
I thought this was one of the most clever Imagination Station books. It is a great way for children to learn about Herod's plan to kill Baby Jesus through the adventure of Patrick and Beth. I haven't come across many fictional books for children related to Herod's quest to kill Baby Jesus.
I've read several of these books and have never been disappointed with the lessons shared with younger readers. The books are engaging, interesting, easy to read for younger readers, and good read alouds for children who aren't reading yet. I thought the illustrations in this one were very nice.
If you are looking for a great series to provide young readers with a look at history through the eyes of faith, this is the one for you. I love it as an alternative to the Magic Treehouse books.
Posted July 10, 2014
Focus On The Family always produces quality materials for families that you can depend on. The Imagination Station books blend the wonder of Adventures in Odyssey with real life events to educate and entertain young readers. Danger on a Silent Night takes readers back to the time of Jesus' earliest months on earth, when the wise men followed the star to find him. Lots of misconceptions (like, there weren't just three wise men) get attention, and the true meaning of giving is highlighted. The characters are all easy to relate to, and familiar elements from the radio/broadcast show are also included. If you have reluctant readers this is the perfect series. If you have eager readers, again, perfect series. And if you are just wanting something wholesome and entertaining for your children to enjoy, The Imagination Station series is ideal. Highly recommendedWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 9, 2014
Danger on a Silent Night takes Patrick and Beth on an extra special adventure. This time they back to the time of when Jesus was born. They also learn a lesson of the true meaning of Christmas. A great read for all ages - young or old.
Posted July 3, 2014
Danger on a Silent Night is the 12th book in The Imagination Station series. If you are a fan of Adventures in Odyssey you know that the Imagination Station is a time traveling invention made by Mr. Whittaker. This series of books takes your kids to different points in history in a fun way. In this book Beth has decided not to do gifts this year. Patrick tells her it is a tradition and she has to but Beth says it doesn't even go back that far. Whit decided to send them back to the time of the wise men so they could learn the meaning of Christmas and that gifts go way back.
I loved that this book stayed very accurate to the actual story by showing that there were probably more than three wise men and that they didn't show up right at Christ's birth. This is a fabulous book to help your child learn more about Christmas.
Posted June 26, 2014
What a delightful children's book! This book is based on the Adventures in Odyssey Series, Whit's End. Patrick and Beth are having a disagreement about Christmas gifts. One thinks they should give Christmas presents and one thinks they should just give the Christmas money to the poor. They go to Whit's Ice Cream Shop and ask him about it. He transports them back to the first Christmas and they get the answer to their question. This book was a very easy read and it had a very good message to it. I would recommend this to every parent for their children.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 25, 2014
This is an interesting, exciting, well written book. These books are old stories with a new twist. They use action, adventure, and narrow escapes to capture the young reader’s attention. They are very enjoyable reading. The kids are right in the middle of the action and danger. The notes by the authors did say they changed the history just a little to make this more interesting, so it is a mix of fiction and Biblical fact. This series encourages Christian values in a fun way.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 16, 2014
This is the second book I've read in this series. I enjoy how fun and creative the books are but they are pretty similar. When I read this one, I felt like I was reading a similar story with some new details. But even with the same format as the last book, the story was fast paced and fun to read. I like how there are some facts about the true Bible story the book is based on in the back of the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 3, 2014
My favorite Imagination Station book so far... and my kids loved it, too. It was the perfect thing to read the week before Christmas. Reading it aloud before bed to my 4 kiddos was nice, and it was a nice, new and different way to tell the Christmas story. It felt like we were there as Beth was holding and playing with baby Jesus. It touched all of our hearts.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 13, 2014
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