Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Revolutionary War on Wednesday

I planned to write a review of another book tonight but ended up taking a reading detour. I spent the evening with my seven-year-old niece reading Mary Pope Osborne’s Revolutionary War on Wednesday.

Fortunately for the niece, she inherited the reading gene. Unfortunately, she also inherited the obsessive gene. Revolutionary is the 22nd book in the Magic Tree House series, and she refuses to read any other books until she completes the entire series. Sound familiar?

Jack and Annie, the hero and heroine—if you will—of the series, travel through time and experience historical events. In this case, they find themselves at the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War.

My niece is obsessed with the series, so obviously Osborne is doing something right. I also appreciate that the books are both educational and entertaining—without being overbearingly informative.

Revolutionary takes place as George Washington crosses the Delaware on Christmas day 1776. The book does not try to encompass the entire war—after all, it is an early reader—but provides a glimpse into one historical moment.

On the other hand, the book's suggestion that two children convinced George Washington to attack the Hessians is rather disturbing. Can Jack and Annie really take credit for history? And would their history books then reflect their interference? Am I taking this too seriously?

Aside from the time-travel dilemma, I recommend this series to anyone with young readers. I just hope I can control myself and not run to the library to check out the first 21 books in the series.

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