Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Magical Magic Tree House

I now have a second child who is completely captivated by Mary Pope Osborne's incredibly popular and well-written Magic Tree House book series. Several years ago, my son and his friends were introduced to the series at school, and they devoured them in a near manic race to finish "the next book." Now my daughter is in first grade and she is equally enamored. I can literally not buy and/or check them out of the library fast enough, and I am thrilled to see her so engaged in reading.

While my son turned into a rabid reader early - and to this day reads everything, including the ingredients on the cereal box - my daughter was a little slower to get engaged. She was reading EasyReader books such as Fancy Nancy pretty quickly. But she was never really motivated to read them often, regularly, and independently. Thus, I wondered if she would become "a reader." So, when we introduced the Magic Tree House and she began reading them in a single setting, I knew there was something truly "magical" about these books.

In addition to reading the books, cover to cover in a single setting, my daughter loves to talk about the books and the adventures. Clearly, she is engaged and meta-cognitive when entranced in the world of the Magic Tree House. I am incredibly impressed with and thankful for the work of Mary Pope Osborne. For the ability to engage children in the written word is a special gift, and it is unavailable to far too many.

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