The Magic Tree House, Merlin Missions Books

Overview and Book List for A Merlin Mission Books

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Kennedy, Elizabeth. "The Magic Tree House, Merlin Missions Books." ThoughtCo, Feb. 10, 2017, thoughtco.com/the-magic-tree-house-merlin-missions-626819. Kennedy, Elizabeth. (2017, February 10). The Magic Tree House, Merlin Missions Books. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-magic-tree-house-merlin-missions-626819 Kennedy, Elizabeth. "The Magic Tree House, Merlin Missions Books." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-magic-tree-house-merlin-missions-626819 (accessed October 24, 2017).
Mary Pope Osborne Signs Her 'Magic Tree House Series'
Mary Pope Osborne signs her 'Magic Tree House Series'. Getty Images/Bob Berg

The Magic Tree House Merlin Missions include Books # 29 and up in the wildly popular Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. Like the first 28 books of the Magic Tree House series, each of the books subtitled A Merlin Mission features the magic tree house and time travel adventures of brother and sister Jack and Annie, but there is also a lot that's different.

The time travel missions of Jack and Annie are now assigned by Merlin the Magician from Camelot, which is why the subtitle for every Magic Tree House book from book #29 on is A Merlin Mission.

  The Magic Tree House, A Merlin Mission books are designed for kids who are ready for more advanced books than those in the first 28 books of the series for young independent readers.

What to Expect in Each Merlin Mission Book

Books #29 and higher are generally between 105 and 115 pages long, about 40 pages longer than books #1-28. They are also at a higher reading level, mostly between 2.4 and 3.4, and the target audience moves from 6 to 10 to 7 to 10 or 11 for the later books. Jack and Annie have also moved up in age. Jack is 11 now and Annie is 10.

Most of the books have several pages of facts and activities at the end. A chapter from the next book in the series is also provided. Like all of the other books in the Magic Tree House series, Sal Murdocca illustrated books #29 and up, with one or more engaging illustrations per chapter.

New secondary characters and more complicated plots are now the norms.

The overarching goal of each mission, which takes four books to complete, is more emphasized. For example, in books #33-36, Jack and Annie have to go on four missions, each to a real place and time, in order to demonstrate that they have the ability to use magic wisely.

As a result of a successful mission in Venice, Baghdad, Paris and New York City, they receive a special award, the Wand of Dianthus, described as "a powerful magic wand that would help them make their own magic." (Source, MTH #39, page 2) However, readers can still continue to read and enjoy the books independently of one another and in the order they prefer.

At the beginning of the later books, author Mary Pope Osborne shares information about how her own experiences and interests relate to the book's subject. In a portion of her letter to readers in Eve of the Emperor Penguin, Magic Tree House book #40, Osborne explains,

  • "While I was writing this book, I combined my memories of watching the penguins at the zoo with my research on Antarctica. And I used my imagination to think about Jack and Annie searching for a secret of happiness to share with Merlin. I always mix these three things together to create a Magic Tree House books: memory, research, and imagination. But there's one other ingredient that goes into my work on this series: joy. I love to write - and I love sharing Jack and Annie 's adventures with you."

One of the reasons Osborne receives so many letters from young readers is that her letters to readers make them feel that they have a personal connection with her. For more about Mary Pope Osborne and her books, check out these interviews with her: Magic Tree House Series Author Interview and 20th Anniversary of the Magic Tree House Interview With Mary Pope Osborne.

As of March 2016, there was a total of 54 Magic Tree House books, with more forthcoming.

All Merlin Mission books are first published in hardcover and, then, in paperback. They are also available in library binding and as audiobooks and eBooks. In addition, there are 26 Magic Tree House Fact Tracker books, research guides, companion nonfiction books for some of the books in the series. Happily, ever since book #42, a Fact Tracker is published at the same time each new book in the Magic Tree House series is published. For more information about the nonfiction books, see Spotlight on the Magic Tree House Fact Tracker Books.

Book List of the Magic Tree House Books #29-48 (Merlin Missions)

  • Christmas in Camelot, Magic Tree House, Book #29
  • Haunted Castle On Hallow’s Eve, Magic Tree House, Book #30
  • Summer Of The Sea Serpent, Magic Tree House, Book #31
  • Winter Of The Ice Wizard, Magic Tree House, Book #32
  • Carnival at Candlelight, Magic Tree House, Book #33
  • Season of the Sandstorms, Magic Tree House, Book #34
  • Night of the New Magicians, Magic Tree House, Book #35
  • Blizzard of the Blue Moon, Magic Tree House, Book #36
  • Dragon of the Red Dawn, Magic Tree House, Book #37
  • Monday with a Mad Genius, Magic Tree House, Book #38
  • Dark Day in the Deep Sea, Magic Tree House, Book #39
  • Eve of the Emperor Penguin, Magic Tree House, Book #40
  • Moonlight on the Magic Flute, Magic Tree House, Book #41
  • A Good Night for Ghosts, Magic Tree House, Book #42
  • Leprechaun in Late Winter, Magic Tree House, Book #43
  • A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time, Magic Tree House, Book #44
  • A Crazy Day with Cobras, Magic Tree House, Book #45
  • Dogs in the Dead of Night, Magic Tree House, Book #46
  • Abe Lincoln at Last!, Magic Tree House, Book #47
  • A Perfect Time for Pandas, Magic Tree House, Book #48
  • Stallion by Starlight, Magic Tree House, Book #49
  • Hurry Up, Houdini!, Magic Tree House, Book #50
  • High Time for Heroes, Magic Tree House, Book #51
  • Soccer on Sunday, Magic Tree House, Book #52
  • Shadow of the Shark, Magic Tree House, Book #53
  • Balto of the Blue Dawn, Magic Tree House, Book #54

The Allure of The Magic Tree House Series

Finding a series your child loves can really pay off in helping them to develop their reading skills. The nice thing about the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne is that there are so many choices in terms of subjects and books and children can enjoy the books over time as they build their reading skills.

The Magic Tree House books are also popular with teachers, particularly those teaching grades 2-4. Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House Classroom Adventures Program site contains a great deal of information that will be helpful to teachers and parents alike in terms of reading levels and curriculum connections, as well as lesson plans.