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Hour of the Olympics (Magic Tree House #16): 03/07/10
Hour of the Olympics is the sixteenth Magic Tree House book and the final of the lost stories arc. In this one Jack and Annie travel back in time to Greece to watch the Olympic games. Annie ends up in danger because women and girls weren't allowed to the games.
In school I read about a half dozen books on the ancient Olympics. Every four years when the Olympics were being played the history of the games were assigned reading. I can't remember a single one covering the banning of women from watching the games. When Sean started reading Hour of the Olympics I expected another glorified history of sportsmanship.
Mary Pope Osborne though decided to take things in a very different direction by focusing instead on women in ancient Greece. By showing up in the games Annie is in danger of arrest or worse by violating the rules and traditions by simply being there. Annie further exasperates things by ignoring the warnings and going in disguise to a chariot race. Annie learns that the poet they've come to meet is a woman. She circumvents society's rules by writing stories anonymously.
Here in the book though was Sean's aha moment when he realized most of his favorite books are written by women. He spent much of the evening after he finished the book talking about how unfair it was to live back then or any place where people are limited by similar rules. It's good to see a book make him think so much.
Other Magic Tree House books reviewed here:
Comment #1: Tuesday, February, 2, 2010 at 01:52:20
I thought the Titanic and Civil War stories were suprisingly moving, even for an adult. The rest of the stories fluctuated between 3 and 5 stars for me. I generally enjoyed the stories with animals the most. Of the ones you haven't read yet, maybe try Civil War and the one with gorillas. I also just read the first Merlin Mission, #29, and it has a lot of wonderful traditional fantasy elements that you might enjoy. I liked thinking about how our little guys will use it as a frame of reference for all of their future reading about Camelot, fairy circles, etc.
Comment #2: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 11:50:15
During the holidays we were reading two or three Magic Tree House books a week. My son got up to #27 (Thanksgiving on Thursday) before deciding he needed a break. I made it up to #28 (High Tide in Hawaii). I am spacing out the reviews to avoid clogging my blog with nothing but Magic Tree House reviews.