The 26-Story Treehouse: Pirate Problem

Life is never boring in a 13-story treehouse, especially when you add 13 more stories! Andy and Terry have added a bumper car rink, a skate ramp with a crocodile-pit hazard, a mud-fighting arena, an antigravity chamber, an ice-skating pond with real ice-skating penguins, a mechanical bull named Kevin, an Automatic Tattoo Machine, an ice-cream parlor with seventy-eight flavors, and the Maze of Doom–a maze so complicated nobody has escaped. Fun seems endless in their new 26-story treehouse!

Distracted by their new, amazing stories, Andy and Terry do not notice their new book is due Friday until their publisher, Mr. Big Nose, threatens to fire them. While writing their book about how Andy, Terry, and Jill, their animal-friendly neighbor, met, Captain Woodenhead suddenly appears. Threatening to destroy the treehouse and enslave Andy, Terry, and Jill on his ship, the trio must outwit and outsmart the captain and his evil crew before time runs out. Can the boys save their treehouse and fight off the pirates all while writing their new book?

The Treehouse Series is an imaginative series for young readers who are reluctant to read. Griffiths and Denton created a silly story that will have young readers laughing from beginning to end. Along with their crazy slapstick scenarios, Griffiths and Denton teach readers about the importance of friendship. Andy, Terry, and Jill must work together throughout the book to solve their complex problems. Without each other, Andy, Terry, and Jill would never have been able to perform “open shark surgery,” fight off pirates or escape the Maze of Doom. Also, the funny black-and-white illustrations contribute to a positive reading experience and will help younger readers transfer their reading skills from picture books into full-fledged novels.

However, The 26-Story Treehouse may upset some readers. Before his entire crew dies in a terrible shipwreck, Captain Woodenhead’s head is bitten off by a giant sea monster. Later in the book, he is pictured being eaten alive by man-eating sharks.

The 26-Story Treehouse has very simple vocabulary and sentence structure, reading more like a comic book rather than an actual chapter book. In the end, The 26-Story Treehouse is an easy-to-read story that will teach the reader practical lessons about friendship while causing readers to giggle.

Sexual Content

  • None


  • During a sea battle, Captain Woodenhead fights the large, greedy fish nicknamed Gorgonzola. “The pirate captain drew his cutlass and tried to spear Gorgonzola from the deck of his ship, but as he leaned over the side, the fiendish Gorgonzola leaped right out of the water and bit the pirate’s head clean off his neck!” After fashioning a new wooden head for himself, Captain Woodenhead was swallowed whole. Inside Gorgonzola’s stomach, he found some dynamite and his old head, which was moldy and waterlogged. After putting his head back on his shoulders, “he did what any self-respecting pirate captain would have done. He collected up all the barrels of dynamite, tied them together, lit the fuse, and blasted that beast to pieces!” Gorgonzola, a large sea monster, is pictured blasted to pieces for two pages.
  • If Andy and Terry don’t open the treehouse and let Captain Woodenhead in, he threatens to blow up the treehouse. The Captain yells, “Men, prepare the canon.”
  • After tricking the captain’s crew, Andy, Terry, and Jill are chased by Captain Woodenhead with a cutlass and gun in his hand. This is a one-page event.
  • At the end of the book, Captain Woodenhead threatens to kill Andy, Terry, and Jill. Then, the captain falls into the man-eating shark tank and there’s “a wild frenzy of flashing fins and teeth, and then all is quiet.” The Captain is eaten alive. This is illustrated over two pages and does show him in the mouth of a shark, but there is no blood or gore involved.

Drugs and Alcohol

  • Jill uses “Dr. Numbskull’s Sleepy Shark Sleeping Potion” to sedate the man-eating sharks before their “open shark surgery.” During the surgery, the shark’s kidneys and intestines are shown along with some of the ridiculous things they have eaten.


  • After getting lost in the Maze of Doom, one of the penguins blames it on his “stupid GPS!”
  • Andy thinks that using their man-eating shark tank as a washing machine was one of Terry’s dumbest ideas. “You know, Terry has done some dumb things in the past, but this has got to be the dumbest ever!”
  • When he struggles to put on his swimsuit before he enters the shark tank, Andy says, “Stupid tight wetsuit.”
  • Captain Woodenhead enslaves Andy and Terry and forces them to swab the poop deck. Terry exclaims, “Oh, gross, there’s poop on the poop deck.”


  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

by Matthew Perkey

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