HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Dogs in the Dead of Night: Magic Tree House #46
Author: Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrator: Sal Murdocca
Publisher: Random House, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0-375-96824-2 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0-375-86824-5 (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-0-375-89876-1 (eBook)
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Osborne, Mary Pope. Dogs in the Dead of Night: Magic Tree House #46 (published in 2011 by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House Inc., New York City, NY). Jack and Annie must go on another Merlin Mission. Penny, the abandoned penguin which they saved on a previous mission and gave to Merlin as a present, has accidentally been turned into a stone statue by their young sorcerer friend Teddy, and they need to find four things to break the spell. They have just returned from finding the first one, an emerald rose from Mogul India. Now they must find a white and yellow flower and live its meaning for an hour. But the Magic Tree House takes them to the Swiss Alps around 1800 in the middle of winter. It’s freezing cold outside, and the ground is covered with snow. How will they find a flower in those conditions? And what will happen when they are caught in an avalanche?
There is a lot of interesting information woven into this story. Budding botanists will be pleased to know that Laurent Murith, abbot at the Monastery of St. Bernard in 1800, was a great naturalist who collected many specimens of flowers for the monastery library. Students of history will enjoy travelling with First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte from France through the Alps to Italy with 60,000 soldiers in 1800. And, of course, dog lovers will delight in getting to know the first Barry, the St. Bernard dog who saved more than forty lives between 1800 and 1812. The only somewhat negative note is that Jack and Annie use a lot of common euphemisms, such as “gee” and “heck.” Our boys long ago outgrew the reading level of these books, but my wife has continued to purchase each one as it comes out because she likes to read them. And I guess that I do too.