Around the World with 48 Books
In 1992, Mary Pope Osborne published the first book in her 48-book Magic Tree House series, Dinosaurs Before Dark.
In 2012, 13-year-old Gladys Achieng met Jack and Annie for the first time via her Kindle from the Menara Primary School, a school that’s connected to the Dr. Robert John Ouko Memorial Community Library, in Koru, Kenya, as a Worldreader partner school.
Since then, Gladys and her 12-year-old sister, Grace, have read every one of the 48 books–-in fact, Gladys says she can read one in only an hour! Grace reports it takes her a little longer–-an hour and a half. For girls who, until last year, had very little access to books, this is amazing, and is a perfect example of how e-readers help to fight illiteracy in Africa and motivate African students to great heights.
The Magic Tree House books tell the stories of siblings Jack and Annie as they travel through time and space to visit civilizations and countries all over the world and throughout history and even the moon! Jack and Annie also visit Camelot to perform quests for Merlin the Magician. As she reads, Gladys travels with them. She said, “I like to explore and learn new things and Magic Tree House stories have all that I need to travel there within my mind.”
Grace appreciates the magic and exciting fantasy of a story wherein the characters can just wish to go to a new and interesting place, and are instantly transported there. This isn’t an option for these sisters, but they are both working hard to make their dreams of traveling the world come true. Both Grace and Gladys say they want to be flight attendants, so they can see as much of our world as they can, just like Annie and Jack. No word on whether they have plans to travel to the past together, but they have very clear plans about their futures, and how they expect to get there! Grace says of achieving her dream that it begins with reading as many stories as possible, learning different languages and excelling in her class work.
Both sisters recommend to fellow pupils is that they should always, at all opportunities, borrow the e-readers and read more stories–read as much as possible! With a love of reading this deep, Worldreader knows the future of reading in Africa is in many excellent young hands.