These are short, easy to read fantasy novels for children about a brother and sister who can travel anywhere a book is set via their magic treehouse. There is a little bit of subplot connecting one book to another (specifically the first 28 – yes you read that correctly – involve the Morgan LeFay missions where the mystical Morgan tasks the siblings with various errands). But my 7-year old son and I skipped books and found them readable without much confusion. Here’s a summary of the books we’ve read:
Book 1: Dinosaurs Before Dark
Jack and Annie find said tree house of magic filled with books. Jack picks up a book about dinosaurs and inadvertently utters the magic wishing words. They are promptly whisked away to dinosaur times and have a brief adventure. On a side note, Annie is a little annoying – even taking her age into consideration.
Book 9: Dolphins at Daybreak
Something about dolphins, the ocean, and being in one of those really small claustrophobia inducing underwater vehicles. Overall take home? Annie’s borderline pathologically dangerous behavior surprisingly hasn’t killed her or Jack.
Book 10: Ghost Town at Sundown
Jack and Annie are taken to the old west, where they meet a man who needs their help. I don’t remember whose idea it was to go with him, but based on her track record for making reckless decisions, it was probably Annie’s (girl wouldn’t last a day on her own outside of fantasy lands). She’s lucky the cowboy didn’t have nefarious intentions.
Book 17: Tonight on the Titanic
I take my hat off to Mary for taking on the Titanic in a children’s book right in the middle of it sinking. And to make matters worse, she throws a puppy in the mix. I was horrified reading this. Jack and Annie really shouldn’t have made it out of that one.
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I suppose these are good chapter books for young readers. I’d recommend them more for kids to read themselves, rather than being read to, as the simple dialogue and sentence structure (and Annie) can make for an annoying read. I’m not sure the top age group for these books, but it seems older kids beyond about 3rd grade would out grow them.