The Magic Tree House Series: The Epitome of Masterful Literature
You read the title. You know what this is about. And since sarcasm is my default internet tone, I'm inclined to point out that I am indeed not being sarcastic when I say that the Magic Tree House is amazing. And I know what you're thinking: "Nicole," you say, "I thought the epitome of masterful literature was Shakespeare or Edgar Allan Poe?" And while the Will vs. Poe debate will inevitably break out in the comment section now that I've mentioned it, I'm here to say that you can stop fighting because you are all wrong, and I'm right.
Take that, founders of all known literature, there's a new king in town. And that king is a children's book series about a inter-dimensional, time-traveling house of whimsy in an obscure suburban forest. It made kids want to read just as much as Reading Rainbow (good luck getting that theme song out of your head, by the way), and it was awesome in oh so many ways. The least being that someone just left a tree house-shaped TARDIS just lying around for any old schmuck walking through the woods to use to his heart's content. Becoming the new book-themed Doctor could happen to YOU! Here is why The Magic Treehouse is my favorite nostalgic book series:
- It turned me into a book nerd/writer. Yep, this is the series that started it all. This is the series that shaped me into the socially awkward, language-obsessed Sparkler nerd that I am today. (And that's a good thing, by the way.) The Magic Tree House taught me how awesome books are. And that may be an incredibly nerdy thing to say, but that's how it worked out. It was entertaining, yet it also had some semblance of an actual story and other content, and it was ultimately what inspired me to start writing my own stories as a little kid. It's important.
- The covers are cool. Yeah, this may seem a little trivial compared to the "this series shaped my life" message of number one, but . . . look at them! They're riding unicorns, and getting attacked by ninjas and giant snakes, and finding mummies, and running for their lives from an erupting volcano. You can't look at those covers and not be at least slightly intrigued about what the frick is happening to those wacky kids this time.
- It helped establish other fleeting interests. This is the Doctor Who of book series. It's premise is ingenious because you can do literally anything with it. You want to write a story about the kids fighting with knights, have the tree house send them to Medieval times; are you really obsessed with the Titanic? Put 'em on the Titanic! What could possibly go wrong? Nothing, that's what. Pretty much every single one of my childhood obsessions can be traced back to me reading about it in a Magic Tree House book beforehand: Greek mythology, tornadoes, Australian fold lore. And any book that can do that gets an A+.
- I accidentally learned stuff while reading. This book teaches you things! Like, actual things, too, not just the hamfisted moral lessons inherent in all children's books. I didn't want to learn as a kid; learning was for losers! But this series stealthily taught me random bits of cultural and historical information that really came in handy on trivia games. Like how the first Olympics worked, and what a rainbow snake was, and that girls were totally shafted by history. The Magic Tree House made learning fun. Not even Reading Rainbow can claim that.
Just to keep the universe from going too off kilter, here's a complaint: Jack and Annie's clothes just magically change to the appropriate attire, and that always bothered me. Yeah, the magical, space-and-time warping, book-portal-having tree house was fine, but the clothes thing really stretched my eight-year-old mind's suspension of disbelief!
Post by Nicole-Lyn!