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Christmas in Camelot (Magic Tree House Merlin Mission Series #1)

Christmas in Camelot (Magic Tree House Merlin Mission Series #1)

4.3 154
by Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca

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The #1 bestselling chapter book series of all time celebrates 25 years with new covers and a new, easy-to-use numbering system!

When Jack and Annie receive an invitation to spend Christmas Eve in Camelot—a magical place that exists only in myth and fantasy—they know they are in for their biggest adventure yet. What they don't know is that


The #1 bestselling chapter book series of all time celebrates 25 years with new covers and a new, easy-to-use numbering system!

When Jack and Annie receive an invitation to spend Christmas Eve in Camelot—a magical place that exists only in myth and fantasy—they know they are in for their biggest adventure yet. What they don't know is that the invitation will send them on a quest to save Camelot. Can they succeed even though Camelot's greatest knights have failed?

Formerly numbered as Magic Tree House #29, the title of this book is now Magic Tree House Merlin Mission #1: Christmas in Camelot.

Did you know that there’s a Magic Tree House book for every kid?

Magic Tree House: Adventures with Jack and Annie, perfect for readers who are just beginning chapter books
Merlin Missions: More challenging adventures for the experienced reader
Super Edition: A longer and more dangerous adventure
Fact Trackers: Nonfiction companions to your favorite Magic Tree House adventures

Have more fun with Jack and Annie at MagicTreeHouse.com!

Editorial Reviews

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.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Magic Tree House Merlin Mission Series
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
420L (what's this?)
File size:
40 MB
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Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

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.


"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.


"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.

Meet the Author

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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Brief Biography

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

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Christmas in Camelot (Magic Tree House Series #29) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 154 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so fun so cool i just love these books i started reading the magic tree house books in first grade
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant stop reading it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was cool.good christmas related pictures. The chrisrmas knight is brave. Amazingway of writing it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good book!! ; -)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book for beginners.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best you will ever read My name is jennifer and i approve this message
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just wanted to know if you've seen the movie Frozen.It's the best movie on earth!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it is so interesting u have to read it
GVSreading More than 1 year ago
The book name is Christmas in Camelot. Jack and Annie have to get the joy and memory back for Camelot. So Jack and Annie need to go to the otherworld to find the water or memory and joy back for Camelot. If Jack and Annie get its back the Camelot's people will have parties almost every night like they use to, then everything would be back to the way it was. But if Jack and Annie don't get it back all of the Camelot's people will be frozen forever and there will be no life in Camelot. I thought it was very good and it was interesting to me. I think if you like excitement you will like it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love your books SO much and, l can't wait to read this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good for winter reading!!!!!!!!! - Captain ChimiDog
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books I've read so far. Mary Pope Osborne is one of the best authors I've ever read. If I wrote about three people to come to dinner, I would choose Julie Driscoll, Laura Ingalls, and, you guessed it, Mary Pope Osbourne. She is truly one of the best!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My seven year old daughter I have read the first twenty nine books in Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House series. Each Magic Tree House book has brought us to a world of history and mystery, an imaginary place where together, my daughter and I can go every morning to meet and interact with people or creatures from the past, as well as people or creatures from legends. Christmas in Camelot (Magic Tree House Series #29) was no exception. In this book, Nine year old Jack and his eight year old sister Annie travel back into time to once again help their friend Morgan le Fay. The tree house takes them to the mythical land of Camelot, the kingdom of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Jack and Annie are excited, as Christmas Day is very near and they will get to see their friends Morgan and King Arthur. They expect Camelot to be bright and festive but instead they find Morgan and King Arthur surprised to see them, and the kingdom of Camelot dark and dreary. Jack and Annie must go on a new quest to save the legend of Camelot from being lost to history forever. Jack and Annie work together to overcome the various obstacles and dangers to complete their newest quest. This book is full of excitement and imagery, and I would recommend it to any young person who enjoys reading fact based fantasy books. It's also a great book for children and parents to share together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked when Jack and Annie fought the Creatures of the Cauldron.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Hi it is me again peeps. I did this to dark day in the deep sea and dogs in the dead of night. Ya peeps it is me again ya.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is awesome I love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How far can you see from the top of a tree? So many places to go when you travel outside your window. ~-~ King Arthur and Queen Gweneveir request that you please join them here, in Camelot tonight at eight, for a royal banquet. Don't be late.