Christmas in Camelot (Magic Tree House Series #29)

( 146 )

Overview

The Magic Tree House series has become a staple for inspiring kids to read. Christmas in Camelot is a very special Magic Tree House book. Here, author Mary Pope Osborne uses the literary skills for which she’s known to create a longer, more in-depth story featuring the characters kids have come to love. The result is magical: a fast-paced but detailed, easy-to-read story. Jack and Annie go on a quest to save Camelot, a quest that will prove to a beleaguered King Arthur that ...
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Christmas in Camelot (Magic Tree House Series #29)

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Overview

The Magic Tree House series has become a staple for inspiring kids to read. Christmas in Camelot is a very special Magic Tree House book. Here, author Mary Pope Osborne uses the literary skills for which she’s known to create a longer, more in-depth story featuring the characters kids have come to love. The result is magical: a fast-paced but detailed, easy-to-read story. Jack and Annie go on a quest to save Camelot, a quest that will prove to a beleaguered King Arthur that children and imagination really can make a difference.

On Christmas Eve, Jack and Annie's tree house transports them to King Arthur's castle at Camelot, where they undertake a quest to the castle of the Otherworld.

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  • Magic Tree House Series
    Magic Tree House Series  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Celebrate the wonder of the Middle Ages with this enchanting addition to the Magic Tree House series! When Jack and Annie receive a Royal Invitation to spend Christmas in Camelot, they expect feasting and fun with King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. But instead, they find themselves on a quest to recapture the kingdom's joy and save Camelot from being forgotten forever.
Publishers Weekly
What could be more exciting than a Christmas Eve quest back in the time of King Arthur? Young listeners are swept into historical fantasy as author Mary Pope Osborne reads her own bestselling works on the audiobook Christmas in Camelot, which includes the Magic Tree House titles Christmas in Camelot and Magic Tree House Research Guide #2: Knights and Castles. ( Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
What a wonderful adventure awaits readers who accompany Jack and Annie on their thrilling trip to the Otherworld in a quest to save Camelot. Jack and Annie, the brother and sister team of the author's "Magic Tree House" series, receive an invitation to spend Christmas Eve in Camelot. They mistakenly believe the invitation was sent by Morgan le Fay, their trusted friend from past adventures. Once they arrive, however, Morgan sadly informs the children that Camelot is dying because of a dark wizard's evil spell. The Christmas Knight arrives and tells the children and that Camelot will be lost forever unless someone travels to the Otherworld to recapture its joy. Annie and Jack meet the challenge and begin an incredible and exciting journey. Children familiar with the "Magic Tree House" series will love this new addition. This book is a compelling introduction to the series for the uninitiated. The excellent prose and black and white illustrations combine to make this a fantastic book from start to finish. 2001, Random House, $11.95. Ages 8 to 10. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-In this series installment, Jack and Annie are transported to the legendary kingdom, which has been put under a dismal spell by King Arthur's enemy Mordred. To bring joy and hope back to Camelot, the youngsters volunteer to journey to the Otherworld in order to bring back the Water of Memory and Imagination that will break the spell. This isn't really a Christmas story, but rather a rousing adventure tale filled with dancing fairies, white stags, and hideous beasts. Jack and Annie undertake the rigors of the quest with enthusiasm and aplomb, and if it all seems a bit too easy, fledgling fantasy readers and fans of the series shouldn't mind at all.-E. M. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Anyone who hasn't yet heard of the Magic Tree House has evidently spent the last several years on another planet (at Midnight on the Moon, perhaps?). Judging from this latest series entry (the first in trade hardcover), the popularity of these transitional chapter books is richly deserved. Jack and Annie, the brother-and-sister pair from Frog Creek, Pennsylvania, here take their 25th magical journey in Morgan le Fay's magic tree house. This time, however, instead of traveling to actual places and times in history, they find themselves at Christmas in Camelot--a Camelot sadly transformed from a place of celebration and laughter to one from which joy has been robbed and magic banished. Their quest is to travel to the Otherworld to bring back the Water of Memory and Imagination in order to restore Camelot to its former glory. While the launching of the quest is rather labored--Mordred's involvement in Camelot's plight is explained quickly and not altogether satisfactorily--once Jack and Annie get going, the story moves along at a good clip, full of magical talismans, rhyming clues, Otherworldly foes, and a happy ending. If the kids accomplish their tasks rather easily-well, this is a book for younger readers, and it makes a terrific introduction to the more complex fantasies to come. Osborne (Kate and the Beanstalk) never dumbs down the language for her young readers, instead introducing a rich vocabulary while seamlessly providing contextual clues for decoding: "Miraculously, the silver cup still brimmed with water from the cauldron. Not a drop had spilled out." Black-and-white spot illustrations are scattered throughout, although frequently a page turn is required before thereader sees the scene being described-a minor design quibble. An almost entirely pleasing offering; if Osborne and her publisher can produce another 25 of this quality, chapter-book readers will truly have been well served.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375813733
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/23/2001
  • Series: Magic Tree House Series , #29
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 468,147
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 420L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Pope Osborne

MARY POPE OSBORNE is the author of the New York Times number one bestselling Magic Tree House series. She and her husband, writer Will Osborne (author of Magic Tree House: The Musical), live in northwestern Connecticut with their three dogs. Ms. Osborne is also the coauthor of the companion Magic Tree House Fact Trackers series with Will, and with her sister, Natalie Pope Boyce.

SAL MURDOCCA has illustrated more than 200 children's trade and text books. He is also a librettist for children's opera, a video artist, an avid runner, hiker, and bicyclist, and a teacher of children's illustration at the Parsons School of Design. Sal lives and works in New York with his wife, Nancy.

Biography

Ever since 1992, Mary Pope Osborne has been thrilling kids everywhere with her delightfully exciting Magic Tree House series. The globetrotting escapades of time travelers Jack and Annie are brimming with adventure and magic (not to mention some subtly placed lessons on history and geography). With a life like Osborne's, it's only natural that she would be capable of bringing such wondrous stories to life.

Osborne was brought up in a military family, and her parents' work led to a lifestyle marked by constant change. "By the time I was 15," she says on randomhouse.com, "I had lived in Oklahoma, Austria, Florida, and four different army posts in Virginia and North Carolina." While many kids would probably feel disoriented by such constant change, Osborne wouldn't have had it any other way. "Moving was never traumatic for me, but staying in one place was. When my dad finally retired to a small town in North Carolina, I nearly went crazy with boredom. I craved the adventure and changing scenery of our military life."

And adventure is exactly what Osborne got! After college, she embarked on a series of daring treks across the globe that would surely give Jack and Annie a run for their money. "For a while I camped in a cave on the island of Crete," she said. "Then I joined up with a small band of European young people heading to 'The East.' We traveled through 11 Asian countries and nearly lost our lives, first in an earthquake in northern Afghanistan and then in a riot in Kabul."

Following an illness she contracted in Katmandu, Osborne returned home to the U.S. trying her hand at a vast variety of jobs: window dresser, medical assistant, Russian travel consultant, waitress, bartender, and an assistant editor at a children's magazine. Although Osborne had unconsciously moved closer toward her ultimate career, she says that her first attempts at writing seemed to come without warning. "One day, out of the blue, I began writing a story about an 11-year-old girl in the South," she recalls. "The girl was a lot like me, and many of the incidents in the story were similar to happenings in my childhood...it became a young adult novel called Run, Run Fast as You Can. Finally, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up."

She sure did! Since then, Osborne has penned a slew of stories, including picture books, chapter books, middle-grade biographies, and young adult novels; but she is indisputably best known for her wonderful Magic Tree House books, a happy hodge-podge of history and mystery with a time travel theme kids find irresistible. No doubt inspired by Osborne's own highly adventurous life, these exiting expeditions have attracted droves of children and pleased educators by combining compulsively readable storytelling with useful facts about geography and history.

As was written of the series in Children's Literature, "Mary Pope Osborne provides nicely paced excitement for young readers, and there's just enough information mixed in so that children will take away some historical fact along with a sense of accomplishment at having completed a chapter book." As much as Osborne has certainly pleased her readers (not to mention their parents and teachers), perhaps no one is quite as pleased as she. "I'm one of those very lucky people who absolutely loves what they do for a living," she explained. "There is no career better suited to my eccentricities, strengths, and passions than that of a children's book author."

Good To Know

A few fascinating outtakes from our interview with Osborne:

"One of the most defining experiences of my life was traveling overland in an old van through the Middle East and Asia in the early 1970's. One day, when a small group of us were camped in a remote part of northern Afghanistan, we saw a woman riding horseback over the sloping plain. Her long brown hair floated on the wind and she wore a bright gypsy-style dress. When she got closer, I realized she was one of my roommates from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill! Though I didn't even know she'd left the U.S.—and she didn't know I was in Afghanistan, we weren't that surprised to come upon each other. That says a lot about the times we were living in then."

"After 26 years of living in New York City, my husband Will and I now spend most of our time in Northwestern Connecticut, living in a house that overlooks a lake. We kayak and hike with our two Norfolk terriers, Joey and Mr. Bezo. Will's learning Italian, and I've been working with a tutor for two years trying to understand Dante's Divine Comedy. One of my biggest hobbies is reading philosophy and theology. We spend lots of time, of course, on our work. After writing three shows for the Morehead Planetarium in North Carolina, Will's writing a musical based on the Magic Tree House series. I'm writing book # 38 in the series. I also spend a lot of time with my sister Natalie Pope Boyce who works on the Magic Tree House Research Guides. Natalie and our nephews and some of our best friends live nearby in the Berkshires Hills of Massachusetts, so we're up there a lot, too. My only complaint is there is not enough time to do all I want to do. For instance, I'd love to take drawing classes and I'd love to paint the lake we're living on. And I'd love to bird watch and become a better cook and learn about classical music. Maybe sometime in the future...."

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    1. Hometown:
      Goshen, Connecticut
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 20, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Sill, Oklahoma
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of North Carolina
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Sunlight had faded from the late-afternoon sky. Puffy snow clouds were moving in.

"Let's hurry. I'm cold," said Jack.

He and Annie were walking home from school. Their Christmas vacation was just beginning.

Cooo-cooo.

"Wait, " said Annie. "Look."

She pointed to a white bird sitting on a bare tree branch at the edge of the woods. The bird was staring straight at them.

"It's a dove," said Jack.

"It's a messenger," said Annie, "from Morgan."

"No," Jack said, afraid to get his hopes up. They hadn't seen Morgan le Fay in a long time. He really missed her.

"Yes, " said Annie. "She has a mission for us. I can feel it."

In the hush of the cold twilight, the dove spread its wings and flew into the Frog Creek woods.

backl"

"Come on!" said Annie. "The tree house is

"You're just hoping!" said Jack.

"I'm knowing!" said Annie. She ran into the woods, following the white dove.

"Oh, brother," said Jack. But he took off after Annie.

Even in the growing darkness, they easily found their way. They zigzagged between the bare trees and ran over the frozen ground until they came to the tallest oak in the woods.

"See?" said Annie', pointing to the top of the tree.

"Yeah, " whispered Jack.

There it was: the magic tree house.

"Morgan!" shouted Annie.

Jack held his breath, waiting to see the enchantress at the tree house window. But

Morgan did not appear.

Annie grabbed the rope ladder and started up. Jack followed.

When they climbed inside the tree house, Jack saw something lying on the floor. It was a scroll, rolled up and tied with a red velvet ribbon.

Jack picked up the scroll and unrolled it. The thick, yellowed paper shimmered with large gold writing.

"Wow, Morgan sent us a really fancy note," said Annie.

"It's an invitation, " said Jack. "Listen."

"Christmas in Camelot!" said Annie. "I don't believe it!"

"Cool" whispered Jack. He pictured a beautiful, glowing castle lit with candles and filled with knights and ladies feasting and singing.

"We're going to celebrate Christmas with Morgan and King Arthur!" said Annie. "And Queen Guinevere!"

"Yeah, said Jack. "And the Knights of the Round Table, like Sir Lancelot!"

"Let's go!" said Annie. "Where's the book?"

She and Jack looked around the tree house for a book about Camelot. The only book they saw was the Pennsylvania book that always brought them home.

"That's strange," said Jack. "Morgan didn't send a book about Camelot with the Royal Invitation. How does she expect us to get there?"

"I don't know, " said Annie. "Maybe she forgot."

Jack picked up the invitation. He read it again. He turned it over, hoping to find more information. The back of the scroll was blank. He handed the invitation to Annie.

"She must have forgotten," he said.

"Darn," said Annie, staring at the gold writing. "I really wish we could go to Camelot."

The tree branches rustled.

The wind began to blow.
"What's happening?" said Jack. "I don't know-" said Annie. "Wait a minute," said Jack.
"You were holding the invitation, and you made a wish. The wind blew harder. "That must have made the magic work!" cried Annie. Jack felt a surge of joy. "We're going to Camelot!" he said. The tree house started to spin. It spun faster and faster. Then everything was still. Absolutely still.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 146 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(99)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 148 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2004

    WOW!!!!!!

    I started reading these books in first grade and I loved them I have a collection but I can't give them away I just can't this book has twist fun excitement and some sad parts but very magical this is a must read

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Awsome

    This book is the best you will ever read
    My name is jennifer and i approve this message

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2008

    CHRISTMAS IN CAMELOT

    This book is so fun so cool i just love these books i started reading the magic tree house books in first grade

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Awsome

    Cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have to read

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    Sounds GREAT!!!!!!!!!!

    I love your books SO much and, l can't wait to read this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    amazing

    Cant stop reading it

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    1 BEST

    I LOVE THIS BOOK

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Magix Magic tree house book

    I love this book my teacher read it to me.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Awesome!

    I cant believe they r in Camelot finally!
    2¿ the fun!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Really good book

    Good book for beginners.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Christmasy

    It was cool.good christmas related pictures. The chrisrmas knight is brave. Amazingway of writing it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2001

    Camelot is Mystical

    From the excerpt off of the computer I think it is a wonderful book for young kids. I, myself like adventerous books, fantasy, dragon books, and all of the sort like them. I like to read alot of books.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    Mason

    A very good book!! ; -)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Magic tree house christmas in camelot.

    I love this book it is so interesting u have to read it

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Ok

    Intresting

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun Family Read Anytime of Year

    This book is filled with adventure and a quick read. My husband and I read every night to our 6 and 4 year old boys. They are always begging to read one more chapter. Merlin is a new character the boys enjoy hearing about. Morgan LeFay is not mentioned as much but is still in the series.

    It is a quick read. Our 6 year old will read to our 4 year old and has little trouble with the words.

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2003

    I love it, love it, love it, love it!

    It's really fun because I love Jack and Annie. My teacher reads these to my class, and I really love them because I can read them myself -- even though they are chapter books. I'm a six-year old girl named Maddy, and I live in South Carolina.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2002

    I loved, loved, loved this book!

    Jack and Annie discover a note that they think is from Morgan, but it is really from a magician in Camelot. They go through many mystical and magical mishaps to save Camelot and Morgan. I liked this Magic Tree House book more than any other Magic Tree House book in the collection.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

    Crasy cody

    Loved it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Iland

    Yvfdschsv

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 148 Customer Reviews

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