Time Travel Twins: The Viking Attack

Time Travel Twins: The Viking Attack

By Author / Illustrator

Josh Lacey, Garry Parsons



Age range(s)



Andersen Press




Paperback / softback




Discover two sides of history with the Time Travel Twins!  Twins Scarlett and Thomas are studying the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons at school and they have a homework project to do. When Thomas is struggling for inspiration, Grandad comes to the rescue with his time machine. Thomas is catapulted onto a Viking long ship and it's not long before he's being told oral tales, fitted out with armour and weapons and is getting ready to attack a Saxon village.

But uh oh, his sister Scarlett has landed in a Saxon village, in a pile of pig poo to be exact. Things seems to be getting better when she befriends the young Alfred the Great, but watch out, Scarlett, there's a Viking ship on its way.

In the Time Travel Twins seriesThe Viking Attack;  The Roman InvasionThe Stone Age Clash



Thomas and Scarlett are spending the day with their grandfather. They are supposed to be finishing their school projects about the Vikings but Thomas can't focus. So his grandfather lets him into a secret; he has a special machine that can allow the twins to travel back in time. Thomas cannot wait to see what real Vikings get up to. But life on board a Viking longboat isn't all it’s cracked up to be. Scarlett, on the other hand lands in an Anglo-Saxon village and discovers how tough life can be, and how unfair. And when their separate experiences coincide, the results could be fatal. Will they ever get back home?

The Viking Attack by Josh Lacey creates a fun adventure story steeped in Viking facts and history. The wonderful illustrations from Garry Parsons throughout bring the story to life for the reader.  The book touches on a range of topics within Viking history including longboats, Norsemen, Anglo-Saxon village life, trading and raiding. This would be a great resource for any classroom studying Viking times.

The Viking Attack will help children discover what life is like on a Viking longboat as they travel with Thomas and the Norsemen, learning about their superstitions, their gods, what they ate, their weapons and clothing. They'll discover what happens on a Viking raid and how the dead are mourned as they are sent to Valhalla.

In the classroom:  Follow the trading routes and find out what happens in the markets of foreign shores.  Compare the Viking raider life to the farming existence of Anglo-Saxon villagers. Learn about their huts, food and jobs. Find out how children learned and how boys and girls were treated differently. Look at examples of early books and discover how they were made. Focus on illuminated letters used as ornate openings to writing.

Children can also be encouraged to think about how much has changed for children, and particularly for girls now.  Discover the feelings of fear felt by Thomas as he risks being thrown overboard by the Norsemen, and how his experiences of fighting on his computer game hadn't prepared him for battles in real life. Discuss the frustrations felt by Scarlett as a girl in Anglo-Saxon times. 

As well as its historical content, the story explores themes of friendship, conflict, fear, hope and determination.

240 pages / Reviewed by Donna Burkert, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


This not entirely serious foray into the world of Alfred the Great before he famously burnt the cakes, indeed before he became an important figure in British history, sees him and a small band of similarly young villagers trying to repel the Viking marauders, newly arrived on their longship. It sees 21st Century Scarlett and Thomas secreted among them, horrified by the carnage, attempting to make peace and not get killed at the same time.

Mrs Wellington's homework task and Grandad's time machine, as elsewhere in this series, provide the motive and the means for this adventure. In Time Travel Twins: The Viking Attack, we, the readers, just go along for the ride, enjoying the thrills described so well for us by Lacey's words and Parsons' pictures. And we learn much along the way.

Any teacher reading this in class, perhaps when 'doing' the Vikings, could invite some lively discussion by asking the children which side they would choose to be on, by comparing the livelihoods, wealth, clothing, food, security, etc, of invaders and settlers. This might work particularly well in Years 3 & 4. Teachers will be reassured to know that, while the story does include some appalling violence meted out upon 'the enemy', it is not glorified.

Recommended for the school library Historical Fiction collection to accompany the others in this series.

240 pages / Reviewed by Jane Rew, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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