Tell me about Magic treehouse books - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-03-2007, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ds just turned 5 and loves having chapter books read to him. We have gone through most of the Nate the Great books and are plowing through The Littles series full steam ahead. He loves fantasy. He is sure that the Littles are also living in our walls.

I have a chance to buy the first 16 books of the Magic Tree House series at a great price. I am wondering if I should go for it. How have your kids liked the series? Is it good for a recently turned 5 year old? Please share your thoughts. Thanks!

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Old 01-03-2007, 07:40 PM
 
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They're boring for adults, great for kids who are just starting to graduate from "easy readers," and a lot of kids adore them. Content is unobjectionable and may get your child interested in ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, or other history topics.

If you can pick them up cheap, then go for it! If he doesn't take to them, you'll always be able to resell -- they're extremely popular books.
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:43 PM
 
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We've read every one of them to my son, now 7. He loves them and he was just about 5 when we started. My only quibble with reading them aloud is that she uses the "blah blah blah", said Annie" sentence structure so much you get really tired of the "said so and so". So I do edit a bit as I read, just for my sanity.

Last year my son also enjoyed the Narnia books, the Time Warp Trio books, and his K class used Harry Potter as their quiet time reading. Also My Father's Dragon was a hit.
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:44 PM
 
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My 7yo loves them...there are a few split off series - The Magic of Merlin or somethingorother and he especially loves those, as he is really into fantasy as well.

Personally, I think there is better out there, but they aren't bad or anything, just a little generic for my tastes. I do think they are a great starting place, they're easy to read, and fun. Can't go wrong with that.

At age 5, my son LOVED Roald Dahl books. We've read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach more times than I can count.

If you are into fantasy, my sister sent ds a bunch of these little books. (she's a manager for Barnes and Noble) He LOVES them, and they're pretty easy to read and understand. We have Robin Hood, The Sword and the Stone, Tales of King Arthur, and a few others. I think they're part of the Classic Starts Series.

Here's a link:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...02712579&itm=2
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
We've read every one of them to my son, now 7. He loves them and he was just about 5 when we started. My only quibble with reading them aloud is that she uses the "blah blah blah", said Annie" sentence structure so much you get really tired of the "said so and so". So I do edit a bit as I read, just for my sanity.
Oh yeah, that drives me nuts too. I just leave it out after about the 3rd page, but I can see how it sets up good writing skills for a child who is learning to read and write. I notice that in a lot of children's books.
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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On the other hand, I'm reading "The Princess and the Goblin" to my daughter right now. I LOVE this book, but it has long coversations where none of the statements are attributed -- you just have alternating lines of dialogue. Unless you're very good at making up different voices for various characters, it can be very confusing to the listener. Makes you appreciate "Blah blah blah," said Annie!
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:11 PM
 
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... and his K class used Harry Potter as their quiet time reading. .
Really? This would make me crazy. I have a series-addicted DD who would love to read HP but I don't think she's ready for some of the themes in the later books so I've actively discouraged her from starting them. Had someone read HP to her in K, I'd have been faced with a daily battle...

ETA: The MTH books are fun reads from the perspective of many k-gr3 kids. There's adventure and factoids, and there are accompanying research guides for some of them. The writing is ok, and there is certainly better fiction, but they're great for making the transition from listening to books to reading independently.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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Old 01-03-2007, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by 3_opihi View Post
At age 5, my son LOVED Roald Dahl books. We've read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach more times than I can count

Here's a link:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...02712579&itm=2

Ohh... James and the Giant Peach. I LOVED that book. I think I will pick the Magic tree House books up. It is the first 16 for $24 brand new. I'm just really looking to expand on his chapter book collection. I love reading them to him. He will listen for long periods of time when a book is really interesting. He is now reading the Bob books and some easy readers himself. Eventually he can also read MTH books to himself.

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Old 01-03-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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Yeah, James is a classic. It's just so wildly imaginative and funny - it's brilliant! There's nothing else quite like his books, I tell ya.

Good luck the MTH series. That's a great deal. Is it thru Scholastic or something?
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Old 01-03-2007, 11:08 PM
 
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My DS loved the magic tree house books. He is 9 now and still tells me about stuff he learned in them - I think they are historical fiction books (or at least that is how he labeled them). He likes to re-read books too so if he doesn't have any good new books, occasionally he'll pick up one of those.

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Old 01-03-2007, 11:51 PM
 
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Love 'em

They're great on tape, too. We listen to them on camping trips.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:33 AM
 
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While the writing style is not great, the books introduce interesting ideas to a young audience (prehistoric humans, ninjas, Pompeii, the First Emperor of China, etc) and the format is pretty gentle. My oldest is highly sensitive and so stuff like Roald Dahl is too dark for him. Even in the scariest parts of Jack and Annie, it's never truly scary and it's so brief that you know it's going to work out. It caught my son's imagination and led him off onto many interesting historical tangents. It was like a springboard, I suppose. So, I like them for these reasons. He's a big fan, although I would like to move into something with higher quality writing. Still, they get two thumbs up from me.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:52 AM
 
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Really? This would make me crazy. I have a series-addicted DD who would love to read HP but I don't think she's ready for some of the themes in the later books so I've actively discouraged her from starting them. Had someone read HP to her in K, I'd have been faced with a daily battle...
Well, it took them all year to get through the first one. Then he decided there were things he missed or questions he wanted to ask us so he wanted to reread it this fall. So now we're halfway through 1st grade... At this rate, by the time we get to the later books he'll be ready for their more intense themes. In truth though, I'm not sure there is anything in these books that he isn't ready for now -- he's pretty good at asking questions until he understands things and he's explored some pretty heavy topics if they catch his attention. If they don't interest him, he won't notice them anyway. That, I think, is the beauty of more complex books -- they offer a different take each time you read them and kids don't focus on things they aren't ready for.

I actually agreed with the reasons the school did this. They pointed out that they have great vocabulary, no pictures so they encourage visualization of the story, are interesting enough to motivate the kids to learn to read. And the school does a lot of motivation/discipline by team points, much like the house points and house cup in HP so this is a way to intro the K students into the school's system. Anyway, surprised me because I didn't think any K student would be ready for something this complex but didn't bother me.
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:54 AM
 
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My son read the Magic Treehouse series when he was 5 and loved it! Couldn't get enough of them. And then at 6, it was over. I never read them out loud to him as he could read them himself, but he definitely enjoyed them.

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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Old 01-04-2007, 12:12 PM
 
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I also loathe the 'Annie said and jack said and then Annie said'. O M. G. I just don't.

These are good for children to read to themselves when they are starting on chapter books, and they do have some interesting historical info.

But as readalouds, there are so many better selections.

My dd has recently enjoyed Children of Noisy Village series and the Pipi Longstocking books (all by Astrid Lindgren). When she was 5, she adored the Milly MOlly Mandy series.

Check here for a great list of other good books to read to kids:

www.chinaberrybooks.com Not an "Annie said, then Jack said" in the bunch.
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:24 PM
 
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I do NOT like them. I find Annie sooo irritating.

But ds does like them, but quite a few of them had ghosts, he got a little scared.

We love the Enormous Crocodile by Dahl. Ds wasnt weirded out at all by the croc who wants to eat the kids. Dahl is just funny.
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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We have a handful. Ds loved the ones we had. I wanted to hang myself.

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Old 01-04-2007, 04:30 PM
 
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I just finished reading #11 to dd this morning before school. IMO, they're all right, but very formulaic. Part of the formula always involves a dangerous moment when it looks like all is lost. DD doesn't handle suspense well and used to get pretty scared until I convinced her that if -- for example -- Annie were to get trampled by Wildebeests then there couldn't be 20 more books in the series.

They definitely aren't great literature, but they are fun and introduce kids to different times and places.
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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We bought one for dd (6) for Christmas. We chose #26 in the series because it was about gorillas and she likes gorillas. So far she is enjoying the book. We aren't lost for starting with book #26 instead of book #1.
I don't know if we will ever get the whole series. We'll probably let dd choose another book in the series on a topic that interests her or just buy those that tie into our homeschooling curriculum.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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Old 01-04-2007, 08:42 PM
 
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We bought one for dd (6) for Christmas. We chose #26 in the series because it was about gorillas and she likes gorillas. So far she is enjoying the book. We aren't lost for starting with book #26 instead of book #1.
I don't know if we will ever get the whole series. We'll probably let dd choose another book in the series on a topic that interests her or just buy those that tie into our homeschooling curriculum.
I definitely don't think that there are worth buying, unless a particular one catches your kid's interest. We check them out of the library.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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I do NOT like them. I find Annie sooo irritating.

Hey now, ain't nothing wrong with Annies! . (my name is Annie)

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Old 01-04-2007, 09:02 PM
 
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"Hey now, ain't nothing wrong with Annies!" said Annie.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:24 PM
 
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Annie said, "Thanks, Thalia!". Suddenly a gigantic gorilla jumped out of the bushes!

"Quick, Annie -be careful!" said Jack.

"Aaaagh, a gorilla! " said Annie.

"Oh wait, it's just a toddler with a banana", said Jack.

"Phew", said Annie. "That was a close one".
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:40 PM
 
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"Hahahahahaha!" said Thalia.
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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Then UUMom said. "Oh, no!" And then she said, "Please stop!"
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:34 PM
 
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My Son,(8) is reading them at school now.Sometimes were read them together.
He is not crazy about them but he does not hate them either.The one thing he pointed out that I noticed too is that it is a little anti -boy.I mean it makes
Annie look much smarter and fearless where as Jack is afraid all the time. Anyone one else notice that?
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I am going to skip buying the first 16. I'll let him check a couple out from the library instead! Maybe we will just get some Miss Piggle Wiggle....

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