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Merlin “knows you both have a great desire to fight for the good. And he knows you use the gift of imagination very well. Those are two special qualities needed to succeed in any quest,” Morgan. –Christmas in Camelot
Christmas in Camelot
Magic Tree House #29
by Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie are on their most exciting mission yet! It begins with a simple invitation to spend Christmas Eve in Camelot, a magical place that exists only in myth and fantasy. What Jack and Annie don’t know yet is that the invitation will send them on a quest to save Camelot itself—not just from destruction, but from being forgotten forever. Can they succeed, even though Camelot’s greatest knights have failed?
When Jack and Annie arrive at Arthur’s castle, they find the kingdom has been robbed of all joy. The Christmas Knight appears with a warning—someone must go on a quest to retrieve the Water of Memory and Imagination. Only Jack and Annie are willing to go on the quest. The Christmas Knight tells the kids a riddle, which will help them succeed. However, their journey is filled with danger and magic.
Readers will relate to Jack and Annie, who want to fight to save Camelot. Despite the characters’ young age, they work together to complete the quest. With a little imagination, a little magic, and a lot of bravery, the two kids are able to save Camelot. While the setting is in Camelot, King Arthur and his knights only appear at the very beginning and end of the story. However, readers will enjoy trying to solve the riddle and seeing how Jack and Annie persevere until the end.
Proficient readers who are ready for chapter books will enjoy Christmas in Camelot’s fast-paced plot. 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 and monsters to life. The author’s note includes the Celtic Myths that Christmas in Camelot was based on. The back of the book also includes fun Christmas craft activities that readers can enjoy.
Anyone who wants to add a little magic and mystery to the holidays will enjoy Christmas in Camelot. Even though the story is part of the Magic Tree House Series, the book can be read as a stand-alone. For more time travel and historical fiction, add the Imagination Station series by Marianne Hering & Paul McCusker to your reading list.
- Jack and Annie must fight the Keepers, four monsters that look similar to dragons. “The four Keepers hissed louder than before. Great balls of blue fire exploded from their mouths and nostrils! Jack and Annie slashed the air with their fiery weapons, jabbing at the Keepers. They fought fire with fire, blue flame with purple flame.” The monsters retreat back into their caves.
Drugs and Alcohol
- King Arthur and his knights “were gnawing meat off bones and slurping wine from heavy goblets.”
- Darn is said once.
- Jack and Annie have a magic tree house that allows them to travel to the past. The two kids find an invitation in the tree house. When Jack holds the invitation and makes a wish, the magic works.
- A “Dark Wizard” cast a spell over Camelot that “robbed Camelot of all its joy.”
- In order to break the Dark Wizard’s spell, Jack and Annie must travel to the Otherworld, “an ancient, enchanted land beyond the edge of earth.” The two kids must bring back a cup of the Water of Memory and Imagination.
- When King Arthur tries to stop Jack and Annie from going on a quest, the Christmas Knight “raised his gloved hand in the air. In an instant, the room fell deathly quiet.” Everyone was frozen in place.
- The Christmas Knight gives Jack and Annie a cloak that makes them invisible.
- Jack and Annie fight the monsters. The kids drink the Water of Memory and Imagination and the water gives Jack bravery.
- Jack drops the cup of Water of Memory and Imagination. Then, “a golden cloud was rising from the cracks between all the stones of the floor. . . It soared across the dark room like a bright light, then swooped back out into the night.” The water unfreezes King Arthur and his knights. The water also brings laughter and celebration back to Camelot.
- A white stag helps the kids on their journey. When they return to Camelot, the stag turns into “an old man with a long white beard.”