Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Book note: Titanic (Magic Tree House Research Guide) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne

I've just finished reading this book, and I think it's one of the best history books for kids I've read - very well done overall, and packed with information without being the least bit dry. I, ahem, even learned a thing or two...

Titanic: A Nonfiction Guide to Tonight on the Titanic (Magic Tree House Research Guide Series)
Titanic: A Nonfiction Guide to Tonight on the Titanic (Magic Tree House Research Guide Series)

It's marketed as a companion to the fiction book Tonight on the Titanic, but I think it works well as a stand-alone book. Some of the information is 'presented' by Jack and Annie, the adventurous youngsters from the Magic Tree House series, but not in such a way that you'd have to know anything about the series in general or Tonight on the Titanic in particular.

As a bonus, the black and white illustrations by Sal Murdocca are pretty amazing, if you take the time to really look at them. There are also photographs as illustrations.

I like this anecdote from the page that provides some information on the authors. The husband and wife team say that until they were researching the book, "...we didn't realize that the ship that rescued the Titanic survivors had docked just a short distance from our home in New York City..." They use it as an illustration that "Research can sometimes lead you to make amazing discoveries in your very own neighborhood..."

I can vouch for that. Or, at least, I can say that I've been surprised a time or two in a similar way.

Tonight on the Titanic (Magic Tree House Series #17)
Tonight on the Titanic (Magic Tree House Series #17)


Bookworm said...

That's a good review. Both my kids adore the Magic Tree House series, although my daughter, at almost 9 is on the verge of outgrowing them. It sounds, though, as if this companion book is informative for kids of all ages.

Kathryn Judson said...

Bookworm, I probably should have mentioned that there are several Magic Tree House "research guides" out there, to go with several of the adventure stories. This is just the only one I've read. So far.

I especially like that it encouraged kids to go ahead with their own research, while providing tips on how to do a good job of it.

And, yes, I think it's a good "all ages" book, even though it's clearly aimed at kids.