Title: Raiders From the Sea
Author: Lois Walfrid Johnson
Series: Viking Quest, book 1
Major Themes: Vikings, Ireland
Synopsis: Bree and her brother Devin are stolen from their native Ireland by Viking raiders.
I first heard about the Viking Quest series of books when my daughter and I looked at a few on a friend’s bookshelf several months ago. We didn’t end up borrowing them because our friends only had the last few in the set. Then, a month or two ago, I was reading a blog post in which a mother of several boys recommended her family’s favorite read-alouds. This set was included. Then, I saw them on sale in Kindle format, and had the perfect excuse to get them—we just finished studying the Viking period of history! So, I bought them and we are reading them. My boys love them.
In Raiders From the Sea, Bree and her older brother Devin are helping their family and going to school as normal, in their home near the monastery of Glendalough in Ireland. They love their family and do all they can to help their parents care for their grandmother and younger sisters and brother. One day, however, Bree rescues a teenage boy from a river near her home, and when she realizes he is not a local boy her father quietly raises the alarm: The Vikings may be preparing for a raid! When the alarm bell at the monastery rings, Bree and Devin hustle their younger siblings off to the family’s hiding place in the forest. The next thing they know, both of them are captured and taken away from their beloved Ireland. Will they be able to escape?
Lois Walfrid Johnson has written a riveting story here. We were captivated from the very first page. I believe the story is fairly accurate, as far as showing life in Ireland a thousand years or more ago, and in describing the Vikings. There is a strong Christian slant, as well. Bree prays frequently, asking God’s direction. My boys are glad we have all five books in the series! We are currently reading the second one, which picks up right where the first left off. You won’t want to stop with this first book.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, 10 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15