If you want your children to read more about history and geography, but they want to read more stories with comedy, mystery and time travel, then the Magic Tree House Books should keep everyone happy.
Written by well known children’s author Mary Pope Osborne, the Magic Tree House books were first published in 2008 and are divided into two series totaling 44 books, with more to come.
In the first 28 books, brother and sister Jack and Annie go on adventures through time to save books, help historical figures and become Master librarians — all with the aid of a magic tree house. The books are designed to give new readers in grades 1-4 a sense of pride at reading chapter books while being entertained with a fun story and delightful characters. They won’t even notice the geography and history facts built into the stories. In the second series, Jack and Annie go on quests assigned by Merlin the Magician, and are better read by grades 2-4 because they are longer and more difficult to read than the first set.
Examples of Tree House titles are Dinosaurs Before Dark, the first book in which Jack and Annie discover the magic of the tree house and journey back see the dinosaurs, and The Knight at Dawn, following Jack and Annie as they go back to the Middle Ages for a first-hand view of daily life in a Medieval castle.
Parents will love the learning materials available, and children will certainly love the fun activity of collecting “passports” for each of the Tree House books. Go to http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/magictreehouse/passport/MTH_passport.pdf to print out passports and research guides for each title. Included are printable “stickers” to collect as the books are read. Young children will have a real sense of accomplishment as they read the books, collect their stickers and paste them into the passports.
The Tree House books will no doubt continue to thrill children and create a love of reading for years to come. The next book, coming later this year, is titled Leprechaun in Winter and has Jack and Annie traveling back in time to Ireland to help Lady Gregory learn the truth about leprechauns.