HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Soccer on Sunday: Magic Tree House #52
Author: Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrator: Sal Murdocca
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers, 2014
Related website: http://www.MagicTreeHouse.com (series)
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: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Osborne, Mary Pope. Soccer on Sunday: Magic Tree House #52 (published in 2014 Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York City, NY). What is the next stop for Jack and Annie of Frog Creek, PA? Merlin the Magician sends them tickets to one of the most exciting soccer games ever—the 1970 World Cup in Mexico City. Their mission is to learn a “secret of greatness” from the famous soccer player Pelé. But will they make it to Aztec Stadium in time? If they do, can they find Pelé in a crowd of 100,000 soccer fans? What is Pele’s secret? And how will the answer come?
The “Magic Tree House” books are a mixed bag, but they generally include some interesting historical and/or scientific material for young people. There are some who reject any references to “magic” in children’s literature, and they would likely want to avoid the series. However, for those who are willing to accept the fictional element of magic, Soccer on Sunday will certainly appeal to beginning readers who like soccer. Jack uses the euphemistic “heck” once, but there is not much else that is objectionable, and some geographical information about Mexico City is included. The next Magic Tree House book (#53) is Shadow of the Shark.