This year is the 30th anniversary of Mary Pope Osborne’s beloved Magic Tree House series. The incredibly popular series, published by Penguin Random House, has sold over 143 million books worldwide and includes over one hundred titles. Those titles include the Merlin Missions subseries for advanced readers and the Magic Tree House Fact Trackers, which are the non-fiction companion books to the original Magic Tree House series. The series follows Jack and Annie, the main characters, as they go on various adventures throughout time. Inspiration for the series comes from her readers and teachers across the country.
The Classroom Adventures Program
Throughout the years, thousands of educators have used Mary’s books in their classrooms to stock their own libraries and to spark imagination with their students. In 2012, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series, Mary Pope Osborne launched the Classroom Adventures program, featuring the Gift of Books and the Gift of Time. The Gift of Time program allows teachers to expand their use of the Magic Tree House series in the classroom and stimulate kids’ interest in STEAM education and other curriculum. The Gift of Books program, developed in collaboration with First Book, is designed to spark students’ interest in reading and learning while meeting classroom requirements in creative, meaningful, and long-lasting ways. Through the Gift of Books program, educators can submit a proposal to receive funding to purchase the Magic Tree House books of their choice from the First Book Marketplace.
In this video, Mary and Kyle Zimmer, the President and CEO of First Book, share the impact educators have had on their work.
Eligible educators can apply for funding at Gift of Books: Magic Tree House and purchase Mary’s books on the First Book’s Marketplace. Families, First Book fans, and curious readers can find these books on Bookshop, with 10% of purchases donated to First Book’s mission.
Sparking A Love of Reading
Encouraging kids to read for fun with stories of their choosing from a school or classroom library will help build a love of reading. Just ask Elizabeth, a First Book educator in Pennsylvania, who received Magic Tree House books through The Classroom Adventures program. Elizabeth also created a wonderful classroom library where her students can follow Jack and Annie’s adventures through Magic Tree House books. Having high-quality, diverse, and age-appropriate books with relatable characters, landmark connections, and emotional and creative adventures are key elements to Elizabeth’s classroom library.
“The children love all of the magical and mystical adventures, traveling around the globe to places they have dreams about, packing up their minds and mental suitcases to assist in completing the missions, and we love the Pennsylvania connection. The storytelling is brilliant; the writing has inspired a love for reading; and we like when an adventure mission has been accomplished.”– Elizabeth
Creating Enthusiastic Readers
Many children are eager to pick up a new book and discuss the story with their friends, but some children need a little support. Erica, an educator in Tennessee, finds that reading aloud with her students is another great way to create enthusiastic readers.
“My students’ eyes were so wide. They could not believe that we were given books to read, and they were so beautiful! My students were so delighted.”– Erica
Jessica, an educator in Virginia, also uses the Magic Tree House series for read-aloud time with her students. Her students are so excited to hear each and every magical adventure that Jack and Annie take.
Join our Network!
Ready to use these books and more in your classroom? Eligible educators can join First Book’s Network — the largest and fastest growing network of educators, schools, and programs serving children in need across the United States and Canada — to bring new books, educational resources, and supplies to the classroom.