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Magic Tree House #40: Eve of the Emperor Penguin Kindle Edition

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Length: 130 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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About the Author

Mary Pope Osborne is the author of all the Magic Tree House books.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

CHAPTER SIX, All Fall Down

Nancy put away her radio and looked at Jack and Annie. “I don’t know how you two got past me.”
“We’re sorry,” said Annie.
“This is unbelievable!” said Nancy.
Jack couldn’t believe it, either. How did they mess up so badly?
“I’m so sorry I brought you here,” said Nancy.
“No, no, it’s our fault,” Jack said again.
“It’s mine, all mine, oh . . . ,” said Nancy. She seemed near tears. “You’re just little kids.” Not so little! thought Jack again. Gee!
A snowmobile rumbled outside, its engine warming up.
“Oh, dear,” said Nancy. “I’ve got to lead the group up a safe route to the crater, or they’ll be in trouble. But Pete should be back here in just a few minutes. Will you be okay by yourselves till then?”
“We’ll be fine, don’t worry,” said Annie.
“Good,” said Nancy. “Here, sweeties.” She poured some water into two cups and gave them to Jack and Annie. “Drink.” While they drank the water, Nancy spread a blanket on the floor and turned on the small heater.
“Lie down here,” she said. “Just rest.” She patted the blanket.
Jack and Annie lay down. Nancy covered them with another blanket. “If you get thirsty, drink more water,” she said.
“Thanks,” said Annie. Jack was too embarrassed to say anything. He felt like a preschool kid being put down for a nap.
“Okay!” Nancy said with a big sigh. “You kids nearly gave me a heart attack,” she repeated half to herself as she left the hut.
“Sorry,” said Jack.
But Nancy was gone.
Soon the roar and rumble of the snowmobiles filled the air as Nancy led the scientists and journalists up the mountain.
“We really messed up our mission this time,” said Jack, lying under the blanket.
“And we were doing so well, too,” said Annie. She sat up. “Can I see Morgan’s rhyme, please?”
Jack pulled the rhyme out of his pocket and handed it to Annie.
“Okay,” said Annie. She read aloud:
. . . then all fall down,
Till you come to the Cave of the Ancient Crown.
“I wonder if this counts as falling down?” said Annie. She put the rhyme into her pocket.
“I don’t think so,” said Jack. “I don’t know what that means. And there’s no ‘Ancient Crown’ in Antarctica. It’s all science and research and rules and helicopters and snowmobiles. . . . It’s the real world. . . . His voice trailed off.
“Well, I know one thing: I don’t want to waste time lying around here,” said Annie. She threw off the blanket and stood up. “At least I can take a few pictures while we wait for Pete.”
“You really feel like doing that?” said Jack.
“Not really, but I’m going to try,” said Annie.
“I don’t think you should,” said Jack.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon,” said Annie. “Maybe I’ll see an ancient crown.”
“Yeah, sure,” said Jack.
Annie put on her goggles and ski mask and headed outside.
Jack reached into his pack and pulled out their book. He took off his glove and looked up ancient crown in the index. He wasn’t surprised to find it wasn’t there.
Jack put the book back in his pack and took out his notebook. He read over his notes:
Go slow!
Stay with others!
Cracks in ice!
Never touch wildlife!
Jack’s hand was cold, so he put his glove back on. He put away his notebook, and then laid his head back down and closed his eyes. He just wanted to sleep. The heat from the small heater felt good. The sound of the snowmobiles was fading into the distance. As he started to fall asleep, his notes ran through his mind: Stay with others! Cracks in the ice!
Oh, no!
thought Jack. He sat straight up. He tossed off the blanket. He threw on his pack and rushed out of the hut.
The wind was blowing the snow into icy clouds. Jack pulled up his ski mask and lowered his goggles. “Annie!” he shouted.
“What?” Her voice came from the distance.
Jack caught sight of her. She was aiming her camera up the slope at the smoking crater of the mountain.
“You have to come back now!” he shouted, walking toward her. “You shouldn’t be walking around by yourself!”
“Okay, okay.” Annie put her camera in her pocket.
“Come on,” said Jack. He took Annie’s hand. They held on to each other and walked through the blowing snow, toward the hut. “Remember Nancy’s rules?” said Jack. “There are deep cracks in– AHHH!”
Before Jack could finish, the ground beneath him gave way and he and Annie crashed through a thin layer of snow into a deep crack.
Jack and Annie landed on a ledge of ice. Clumps of snow fell on top of them. Silence filled the air. A thin shaft of light came from the opening they had fallen through. It was at least ten feet above them.
“You okay?” Jack said.
“I think so,” said Annie.
They both sat up slowly. Annie peered over the edge of the ledge. “Uh-oh,” she said. “Look.”
Jack looked. He and Annie were on the ledge of a ravine that plunged thousands of feet down into darkness.
“This must be one of those hidden places in the mountain Nancy talked about,” said Jack, “the ones made by the lava and hot gases.”
“It’s incredible,” said Annie. She reached into her pocket for her camera.
As soon as Annie moved, Jack heard the ice crack. “Don’t move!” he said.
Annie froze.
“Forget pictures,” said Jack. “We’re facing serious danger here. If we move, the ice might break under us and we’ll fall thousands of feet.”
“Got it,” said Annie. She took a deep breath. “Maybe we should use the wand.”
“We can’t,” said Jack. “The wand won’t work. We can only use it for the good of others, not just ourselves.”
“Darn,” said Annie.
They were both still for moment, listening to the immense silence around them.
“Okay,” said Annie. “The way I see it, if we don’t use the wand, we’ll be stuck here forever. Soon we’ll make the wrong move and fall.”
“Right,” said Jack.
“So we’ll never find the secret of happiness for Merlin,” said Annie. “Merlin will fade away completely from sorrow. And Camelot will lose his magic forever.”
“Right,” said Jack.
“So maybe in this case, rescuing ourselves isn’t just our good,” said Annie. “Our good is also the good of others, like Merlin.”
“Good thinking,” said Jack. “Let’s try it.” He carefully twisted around and took off his backpack. Then he very slowly reached inside and pulled out the Wand of Dianthus.
“Okay. Five words . . . ,” Jack whispered. “I guess I’ll just wish for it to save you and me and Merlin. Hey, why didn’t we make that wish a long time ago?”
“We couldn’t,” said Annie. “We hadn’t tried our hardest yet.”
“Right. Get ready . . . ,”said Jack. He closed his eyes, held up the gleaming silver wand, and said:
Jack waited a moment. Then he opened his eyes and looked around. “What happened?” he said.
“Nothing,” said Annie.
“So I guess it didn’t work,” said Jack. He turned to put the wand away. “I guess the rules must–”
CRACK! The ice broke! The ledge gave way!
“AHHH!” called Jack and Annie as they fell through the twilight, down through darkness,
down into blackness.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1277 KB
  • Print Length: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (December 23, 2008)
  • Publication Date: December 23, 2008
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0013TX76Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,430 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Widely regarded among parents, teachers, and librarians for its power to instill a passion for reading, Mary Pope Osborne's award-winning Magic Tree House series is an international phenomenon and has sold more than 120 million books worldwide since its debut in 1992, and has been translated into 32 different languages in over 30 international markets. There are currently 51 Magic Tree House books and 28 Fact Trackers, the nonfiction companions to the fiction titles. All Magic Tree House books are available in print, as ebooks and Listening Library audio books, which are all narrated by Mary Pope Osborne. Visit for more information about the series, activities, and more.

The Magic Tree House Classroom Adventures Program is a free, comprehensive set of online educational resources for teachers developed by Mary Pope Osborne as gift to teachers, to thank them for their enthusiastic support of the series. Complete with lesson plans, curriculum guides, and creative activities, the Classroom Adventures Program incorporates every book in the series, including the nonfiction Fact Tracker titles, enabling teachers to build upon students' interest in Jack and Annie's adventures, while simultaneously meeting core curriculum standards across a multitude of subjects. Educators can learn more at

MARY POPE OSBORNE is an ardent advocate and supporter of children's literacy, and the award-winning author of more than 100 books for children and young adults, including novels, retellings of mythology and folklore, picture books, biographies, and mysteries. From 1993-1997, Ms. Osborne served as president of the Authors Guild, the country's leading organization for published authors. She has traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad, visiting schools and speaking on issues related to children's literacy. She recently spoke at the UN regarding the importance of worldwide literacy and was profiled on NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams for her continued efforts. Mary has donated over 250,000 books to children in need through her Gift of Books program. She resides in Connecticut. The creator of the Magic Tree House series, Ms. Osborne is also the coauthor of the companion Magic Tree House Fact Trackers series with her husband, WILL OSBORNE, and her sister, NATALIE POPE BOYCE.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have read many of the Magic Treehouse books while recently "studying" for my 6-year old's Magic Treehouse Birthday Party. She really loves this series, reads them ravenously, and plays "Jack and Annie" constantly with her friends. I read around 15 of them, up until now the first part of the series (this is my first of the Merlin Missions), and have found the books to be cute, quick and entertaining.

I have never found anything in them that concerns me for my daughter to be reading, which is more than I can say for many of the series out there for young children, whose main characters are often wisecracking, sibling-hating and constantly in trouble. I love the way Jack and Annie play together and protect one another, even while they don't always agree and have different styles and strengths.

In any case, regarding this specific book, I think it is a wonderful addition to the Magic Tree House Series, or if you child is new to the series, an excellent introduction. My daughter just got it for her birthday.. and I gave it a quick read because now that I've read so many, I wanted to see what the Merlin Missions were all about.

I was quite impressed. This book seemed a little bit more developed and engrossing than some of the early stories. Not in a way that is too difficult for kids, but just more substantial. It was a good mix of fantasy and fact, like usual, with easily digestible facts and lessons, in this case on penguins and the Antarctic.
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Format: Hardcover
This book, Eve of the Emperor Penguin is the third book in the Magic Tree House series my son has read. It was his favorite out of the three because it had more adventure in it. There was one nerve-wracking scene in it that he felt really built the suspense and made you worry for Jack and Annie. He adored the descriptions of the penguins, and especially liked reading about Penny.

This book combines all the fantastic elements of the Magic Tree House books: friendship, being brave, learning to follow instructions, how reading is important, and being kind to animals.

Easy and fun to read, Eve of the Emperor Penguin is a great, plotty addition to the Magic Tree House series.
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Format: Hardcover
REVIEWED BY: Wayne S. Walker (BN)

The "Magic Tree House" book #40 is now out. Jack and Annie of Frog Creek, PA, are taken by Morgan Le Fay's magic tree house to Antarctica to find the fourth secret of happiness and help Merlin get better. They encounter lots of snow, an angry petrel trying to attack a young penguin, researchers at McMurdo Station, the volcanic activity of Mt. Erebus, dangerous crevasses in the ice, and, of course, penguins. But will they locate the secret and be able to return to Camelot in time to save Merlin? The book offers a great basis for studying the history and geography of Antarctica and also for learning more about penguins.
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Format: Hardcover
I thought the book is really cool. It's really fascinating because people might learn about penguins when they're reading this book, especially if you read the research book about the penguins. I think that you should read a lot of the Magic Tree House books because they're really helpful; so are the research books. I think that Mary Pope Osborne did a really good job at writing her books. Some people tell me that some of her books are horrible but I disagree because for instance I like this book and so should you.
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Format: Hardcover
#40 in the Magic Treehouse 'Merlin Mission' series provides a rhyme immersing Jack and Annie in a mission to find the fourth secret of happiness for Merlin the magician. The magic tree house here takes them to Antarctica, where they meet scientists and reporters in modern times. How can they search for ancient artifacts in a modern setting? A delightful fantasy blends magic and science in another satisfying Magic Treehouse saga.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found out about Magic Tree House from my six-year old who began reading it in first grade. He has devoured each book that he borrowed from the school library. He loves it so much he even sent a letter to the author, Mary Pope Osborne, via the official site (which I finally let him a part of). The books in this series has a great many things to offer young readers and their parents alike: adventure, history, and improvement of reading skills. My son loves how history is interwoven into the stories and loves to let us know what he learned. We have since started our own home collection of the Magic Tree House series and look forward to reading many more adventures of Jack and Annie (the brother and sister team protagonist of the books).

Great book for budding bookworms!
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Format: Paperback
The Magic Tree House books are a MUST READ collection for all children. Unlike many other series for young readers, the Magic Tree House should be read in chronological order to best appreciate Jack and Annie's travels through time as they go on various missions; which are typically completed in four parts. Parents and educators will enjoy going along for the ride as much as their students! My daughter is a teenager now but she still gets excited when she sees a new tree house adventure has come out.
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when does Eve of the Emperor Penguin take place?
present day
Jun 1, 2010 by + |  See all 2 posts
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