Week 8: Magic Treehouse #16 Hour of the Olympics

Book summary: Jack and Annie are off on another adventure through time! As Master Librarians, Morgan leFay has charged our young friends with the task of retrieving valuable stories from ancient times. This time they’re off to Ancient Greece, when and where the Olympic Games first started. But Annie is outraged that there are no women or girls around – they’re not allowed to be in plays, or even watch the games! As usual Jack wants to follow the rules, but Annie is determined – and almost gets them killed!

My impressions: It’s really unfortunate this series wasn’t around when I was a kid, because I probably would have devoured every book the minute it came out. Time travel, history, magic – what more could a girl want? This installment takes us to the very first meeting of the Olympic games – the ancient games – in Greece. An exciting time, sure – if you’re lucky enough to be a boy! Annie, of course, wants to make her own luck by dressing as a boy, so she can see the games. I’m curious how often that may have happened in ancient times? I definitely think this is a great installment in a great series.

Citation: Osborne, M.P. (1998). Magic tree house #16 hour of the olympics. New York, NY: Random House.

Professional review:

“This collection by Mary Pope Osborne contains unabridged readings of Vacation Under the Volcano, Day of the Dragon King, Viking Ship at Sunrise, and Hour of the Olympics (all Random, 1998). Jack and Annie have been appointed Master Librarians by Morgan leFay and must gather books from ancient libraries so that they may be preserved in Camelot…Along the way, much is learned about the history of bookmaking, the importance of libraries throughout the past, and the similarities and differences between daily life in today’s society and that of early world cultures. Teachers, librarians, and parents are partial to Osborne’s emphasis on the power of reading and research to guide Jack and Annie safely through their adventures. Kids love the precarious situations they encounter and their predictably safe resolution…”

Mandell, P., & Burkey, M. (August 2002). Magic Tree House Collection #4 [Review of]. School Library Journal48(8), 76.

Library uses: This particular book definitely stuck with me because it’s an Olympic year. I think a fun activity to do with this, would be to have an Olympic race or games at the library – but of course, the girls could participate, too!

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