Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Tree House series started the books in 1992 with a contract to complete four publications. She thought that when she signed the deal to write four books that that would be the end of it. Little did she know the impact it would have on parents and kids and she soon became swamped with letters.
She has even memorized some of the letters she has received including some that had young children writing their own stories and telling Osborne about them. She realized how great these simple books were to this demographic of children and according to NPR, they were “catching fire with young readers.” Osborne had written 20 books before that had not been nearly as successful. Nevertheless, the Magic Tree House series has sold millions of copies worldwide and there are more than 50 books in the series now. Each tells the story of Jack and Annie, who are brother and sister and the adventures they take using their magical tree house. The tree house serves as a time machine and brings kids to the pyramids, the great earthquake of San Francisco and back to the dinosaur times.
What has been so successful about the series is its ability to have simple language in a chapter book form, as it is many children’s first experience with chapter books. It also brings kids on a ride of rich history from a unique perspective. The series is paired with companion series, the Magic Tree House Fact Trackers which gives the nonfiction version of all the stories Osborne writes. With the success of the series she has decided to start giving back and she now donates the books to schools in need. Her most recent visit was to Palmer, Massachusetts and Old Mill Pond School where after she read entries from her newest book she also announced she was giving each student in the school a brand new book of their own.
For more info about Tim Green, please visit his main website.