It becomes even more difficult when they get older, about fourth or fifth grade. At that point, they’re way too old for the picture books that seem to teach morals even when you don’t want them to, but they’re still too young for the historical fictions and science books that you want them to read.
I’m here to tell you that there is a wonderful solution. They’re a favorite series of my grandkids and books that have been around for 19 years. “The Magic Tree House” series by Mary Pope Osbourne is one of the best historical fiction series for kids between the ages of eight and 13. So far, there are 48 chapter books put out by Osbourne, including 22 “Magic Tree House Fact Trackers” which supplement more information on some of the historical content or facts of the books.
Jack and Annie are siblings from Pennsylvania who find a tree house filled with magical books and after reading them, are transported back in time to magical lands. The first place they travel is the Cretaceous Period and meet a pteranodon to help them escape the clutches of an T-Rex and after finding a medallion marked with the letter M, embark on a quest to find out who it could belong to.
This journey leads them other places such as England during the Middle Ages, ancient Egypt and the Caribbean at a time when pirates ruled the seas. After meeting Morgan le Fay, the sorceress of Arthurian legend, the kids embark on even more missions to places like ancient Japan, America during the Revolutionary War, Pompeii and Plymouth in 1621. There are 28 of the original Magic Tree House series and each one of them is chock full of history and adventure to keep the kids entertained for days.
Mary Pope Osbourne then continued the series with “Magic Tree House Merlin Missions” where Jack and Annie meet Merlin the Magician who sends the kids on even more quests. Each fifth book in this series begins a new quest or lesson that Annie and Jack must learn. These adventures take them places like the mythical place of Camelot, ancient Baghdad, New York in the Great Depression and even 18th-century Austria.
Through all of these journeys, historical figures such as Mozart, Louis Armstrong, Clara Barton and William Shakespeare are portrayed. Books such as these give our kids the opportunity to “meet” these important people in history and better understand the experiences of these figures.
All in all, “Magic Tree House” is one of the best book series that I’ve read as it pertains to our kids. Most books you can find singularly for under five dollars and there are even boxed sets of four for less than fifteen dollars. My grandkids go absolutely crazy over these books and my 10-year-old granddaughter cannot wait for the newest “Magic Tree House Merlin Missions” to come out, “A Perfect Time for Pandas”.
If you’ve got a curious mind in your midst, check out “Magic Tree House”. Your kids will love what they’re reading and you’ll love the information they’re learning.