The indefatigable Mary Pope Osborne returns with a new title in her popular Magic Tree House series. Set in occupied France during World War II, Danger in the Darkest Hour, the first Magic Tree House Super Edition, provides the same reading level as the Merlin Missions (books 29 through 52) but with a longer story and more complex plot.
In their new adventure, Jack and Annie travel through time to June 4, 1944, just days before the Allies’ invasion of Normandy. Merlin has sent their friends, the young enchanters Teddy and Kathleen, to London to bolster the hopes of British leaders during the dark days of the war. Teddy and Kathleen have become secret agents in the SOE, the Special Operations Executive. (Known as “Churchill’s Secret Army,” the real SOE sabotaged and fought the Nazis throughout occupied Europe.) But now Teddy desperately needs Jack and Annie’s help. Kathleen has disappeared while on a mission to France, so Jack and Annie must parachute into Normandy to find her.
Complete with maps and an overview of WWII, Danger in the Darkest Hour introduces sophisticated themes in an accessible and exciting package appropriate for young readers. Clearly, Osborne still has the magic touch.
Deborah Hopkinson lives near Portland, Oregon. Her most recent book for young readers is The Great Trouble.