Sunday, December 17, 2006
Blizzard of the Blue Moon by Mary Pope Osborne
Blizzard of the Blue Moon is the thirty-sixth title in the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by Sal Murdocca. The first was Dinosaurs Before Dark, in which Jack and Annie, siblings from Frog Creek, Pennsylvania, discover a mysterious tree house high above them in their neighborhood woods. Being curious children, they climb up its rope ladder to find a collection of books. Jack opens a dinosaur book. When he says that he wishes he could go see the dinosaurs, the house begins to spin and adventure begins.
Since 1992, Jack and Annie have travelled through time and space in service of a mysterious librarian who is protecting history. They see the Olympics in Greece, ride on the Titanic, and meet George Washington at Valley Forge. Annie always goes forth boldly, and Jack, hanging back, takes notes and refers to his books. Together they solve mysteries and save endangered treasures. As the series has progressed, the books have gotten longer.
In Blizzard of the Blue Moon, Jack and Annie go back to 1938 New York City, where they seek to save a unicorn from being captured by minions of the Dark Wizard. During a snow storm, they visit Central Park and the Cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I started reading these books with my daughter Laura around 1993 when only a handful of the titles were available. We worked our way through the first 18 or 20 titles, until she was no longer interested. I have read more recent titles when Bonnie has brought them home from her library. I still enjoy following what happens to Annie and Jack.
Being a very popular book series, the Magic Tree House series has several companion web sites. One I liked is from Kidsreads, which has a trivia quiz. I took the quiz and got ten out of ten correct! Random House hosts the official Magic Tree House web site, which includes advice on writing your own stories. It also lists Magic Tree House Research Guides, which Osborne writes with her husband Will and sister Natalie.
According to a promo in the back of the latest book, in March 2007 the next title Dragon of the Red Dawn will take Annie and Jack to ancient Japan. It should be fun to read.
Osborne, Mary Pope. Blizzard of the Blue Moon. New York: Random House, 2006. ISBN 037593037x