Magic Tree House #15: Viking Ships at Sunrise

by Mary Pope Osborne

Paperback, 1998



Call number




Scholastic Ltd (1998), Edition: #15


Their magic tree house takes Jack and Annie back to a monastery in medieval Ireland, where they try to retrieve a lost book while being menaced by Viking raiders.

User reviews

LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
To begin with I will give an example of why I think Jack's notebook notes are dumb. Here's an example of one of the two notebook notes in this book (the books almost always have two one or two line notebook notes: "brave monks in Ireland." Though this is vaguely related to the story, it would be
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cruddy research if Jack were ever actually planning on using his notes. For an example of good research notes, read the Magic School bus chapter books, which are on the same reading level, more interesting, better written, and admit to their historical inaccuracies.

That brings me to what really bothered me about this book. Jack and Annie head to an Ireland filled with historical falcities, generalizations, and misconceptions that anyone who's taken a basic history course on the Vikings in Ireland would recognise as completely wrong.
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LibraryThing member jcjd
In all of the Magic Tree House books, Mary Pope Osborne sends you on an adventure in search of certain materials, some of historical meanings. You journey off to different places with a cautious eight year old boy named Jack and his spunky seven year old sister, Annie.
Jack and Annie came across a
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mysterious tree house in the woods near their Pennsylvania home one day. The tree house is filled with books of all kinds. They soon realize this is a magic tree house that would take them on a journey to any place in one of these books. If they pointed to a picture in one of the books and wished to go there, the tree house would take them there.
I have never been to Ireland or for that matter read much about Ireland’s history, but author Mary Pope Osborn can take you back in time and compose a story so vividly that you yourself become a part of it. And when you have completed the story, you leave with true facts about the subject at hand.
On this particular voyage, Jack and Annie are asked to help their friend Morgan le Fay (a magical librarian from King Arthur’s time) find a story with the words Serpens Magna written on it in ancient Ireland. She goes on to tell them about the Dark Ages in Europe. “Why is it called dark?” said Jack. “[It was] the time after the fall of the Roman Empire.” “It was a difficult time,” said Morgan. “People had to work very hard just to feed and clothe themselves.”
With worry in his eye, Jack and Annie pointed to the cover of Ireland and made their wish. The wind blew hard and the tree house spun franticly then all of a sudden everything stopped. Jack and Annie were on the edge of a cliff in Ireland! Not knowing what to do next Jack looked into the Ireland book. It told of monks and civilization. “If we find civilization, I think we’ll find the lost story,” he said. Jack grabbed his ever trusting notebook and jotted down “brave monks in Ireland”.
Jack and Annie started up the cliff but Annie tripped. Jack thought it was too dangerous to go any further when all of a sudden a rope came falling down. It hung dangling beside them. Of course the ever so spunky Annie talks Jack into climbing up the rope. Who or what lies on the other side of the rope? Is it civilization or a Viking? At the other end of the rope was a monk who helped Jack and Annie to his monastery. Could this be the place where the lost book is?
The monk introduced the two of them to Brother Michael. He was hard at work writing a book about stories that were gathered from storytellers “…who sing of the tales of long ago…” See back then there were no computers in which to type the books. All the books were hand written. This particular book is the one Jack and Annie have been searching for. They were to come back later when Brother Michael had finished.
As Jack and Annie were on their way back to the tree house they noticed that the flock of gulls above circled around in fury. “Jack looked at the horizon one last time. His heart nearly stopped. A ship was outlined against the sky! Behind it he saw two smaller ships.” “Oh, no,” Jack whispered “Vikings!” Jack and Annie went back to warn the monks. The monks told of another way to get to the magic tree house without crossing paths with the Vikings. When they reached the bottom of the cliff, Jack and Annie came across the Viking ships. To stay out of view, Jack and Annie crept into one of the Viking ships. The ship’s rope, that was anchoring it to the shore, had let loose and Jack and Annie drifted out to sea. There they will come face to face with a serpent monster. Will they ever make it back to the magic tree house? Did Brother Michael ever give them the book Morgan le Fay wanted them to find?
This is a wonderful book for second through fourth grade reading levels. Mary Pope Osborne entices her readers with such vivid writing. I believe first grade and late kindergarten age students would be able to focus on such a story being read to them. She incorporates many historical facts within the story. The character, Jack is always researching ideas in the particular book they are exploring at that time. He also records different observations he sees or hears into his notebook. What a good way to incorporate the science process skill - observation.
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LibraryThing member Melanielooper
This book was about a brother and sister, Jack and Annie, who have a tree house that can take them to different places. They can point at a picture in a book and go there with the help of Morgan le Fay, a magical librarian. They were asked to go to Ireland and recover an ancient book from the
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monks. When they land on the island it was very foggy and they couldn't see very well. One of the monks lowered a rope which helped them up a steep cliff. Once on top the monk showed them around their monastery. When they get to the library the children find the monk who is writing the book that they were supposed to bring back. Unfortunately the monk is not yet finished with the book and the monk tells them they must come back and get it. As the children head back to the tree house on the shore, they see the viking ships and run back up the cliff to warn the monks. The monks scamper to their secret hide-out and just then the monk gives them the book in fear that it will be destroyed. The children once again head back to their tree house, but this time they must look out for vikings. They see a group of them so they hide in one of the viking ships. The anchor rope loosens and they find themselves heading out to sea. They ask for help and just then a serpent comes out of the water and guides their ship back to the shore and they make it safely to their tree house.

This was a fun book about vikings. It was nice to read something suspenseful. This was an easy reader book and was a chapter book. I really liked the comradery of the brother and sister. They worked really well together and were very brave.

In the classroom, I could use this book to teach about the vikings. I could have the students make up their own short stories about an adventure they've had.
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LibraryThing member ecosborne
Jack and Annie travel to the Dark Ages to collect a book for Morgan and along the way almost get captured by Vikings but escape and then are helped by a sea serpent when they get lost in a storm. These are quite cool stories about reading.
LibraryThing member benuathanasia
I picked this book up expecting to feel brain cells dying as I read it. I was very wrong; I can see why my students enjoy this series so much. It's very well written (albeit extremely simplistic) and interesting. It was an extremely quick read and is educational, to boot!
LibraryThing member thuvan0301
Jack and Annie traveled back to the Dark Age of Europe tried to save the book with title:Serpens Magna of Ireland Long Ago. They met brother Patric who took them to the monastery of the monk. They met Brother Michael who were finishing the book they were looking for. Because the Viking came,
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Brother Michael handed them the unfinished book which contain many but not all story of Ireland.
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LibraryThing member Sulick1
This book is a great way to transition readers to reading chapter books. It takes readers on an adventure while instilling in them a love of reading. First, the plot instantly captures the attention of readers as the main characters embark on a magical journey to Ancient Ireland to complete a
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mission. The two main characters travel back in time in order to get a very important ancient book, which is very exciting and thrilling to read about since it is fantasy. Young readers would be very engaged by the supernatural and magical components. Next, there are several pictures throughout the book, which makes it easier for students to visualize and comprehend what is going on in the text. If they are having difficulty with the words or overwhelmed by the long passages in the text, the pictures serve as a nice break for them while still engaging them in the story. Additionally, this book teaches readers about the Dark Ages in Ancient Ireland through the dialogue. For example, Jack carries around a book with him that he refers to in order to complete his mission. One passage he read stated “The early Middle Ages were once known as the ‘Dark Ages’ because learning and culture nearly vanished throughout Europe. Scholars today praise the brave Irish monks who helped keep Western civilization alive” (pg. 12). If readers have a particular interest in the topic, they will be engaged by learning through the plot about different facts regarding Ancient Ireland. There is also a list of additional facts about Ireland and Vikings after the story ends. This is great for extending knowledge about the topic, as well as bookending the story by following up with facts that readers can easily remember after an exciting story. The main purpose of this book is to transition early readers to chapter books and provide them with knowledge about Vikings and Ancient Ireland through a fantasy story.
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LibraryThing member imamarie
Viking Ships At Sunrise (Magic Tree House, No. 15) by Mary Pope Osborne. In this story of the Magic Treehouse series, Jack and Annie are transported to Ireland. They have an adventure complete with Vikings and a monk who helps them along the way.
I found this book to be interesting. I wish it have
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depicted more of Irelands nature and Viking traditions.
For story extenders we would talk about Islands and ships. I would add Styrofoam Islands[Styrofoam inserts that were used to pack electronics in a box] to the sand water table. We could also have a boat race from boat made in the art area from egg cups, ivory soap bars and other floatables as well as collage materials.
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LibraryThing member bigkristin
There are three main reasons why I like this book. I like this book because it is a sequel. As young readers, children really enjoy reading novels where the plot changes but the characters stay consistent. The Magic Tree House series are fascinating and intriguing. They tend to leave the reader
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wanting more. This particular story had a great plot, inviting both suspense and resolutions. Another reason why I like this book are the characters themselves. Osborne did an excellent job by developing the characters to be portrayed as thrill-seeking siblings, who both have a love for adventure. Annie and Jack are both young but motivated children who have a passion for exploration. They love learning new things and their courageous attitudes makes the reader fall in love. Lastly, this book is a good read because of its fiction fantasy style of writing. Young readers love to read about events that could never happen. Imagination is key when reading these stories. The magic tree house has its mystical powers that allows Annie and Jack to travel to wherever they wish. If this isn't an eye-catching story concept then I do not know what would be. The overall message of this book is to follow your instincts whether it be right or wrong. The idea was to complete the mission that Morgan le Fay assigned for the two children.
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LibraryThing member ladypembroke
All I have to say is... IRELAND. Hehehehe...
LibraryThing member Jahnavee
Master Librarians Jack and Annie use a magical treehouse to travel to ancient libraries to save lost stories. On their third mission as Master Librarians, the children travel to ancient Ireland during the dark ages and time of the Vikings. With the help of kind monks, their lost story and a sea
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monster they succeed in bringing the book home.
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Original language


Original publication date



0590706438 / 9780590706438

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