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"Is Annie a treasure? Jack wondered. He’d always thought of a 'treasure' as something super valuable, like gold or silver or rare jewels. But right now Annie seemed more valuable than any of those things. She seemed like the most valuable thing in the world." –Blizzard of the Blue Moon
Blizzard of the Blue Moon
Magic Tree House Merlin Mission #8
by Mary Pope Osborne
In order to save a hidden unicorn, Jack and Annie time travel to New York City during the Great Depression. The siblings must find where the unicorn is hidden. In order to save the unicorn, they have to find it before the blue moon.
As they look for the unicorn, Jack and Annie get lost in a snow storm. They ride in the subway, find help in Belvedere Castle, and go to an art museum. During their adventure, two people follow them. Jack and Annie think the people are their friends, but they aren’t. Instead, the mysterious people are trying to capture the unicorn.
While the kids are lost in New York, most of the suspense is created by the people following them. In the end, Jack and Annie discover a dark wizard has sent these two people to capture the unicorn. Most of Blizzard of the Blue Moon lacks action, and there are several unrealistic events. However, finding the unicorn adds magic and whimsy to the story and produces a happy conclusion.
Proficient readers who are ready for chapter books will enjoy Blizzard of the Blue Moon’s mystery. While the siblings do not spend much time at each stop, readers will get a glimpse of some historical places. An author’s note includes the information about the Great Depression and the places Jack and Annie visit.
The large text and black and white illustrations every 2 to 7 pages make the story accessible to young readers. The large, detailed illustrations bring the characters to life. As the eighth book in the Merlin Missions Series, fans of the Magic Tree House Series will enjoy this new adventure. However, this part of the series should be read in order because several characters return from the previous books.
Jack and Annie are likable characters who both want to help others. While the story has mystery, none of the events are scary. However, some parents might not like how Jack and Annie use a “rhyme” book to cast spells. With magic, mystery, and two siblings who fight for good, the Magic Tree House series has wide appeal. With 50+ books, the Magic Tree House Series will keep younger readers entertained for years. Readers who want to spend more time jumping into the past should add the Time Jumpers Series by Wendy Mass to their reading list.
- A boy pushes Jack, who falls into the snow.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Annie says “Oh, darn” one time.
- A girl tells the unicorn, “You are coming with us, stupid, like it or not.”
- Jack and Annie use a book of rhymes. When one of them say a rhyme, it helps them. For example, when Annie is lost in a storm, Jack uses a rhyme. He says, “Treasure forever must never be lost! Um-motta cal, um-motta bost!” After he says the rhyme, Annie appears.
- A unicorn was “rescued by magic weavers in the Netherlands. To keep him safe, they used their art to hide him in their tapestries.”
- On the night of the blue moon, the unicorn will come out of the tapestry when someone says his name. A girl says, “Come, come, my lovely Dianthus, stand up now. Come out of that old rug. . .” After she says the unicorn’s name, he appears next to the girl.
- A girl tries to catch the unicorn by putting “the black rope around the unicorn’s neck.”
- To keep the unicorn safe, Jack reads the rhyme book. “Known from high, out of the sky, Ee-no-fain-ee-ro-lie.” Fog covers the ground and keeps the unicorn safely hidden.
- After Jack and Annie walk through Central Park, statues begin to move. For example, “When they passed the statue of the winged angel, Jack thought he saw her move her great wings.”
- In order to keep the unicorn safe, Jack turns the girl and her friend into ducks. Merlin tells them that the spell will wear off in a few days.