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Book Review

This fantasy adventure book by Mary Pope Osborne is the eighth in the " Magic Tree House" series and is published by Random House.

Midnight on the Moon is written for kids ages 5 to 8. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

The book begins with a prologue explaining the history of the magic tree house that 8-year-old Jack and his younger sister, Annie, have found in the woods. After entering the tree house and looking at the books inside, the children are transported through time to exotic locations and have seen dinosaurs, Egyptian tombs, pirates, ninjas and an Amazon rainforest.

During one of their visits, they met an enchantress named Morgan Le Fay, who asked the children to free her from a magic spell by finding four items that begin with the letter M. So far they have found a moonstone, a mango, and a mammoth bone. A mouse named Peanut has helped them find these items.

This story begins as Annie wakes her brother at midnight. She wants to go to the magic tree house. Jack insists they won’t be able to find it in the dark, but Annie explains they can make their way by the light of the full moon. They arrive at the tree house to find the last three items they have collected still on the floor. Annie reminds Jack that they need to locate a fourth item to free Morgan from her spell. Peanut sits on top of a book titled Hello Moon, which Annie opens. Although the book they touch usually indicates where they will travel, Jack reminds Annie that there is no air on the moon, which makes it an impossible destination. They guess that they may be traveling to a place where astronauts are trained. The minute Jack points to a picture in the book, winds begin to blow, and the tree house starts to spin.

When the tree house lands, the children find themselves inside a room that the book describes as a moon base built in the year 2031. Jack realizes they have traveled into the future. He reads how this moon base is where the astronauts eat and sleep. As he copies a drawing of it into his notebook, Annie leaves to explore. Jack reminds his sister that there is no air on the moon, and they will have to wear space suits to keep from getting too hot or too cold. The book says that the space suits will provide enough air to breathe for two hours. The space suits remind Annie of the armor they wore in a castle on one of their journeys. The helmets are equipped with two-way radios so the children can talk and hear each other. When Annie presses a button on the wall of the moon base, a door opens, and they step out onto the moon’s dusty surface.

Jack and Annie can see the planet Earth far away. As they walk, they bounce like rabbits over the moon’s surface because there is no gravity to hold them down. Soon they discover a moon buggy and decide to drive it in search of the fourth clue. The buggy bounces over craters toward an opening between two mountains. They stop when they see an American flag pushed into the moon dust. A sign next to the flag says men from Earth put it there in 1969. These men came in peace. Jack and Annie leave a sign next to it saying that they are the first kids on the moon and that they have come in peace for all children.

A giant individual dressed in a space suit floats toward the children. Jack and Annie are afraid of him and jump into the buggy to drive back to the moon base. Before they get there, a meteorite falls in front of them, blocking their way. They are able to jump up and over the meteorite, but when they land, the moon man is waiting for them. Jack writes their names on a piece of paper and hands it to the moon man, who draws a map of stars on the back. The children realize that the word "map" begins with the letter M and hope that this is what they have been looking for. Before they can ask him what it means, he disappears.

Jack and Annie return to the moon base and take off their space suits. They put the map next to the other three objects, and Jack asks his sister for the book about Pennsylvania so the tree house will take them home. But the book isn't there. The children worry that the map isn’t what they were meant to find. Then Jack tries connecting the map of stars into a constellation and sees that they form the shape of a mouse. Peanut squeaks, and they realize that the mouse is their fourth clue. The children chant the names of the four items over and over. As they do, Peanut the mouse transforms into Morgan le Fey, the enchantress.

Morgan explains that she has been with them all along in the form of a mouse, protecting them and helping them find the items that would free her from the spell put on her by Merlin the magician. The tree house transports the three of them back to Frog Creek. Morgan thanks the children for helping her and reminds them that the universe is filled with wonders.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems

The tree house is a magic place that the children can see but others can't. Morgan le Fay is an enchantress. Her magic allows the tree house to transport the children through time and to the places they find in the books that are in the tree house. She is its owner. Annie is able to see the tree house because she believes in magic. In a previous book, Morgan le Fay became trapped by a magic spell. She needs four items to break the spell. The children travel through time to find those items for her.

The children chant to break a spell. Morgan transforms from a mouse to an enchantress and tells the children that there are certain wise individuals who can understand the language of animals and other creatures.

Authority Roles

Morgan le Fay, as a mouse and later as herself, supervises the children, guiding their steps and advising them about what is necessary and important.





Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at ThrivingFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

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For additional parenting resources, download a free issue of Thriving Family, a marriage and parenting magazine published by Focus on the Family, at ThrivingFamily.com/magazine.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

5 to 8


Mary Pope Osborne






Record Label



Random House


On Video

Year Published




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