Mary Pope Osborne's
Classroom Adventures Program

Where Will Jack & Annie Go Next?

One of the questions I’m most often asked is: Where do my ideas for Magic Tree House books come from? When I first started writing the series, I talked to countless kids and teachers about where they’d most like Jack and Annie to go. For years as I toured schools and asked questions, I was amazed at how similar all the suggestions were. No matter where I was, or what sort of group I was talking to, the same ideas would keep cropping up – such as mummies, pirates, the rainforest, ninjas, the moon, under the sea, the Titanic, Hawaii, and Antarctica. I would get my audience to vote on different ideas that I was thinking about, as well. I’d even get them to vote on cover ideas and titles for my books.

Now, as I’m starting to plan book #51, I still count on readers to share their thoughts with me. Not long ago, I asked a crowd to choose among four possibilities: ancient Mayan times, a World Cup soccer game, a trip down the Nile River, and the Lewis & Clark Expedition. The trip down the Nile seemed to catch the crowd’s attention, so I began doing my research. To my joy, I discovered that a very interesting person spent a winter on the Nile in the mid-1800’s. Her name was Florence Nightingale. Her journey was life-changing, and put her on the path to becoming the astonishing human being that she became as a nurse in the Crimea.

So, yes, Jack, Annie and Florence Nightingale are now encountering one another on the River Nile. Do I know yet what will happen to them? No. But I might be getting my next audience to vote on several ideas. So, thanks to everyone big and small who’s given me good advice over the years. I’m very grateful.

Classroom Adventures Program
More Resources for Educators
PlusPortals Sign In

Can't access your account?