So my oldest, who is 4.5, loves to read. No matter what time of night it is, we *have* to have story time for at least a half an hour each night. We had grown a little bored of the books he had – preschool-aged books that were a little more advanced than board book but still relatively simple.
A friend suggested we try the Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne. (All of you been there, done that Moms are probably laughing that I’m only just discovering these books.) Their reading level, according to Amazon, is grades 4-8. So normally this would never have entered my world yet – except I thought I’d try it out. Not for him to read, but for us to read to him of course. I wasn’t sure how it would fly as there are only pictures every few pages.
In short, he loves it. He lays on his belly in bed and says, “Mom, I’m going to lay here and listen to the words, can you show me when you come to the pictures?” He closes his eyes and even asks questions along the way. The premise of the series is the adventures of a brother and sister who take trips in time via a “Magic Treehouse” they discovered in the woods. Each “trip” is full of adventure – but educational as each book is a different era and a mini history lesson of its own.
The overview of each “subject” is pretty generic but it’s a nice intro to a variety of topics and I love that they encourage his imagination. I can’t recommend them enough. Plus, I figure he’ll be reading these again in a few years when he’s reading on his own.
Check out this boxed set of books 1-4 for $10.85 (we bought all four separately – obviously the box set is a better deal).


  1. Magic Treehouse are some my son’s favorite books and I use them a lot in my 3rd grade classroom as read alouds. They really cover a lot of subject areas that kids love. I’m glad you are enjoying them!!!

  2. We love these books. The Magic Schoolbus is great, too.

  3. Sounds like I need to make a trip to the library and check those out. My 5 year old insists on stories every night too, and we could use something new!

  4. This post is giving me a deja vu! This is exactly how we found The Magic Tree House as well. My son is now 5 and he’s really into mysteries and trying to solve problems so I’ve mixed it up and added Secret Agent Jack Stalwart (look it up on Amazon). It’s the same concept as Magic Tree House but with a young boy as the skateboarding detective. My son loves both.

  5. These books are listed on Amazon for ages 4-8 (not grades 4-8). I believe their reading level is in the 2’s (second grade).
    My son is going into 1st grade and he LOVES these books. He has been reading a whole book a day all by himself. He wants to complete them all before school starts in August. On the random house website you can take a quiz on the book and print out a completion passport stamp.

  6. I hope you don’t mind a little constructive correction. I stumbled onto this page through google looking for the reading level of Magic Treehouse books. I just wanted to correct your comment that Amazon says the reading level is grades 4-8. It actually says ages 4-8. The site says they are reading level grades 2-4. I hope this helps someone else who might have been a bit confused.

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