HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Stallion by Starlight: Magic Tree House #49
Author: Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrator: Sal Murdocca
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers, republished in 2014
ISBN-13: 978-0307980403 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0307980405 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0307980441 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0307980448 (Paperback)
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)
Recommended reading level: Ages 7 – 10
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Osborne, Mary Pope. Stallion by Starlight: Magic Tree House #49 (published in 2013 by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House Inc., New York City, NY). Time-traveling brother-and-sister duo Jack and Annie must find four secrets of greatness for Merlin the magician. On their first such adventure, they travel back in time to ancient Macedonia and meet Alexander the Great. However, young Alexander is prideful, bossy, and not very nice. His father, King Philip II, has purchase a bunch of new horses, including a black stallion named Bucephalus. Alexander wants the horse for his own, but the animal seems rather wild, and Philip intends to get rid of it. Is there anything that Jack and Annie can do to help tame Bucephalus, enable Alexander to keep him, and in the process learn one secret of greatness?
Even though our boys are long past the age range for the Magic Tree House books, and in fact are now out of school completely, my wife has continued to buy them because she enjoys reading about the adventures of Jack and Annie herself. Some object to them because of the magical element, but others feel that the magic is more of the fairy tale type rather than anything akin to actual sorcery or is just used as a literary vehicle to get the two back in time without necessarily promoting it. In Stallion by Starlight the euphemism “gosh” appears once. The basic benefit of the series is introducing young readers to important historical figures and events in a fun way that captures their attention and makes the story interesting.