Mary’s Books

Mary Pope Osborne has authored a number of popular books besides the widely acclaimed Magic Tree House Series.  Click on any of the books below to buy the on Amazon.com.

Young Adult Novels

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Haunted Waters

Published 2006

After meeting the mysterious sea maid Undine on a bleak promontory and making her his wife, Lord Huldbrand tries to defend her from the faceless demon that haunts her, while he probes her strange ties to the aquatic world.

Adaline Falling Star
Adaline Falling Star

Published 2002

Feeling abandoned by her deceased Arapaho mother and her explorer father, Adaline Falling Star runs away from the prejudiced cousins with whom she is staying and comes close to death in the wilderness, with only a mongrel dog for company.

RunRunAsFastAsYouCan
Run, Run as Fast as You Can

Published 1993

Authenticity is the hallmark of Pope’s moving and astute account of a girl’s efforts to cope with her beloved younger brother’s terminal illness. Ages 8-12. (Publishers Weekly)

Best Wishes Joe Brady
Best Wishes, Joe Brady

Published 1985

Right after graduating from high school, Sunny falls madly in love with a soap opera star spending the summer in her small Southern town. Ages 12-up. (Publishers Weekly)

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Love Always, Blue

Published 1984

The summer after her parents’ separation, fifteen-year-old Blue looks forward to visiting her playwright father, who is trying to get his play produced in New York City.

Picture Books

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Moonhorse

Published 2010

Out of the night the shimmering Moonhorse appears, and a young girl leaves her father napping on the front porch to join the silver-winged horse on a wondrous adventure among the constellations. They gallop past stars and comets, past the Dipper and the Ram, then lasso the crescent moon and pull it across the clear night sky. At last the sleepy rider returns home safely and the Moonhorse disappears into the dark.

New York's Bravest
New York’s Bravest

Published 2006

In the 1840s, there was a real vounteer firefighter named Mose Humphreys whose bravery was reknown throughout New York City. Plays about him began being performed on Broadway in 1848 and over the years his strength and heroics took on larger-than-life proportions, much like those of Paul Bunyan. Mary Pope Osborne has honed down the legends about him to a brief, dramatic, sometimes comical, but ultimately moving text of picture book length. Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher’s stunning paintings capture this 8-foot-tall superhero rushing into burning buildings, saving babies and bankers, and wolfing down the feasts bestowed upon him by the grateful citizens of old New York–until the one big hotel fire after which he was never seen again.

Pompeii Lost and Found
Pompeii: Lost and Found

Published 2006

The famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius that snuffed out life in Pompeii and buried the town has long been a fascinating moment in history for children. This book presents that dramatic story with Mary Pope Osborne’s brief text and with stunning frescoes created by Bonnie Christensen, using the same colors, style, and technique as the ancient frescoes unearthed at Pompeii. In addition to the destruction of Pompeii and the rediscovery of the ruins nearly 1,700 years later, the book shows what daily life was like in this prosperous Roman town in the year 79 A.D.

Kate and the Beanstalk
Kate and the Beanstalk

Published 2005

In this version of the classic tale, a girl climbs to the top of a giant beanstalk, where she uses her quick wits to outsmart a giant and make her and her mother’s fortune.

Sleeping Bobby
Sleeping Bobby (with Will Osborne)

Published 2005

A retelling of the Grimm tale featuring a handsome prince who is put into a deep sleep by a curse until he is awakened by the kiss of a brave princess.

Happy Birthday, America
Happy Birthday, America

Published 2003

The whole family joins in a lively small-town celebration of Independence Day, including a parade, a picnic, music, and fireworks. An author’s note explains the origin of the celebration of July 4th.

The Brave Little Seamstress
The Brave Little Seamstress

Published 2002

A seamstress who kills seven flies with one blow outwits the king and, with the help of a kind knight, becomes a wise and kind queen.

Rocking Horse Christmas
Rocking Horse Christmas

Published 1997

The rocking horse, a favorite toy outgrown by its little boy owner, faithfully waits for his friend to return. Told in the spirit of THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, this tender story glows with all the warmth and magic of the holiday season.

Mo and his Friends
Mo and his Friends

Published 1996

The caring and gentle friendship between Sheriff Mo and his friends is revealed in four brief and often humorous episodes. Beginning readers will accompany these characters as they comfort a worried friend, make a dream come true, give a surprise birthday party, and use their common sense to explain scary noises. Numerous illustrations in soft pencil with watercolor washes exemplify the warm friendships. DiSalvo-Ryan takes advantage of Chicken Lucille’s disguise in “The Queen by the Pond” to include visual humor. Librarians will like the three references to books, newspapers, and telling stories. Sheriff Mo and his friends are good role models for positive friendships. A fine addition to the beginning-to-read shelves. K-Grade 2 (School Library Journal)

Molly and the Prince
Molly and the Prince

Published 1994

Befriending a stray dog “by the river in the reeds,” a girl kisses his velvet fur. As they play, he leads her downriver and deep into the woods, where fantasy and myth overtake them.

Skunks go to Bed
Skunks, Go to Bed! (as Ted Bailey)

Published 1990

The skunks fall alseep at a party after playing outside all day.

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A Visit to Sleep’s House

Published 1989

Ominous midnight-blue skies and dark forests surround a white-gowned child as the narrator invites the reader to journey far away to the side of a mountain where “drowsy Sleep lives in a cloud-covered house.” All is quiet as “you walk up Sleep’s pathway” where “no owl calls out, `Who?’, and no dog barks under the moon.” Succeeding creatures–wild animals, geese, cows–make no sound until she sees Sleep, a shadowed figure wearing a nightcap, “lying on an old wooden bed” beside yours, and you fall asleep listening to the river that “whispers, Good night, good night.” This imaginative concept provides a comfortingly different look at bedtime, while Mathis’s soft-focus paintings feature unusual perspectives with many familiar animals along the route. Ages 3-7. (Publishers Weekly)

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Mo to the Rescue

Published 1987

Sheriff Mo of Smith Pond does more than maintain law and order. He’s kind and considerate, always going beyond his duties to help neighbors in need. Osborne’s droll, tender chronicles of events at the pond join the aptly named Easy-to-Read Books, treasures for beginners. In DiSalvo-Ryan’s tuned-in color pictures, children see Mo making lonesome Chicken Lucille at home, taking her to Aunt Minnie Raccoon’s rooming house, where the new girl finds friends. Other scenes prove that the sheriff is protecting the citizens from a terrible monster (his shadow), then cleverly stopping a quarrel between blue jays; the law man is ever on the alert. When Mo goes to “faraway places” for a rest, the others all follow and wait for their trusty officer to come back. (Publishers Weekly)

Biographies

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George Washington: Leader of A New Nation

Published 1991

Osborne covers all of Washington’s many incarnations in this traditional biography: surveyor, British officer, plantation (and slave) owner, American general, president. She enriches her narrative with accounts of the Revolutionary War, wranglings over the Constitution and musings about Washington’s role in American history. He is portrayed as a great man who lived in a unique era: “It was a time for heroes . . . the time itself seemed to bring forth the greatness of these men.” Ages 9-12.

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The Many Lives of Benjamin Franklin

Published 1990

A biography of the founding father, from his boyhood in Boston through his apprenticeship in the publishing business to his accomplishments as a printer, scientist, inventor, and statesman.

Christopher Columbus
The Story of Christopher Columbus

Published 1987

Osborne concentrates on the adult life and voyages of Christopher Columbus. She explains the religious and commercial reasons for the voyages and discusses the disappointment felt by Columbus (and Spain) when it became clear that he had not reached the Far East, explaining that often history judges events differently than contemporary opinion. Gr 3-5 (School Library Journal)

Dear America/My America

My secret war
My Secret War

Published 2008

In a diary that brings to life the dramatic happenings on the home front during World War II, Madeline Beck is living in a boardinghouse with her mother while her father is on an aircraft carrier guarding the Pacific Coast. After discovering that a German U-boat has landed near her home—a little-known, true incident on Long Island—she and her classmates form “Kids Fight for Freedom” and participate in the home front war effort.

After the Rain
After the Rain

Published 2002

In her diary, a ten-year-old girl writes about her family’s experiences living in Washington, D.C., in 1864-65, during which time the Civil War comes to an end and President Lincoln is assassinated. Includes historical notes.

My Brothers Keeps
My Brother’s Keeper

Published 2000

In 1863, as the Civil War approaches her quiet town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, nine-year-old Virginia records in a journal the horrible things she witnesses before, during, and after the Battle of Gettysburg.

Standing in the Light
Standing in the Light

Published 1998

A Quaker girl’s diary reflects her experiences growing up in the Delaware River Valley of Pennsylvania and her capture by Lenape Indians in 1763.

Mythology, Folklore and Fairytales

Favorite Medieval Tales
Favorite Medieval Tales

Published 2002

This collection contains nine treasured tales from Medieval Europe – from the mysterious Celtic world of Finn MacCoul to the enchanted realm of King Arthur. Readers will meet the noble French hero Roland and the merry English outlaw Robin Hood. They will learn about the brutish chieftain Beowulf, the chivalrous knight Sir Gawain, and the brave young prince Hagen. And they will be entertained and enlightened by Marie de France’s honorable Werewolf and Chaucer’s venerable but clever-witted rooster, Chanticleer.

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast

Published 2002

Through her great capacity to love, a kind and beautiful maid releases a handsome prince from the spell which has made him an ugly beast. A luminous retelling of the classic tale. Ages 7-12. (Publishers Weekly)

Mermaid Tales from Around the Worls
Mermaid Tales from Around the World

Published 1999

A collection of twelve mermaid tales from around the world, featuring such sources as France, Greece, and North Africa.

Favorite Norse Myths
Favorite Norse Myths

Published 1996

From the creation of the universe, to its heroic battles for order, the fourteen intriguing myths in this collection come together to tell one powerful story. Young readers will be fascinated by characters like Odin, the greatest of gods, and the mighty Thor, who is able to take down vicious monsters much larger than himself. The powerful, beautifully written stories are graced by Troy Howell s arresting, dramatic paintings.

American Tall Tales
American Tall Tales

Published 1991

A little exaggeration makes legends from simple historical characters, legends that help form the fabric of our culture. In this volume, the tales of nine folk heroes are related humorous and very tall indeed! Meet Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, Sally Ann Thunder, Ann Whirlwind, John Henry, and more, and celebrate the riches this country has to offer.

The deadly power of medusa
The Deadly Power of Medusa (with Will Osborne)

Published 1991

A retelling of the classic myth of Medusa recounts how Perseus, condemned to death by King Polydectes, was forced to travel to a land far away to confront and kill the deadly monster with snakes for hair.

Favorite Greek Myths
Favorite Greek Myths

Published 1989

This handsome collection consists of a dozen tales from Greek mythology, most drawn from Ovid’s Metamorphoses , including the stories of Echo and Narcissus, Ceres and Proserpine, Cupid and Psyche, King Midas. Osborne’s retellings are both lively and descriptive, while Howell’s full-color, often iridescent illustrations set the scene and mood at the start of each tale. Taken together, they provide a solid and highly readable introduction to the major Greco-Roman gods and goddesses and the myths that have profoundly shaped Western thought and literature. Helpful back-matter includes a list of key characters, partial lexicon of modern words drawn from the myths, bibliography and index. Ages 7-11. (Publishers Weekly)

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Pandora’s Box

Published 1987

Mary Pope Osborne's Tales From The Odyssey

The One eyed Giant
The One-Eyed Giant

Published 2003

When Odysseus must leave his home to fight in the Trojan War, he never imagines that he’ll be away from his family for so many years. Now, at long last, he is leading his men across the seas. But many dangers await them – and none is more terrifying than Polyphemus, the one-eyed giant.

The land of the dead
The Land of the Dead

Published 2003

Odysseus and his men have defeated the one-eyed giant, but its curse plagues them at every turn. Cast out to the open seas by the wind god, Odysseus and his men face giant cannibals and outwit a beautiful witch, who reveals Odysseus’s next challenge – a journey to the mysterious and feared land of the dead.

Sirens and Sea monster
Sirens and Sea Monster

Published 2003

Odysseus and his men have done what no other mortals have done: returned alive from the terrifying Land of the Dead. Armed with warnings and advice from the ghosts of the prophet Tiresias, Odysseus is determined to finally sail home to Ithaca. But the enchantress Circe tells him that the Greeks will face even more horrors on their journey, including an encounter with Scylla, the six-headed monster, and Charybdis, the deadly whirlpool. Who will survive these terrors-and how? In this third of six books based on episodes from Homer’s Odyssey, Mary Pope Osborne continues the exciting adventures of one of the greatest heroes of all time.

The gray eyed goddess
The Gray-Eyed Goddess

Published 2003

For nearly twenty years, Odysseus has fought terrifying giants and monsters, weathered the loss of his men, and angered gods and goddesses. Now he is trapped on the island of the alluring sea goddess, Calypso. Back in Ithaca, his wife, Penelope, and their son, Telemachus, are desperately warding off the suitors who want to marry Penelope in order to take control of Odysseus’s island. Then a visit from a mysterious stranger gives Telemachus the courage to confront the suitors, and to head off in search of his long-lost father. Could the stranger be the gray-eyed warrior goddess, Athena?

return to ithaca
Return to Ithaca

Published 2003

After years of captivity on Calypso’s island, Odysseus finds himself on the shores of yet another strange land. Meanwhile, his wife, Penelope, fears for their son Telemachus. His enemies – Penelope’s unwanted suitors – plan to ambush and kill him upon his return to find his father. But the family’s years of suffering come to an end, as father and son are reunited in a series of startling, strange, and magical events. Odysseus is finally home. And now his revenge beings …

The final battle
The Final Battle

Published 2003

After struggling against the gods and his fate for more than 20 years, Odysseus has returned to Ithaca at last. But things have changed: his island has been overrun by suitors who clamor for his wife’s hand in marriage and plague his son Telemachus. With the help of the grey-eyed goddess Athena, Odysseus and Telemachus must set out to regain control of Ithaca.

The Spider Kane Mysteries

Spider Kane and the Mystery Unbder the Jumbo Nightcrawlers
Spider Kane and the Mystery at Jumbo Nightcrawler’s

Published 1993

Spider Kane and Leon Leafwing are back. This time someone has kidnapped all their friends and even Leon’s mom! It will take all of Spider Kane’s vast talents and some super sleuthing from Leon to figure this one out.

Spider Kane and the Mystery Unbder the May Apple
Spider Kane and the Mystery Under the May-Apple

Published 1992

Leon Leafwing’s new girlfriend, the lovely Mimi, has disappeared! His ladybug pals inform him that it’s a case for Spider Kane, the dashing detective who is cool, clever and well heeled (eight times over). Spider Kane is on the case, and soon he and Leon are plunged into a web of intrigue, mystery and mayhem.

Others

The Random House Book of Bible Stories (with Natalie Pope Boyce)
The Random House Book of Bible Stories (with Natalie Pope Boyce)

Published 2009

More than 50 stories from the Old and New Testaments come to vivid life, ready to captivate readers and listeners of all ages. Each story is crafted for reading aloud, so the whole family can share the experience.

when I was your age (2)
When I was Your Age (contributor)

Published 2001

Fans of all ages will savor these perceptively chosen, affectingly disclosed episodes from the lives of their favorite writers. The writers include Mary Pope Osborne, Katherine Paterson, Avi, Walter Dean Myers and Francesca Lia Block. Ages 9-14. (Publishers Weekly)

the life of jesus in masterpiece art
The Life of Jesus in Materpieces of Art

Published 1998

Events of the life of Jesus retold from the Gospels of the New Testament– Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Sources used were the Holy Bible in the King James version and the Revised Standard version.

One world many religions
One World, Many Religions

Published 1996

An illustrated introduction to comparative religion, discussing Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.