72 Christian Books Like the Magic Tree House Series – Big Books, Little Ears

These fabulous chapter books are even better than the magic tree house series. (I know, if your kid loves the magical tree house, he might not believe me, but it’s true.)

It’s no secret that I have some problems with the magic tree house books. however, they are classics for a reason: they hold children’s attention! These secular and Christian chapter books like The Magical Tree House will capture your children’s attention, but without the problems of sneaking out of the house and having a vague interpretation of the word “story.”

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Related: Here’s my full review of the magic tree house series.

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Christian series of books such as the magic tree house

the imagination station from focus on the family

the imagination station series is basically if the magic tree house series met jesus. really. Two elementary school cousins ​​go on adventures back in time, but with their Christian worldview. It fixes everything I don’t like about the magical tree house: his parents know about his adventures, there’s no supernatural element in the historical setting, there are consequences for sin, and it’s all very historically accurate. I think you should have it.

Also, you don’t have to listen to Adventures in Odyssey to enjoy or understand the books. These books are spinoffs from the world of the odyssey, but my kids don’t like radio dramas and have only listened to a handful of episodes, but they really enjoy these books and audiobooks.

Note that there are several authors who have worked on this project. however, I find it to be consistent across all 26 books, in terms of quality. (yes. 26 books. I want to keep the kids busy…) also the audiobooks are also very good. again, a variety of readers throughout the series though, so don’t get too attached to any one reader.

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highly recommended. Publisher recommended for ages 6-12, but I started reading them aloud to my kids when my daughter was 3 1/2, and we had no problems, especially if you only read one chapter a day. so don’t be afraid to start before 6.

the secret of the hidden scrolls of m. J. thomas

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The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series has a brother and sister, and their dog, Hank, who go back in time and experience the biblical stories as they happen. so basically if magic tree house went to a small bible college in a midwestern farming town.

The one thing I think you should really ponder before putting this into the hands of your little reader is that there is always a physical presence of satan. in every story there is a dark “bad guy” who is actually satan. There are also spiritual “good guys”, like the angel Michael, who help children.

So, that’s neither good nor bad, really. but it’s certainly something to keep in mind. I believe there are real spiritual forces at work in the world. however, I also believe that because people are so evil in our hearts, we do a lot of bad things on our own. therefore, that spiritual warfare part of these stories can be a bit difficult for some children to understand, especially when the rest of the setting is a true Bible story.

For that reason, I do not recommend reading aloud to very young children, or allowing children to read them without at least some guidance on biblical fact versus literary speculation. he would suggest ages 8 and up, personally. I know the publisher recommends ages 6-9. however, in the story the children are 9 and 10 years old, so I think you can increase the age of the audience. of course no shade if you decide your younger kids can handle them.

There are eight books in this Christian series like the magic tree house, with the promise of more to come.

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the cooper kids by frank e. peretti

i describe the cooper kids as the family that would result if indiana jones went to seminary and met a nice girl and started a family along the way. These books like The Magic Tree House have resourceful children embarking on adventures with a historical twist. however, it is more archeology: they do not go back in time.

this is definitely for the older end of the age range of kids who like the magic tree house! these books are intense. We haven’t read them aloud as a family yet. the editor says that from 9 years old, maybe even increase it a little, like 10 or 11 and more. but it can go up a lot: adults like this series too.

the chronicles of narnia from c. yes louis

the og of stories about kids who go to a magical place and save the day. Obviously, I recommend them as a read-aloud book, not necessarily a book you’d put in your 6-year-old’s hands. (Although I think a very early reader could handle them at 8. The vocabulary level is high, but the syntax is quite simple. Not my 8 year old, but someone’s 8 year old.)

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I recommend this series as a read aloud for 6 year olds who are used to listening to chapter books and up, but the level of content is such that I feel good if my toddlers are in the room and also listening to the history . There are just so many characters, so I know the girls don’t fully follow the story line. (If you want to work on a chapter book like this, here are some short chapter books I recommend that can be read in one to four sessions.)

and by “recommend as read aloud”, I mean, “oh my word, put them on your shelf now”. These Are So Good has everything kids love about the Magical Treehouse: an engaging story, kids saving the day after being whisked away to a different world, and just enough danger to be entertaining but not scary. however, the siblings are also kind to each other, there are consequences to sin, and there is the general theme of “goodwill wins for eternity.”

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Also, I personally recommend the edition with the largest, most colored and beautiful illustrations. I know it’s more money, but the editions with the tiny black and white illustrations, my kids didn’t even know what they were. I’m splurging this year on the best as a Christmas present… for myself…

Notice that there is some mild British strong language (think “damn”, etc.) and that the audiobooks and radio dramas are so British that my sweet Midwestern kids ask what foreign language they’re speaking readers.


good secular series of books like the magic tree house

mysteries from a to z by ron roy

I love a to z mystery series as well as wonderful chapter books like the magic tree house. it’s about kids solving mysteries, and there are 26 books in the series, one for each letter of the alphabet. I also love the fact that there is no snark! I hate kids being mean to each other and rude to adults, and it’s a theme in chapter books these days. argh. I’m not going to name names, but I know that’s not what I’m here for and I won’t recommend any of it. I think that’s why I love this series so much: so healthy, so attractive, it’s perfect.

I think this is appropriate for all ages as a read aloud, but there is a definite sweet spot between 6 and 9 years old. this would also be the age at which I recommend you give it to them for independent reading.

Note that there have been a few older editions of this series for elementary age, and you can find the older edition cheaply on used book websites. I like the new illustrations better, but I love the cost of the used old editions. however, I think they will be classics that your kids will want to keep, so it might be worth buying a new one.

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