Growing up, there were a few book series that I could not stop reading, even when my teachers would politely ask me to put the book away. One is Mary Pope Osbourne‘s fantastic children’s series Magic Tree House, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. With over 50 books, Osbourne has brought readers along for the ride of a life time.
The series follows siblings Jack and Annie who discover a tree house filled with unusual books that can take them to the period of time the book takes place in. The two have visited the dinosaurs millions of years ago, Ancient Egypt, Pompeii, and even Depression-era New York City. What’s great about Osbourne’s series is her attention to detail and her accuracy. She maintains precision throughout all the stories!
In fact, she released a non-fiction companion series called Magic Tree House Fact Trackers. They offer a more in depth look into the settings and history of each Tree House book for those who want to learn more from Jack and Annie’s adventures. Starting in 2000, there are currently 35 Fact Trackers corresponding with the first 35 Magic Tree House books.
And of course, who could forget those covers? Illustrator Sal Murdocca has worked with Osbourne from the beginning to create colorful covers that give just a brief glimpse into where Jack and Annie will explore.
Over the past 25 years, both kids and teachers from all over have fallen in love with the series, which has sold over 130 million copies. In response, Osbourne decided to give back and start the Classroom Adventures/Gift of Books program where she donates Magic Tree House books to schools as well as lesson plans for teachers to use in their classrooms.
What’s next for Jack and Annie? Osbourne announced the 55th book in the series will take the two to meet baseball legend Jackie Robinson, slated to come out Aug. 15. Also, Lionsgate Entertainment has announced plans to make a feature film based off of Christmas in Camelot, the first book in which the siblings are sent on quests by Merlin the magician.
We’re glad Osbourne is continuing Jack and Annie’s adventures, and we’re looking forward to what’s coming next!