Customer Review

117 of 147 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Example, January 23, 2010
This review is from: Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 5-8: Night of the Ninjas, Afternoon on the Amazon, Sunset of the Sabertooth, and Midnight on the Moon (Paperback)
I am a first grade teacher and I beg you to NOT get any of these books. They are a terrible example for children learning to write. One of the many strategies I teach my students to use while spelling and writing is to ask themselves, "Does it look right?" because so much of what is taught is reinforced by exposure and experience. With the MTH books being such poor examples of grammar, sentence structure, and story development, what these children are learning (or un-learning) is detrimental. What in the world were the editor and author thinking??? They should be ashamed. I came on to write an honest review because there are so many that praise this series and I am glad to see there are people who realize how important correct grammar and syntax are in children's literature. I really thought I was alone due to the bizarre popularity of these books.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 5, 2011 6:36:10 PM PDT
R. Horn says:
Would you rather teach children captivated by books? Children like the ones mentioned here who will read four or eight chapter books in a day, or children turned off by staid, dull, even boring books?

Kids love chapter books where there's time to tell an actual story. They love series where the characters can be developed and plots can build from book to book. Kids love these books, and I'm of the view that a love of reading is one of the most important things to encourage a quality education.

Do, however, feel free to mention any other book series that combine an imaginative and captivating storyline with good sentence structure and correct grammar. I'll be happy to add them to the bookshelf too.

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 12:30:44 PM PST
I think if a book is written in a child's "voice" (in the character) the sentence structure is not going to be perfect, nor will the grammar be perfect. If you read Mark Twain and books ... the sentence structure is not perfect. I am surprised to hear a teacher not be able to distinquish between the voice of the characters, and the author's ability to write. Mostly these books are not read by first graders: they are read TO first graders to instill a love of reading.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 6:17:13 AM PDT
I took a chance and bought my 6 year old grandson
" Time Train to the Blitz " by Sophie McKenzie
Never dreamt it would be such a winner- he begged his mother to please ,read just one more chapter !

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2012 11:35:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 19, 2012 12:10:43 PM PDT
J. Phillips says:
@R. Horn: After re-reading my post I was more harsh than I realized! I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. A quality education is absolutely encouraged by a love of reading! I just don't think that MTH is the full package. I use to use it as a read-aloud but would find the students would check only those books out because there are so many, there was a never ending supply. Good literature doesn't have to come in a series either, I think a variety of genres and writing styles is best. As for your bookshelf, it would depend on the ability and interests of the reader. I think books that have stood the test of time are a great place to start. Two read-alouds that my students voted for and loved this year were Charlie and Chocolate Factory and Who Was Walt Disney. Thanks for the challenge!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2012 11:42:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 19, 2012 12:22:59 PM PDT
J. Phillips says:
@ Red: Please start by reading my reply to R. Horn. I also want to add, in contrast to your statement, many first graders and even kindergartners read these books. Regarding your assumption of my ability to distinguish between voice and an author's ability to write, they are one in the same as it is the author that gives the character her voice of which is prodigious importance in good literature. I was referring the to the stuff outside the quotes. By the time my little readers are of age to read Mark Twain, I hope they are wonderful composers of literature themselves! Thank you. :o)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2012 11:45:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 19, 2012 12:16:32 PM PDT
J. Phillips says:
@BMB: After re-reading my post I was more harsh than I realized! I wholeheartedly agree with what another comment stated, a quality education is absolutely encouraged by a love of reading! I'm so glad your grandson is begging for more story! I use to use it as a read-aloud because I could really bring to life all the adventure and excitement in the story with my tone and body language. I just don't think that MTH is the full package and if read at all, should be read on occasion. Maybe I'm being too worrisome about mentor texts at the hands of precious malleable minds. Happy reading to you all! :o)

Posted on Jun 8, 2014 4:20:56 PM PDT
Oh geez at least the kids are reading. You call yourself a teacher? Shame on you.

Posted on Feb 19, 2015 4:34:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2015 4:37:20 AM PST
Isabella2 says:
Thank you for your honest opinion. I like to buy books for my children that are interesting but also grammatically correct.
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