Students in Mrs. Stacy Box's 2nd grade class at the RD Wilson Elementary School have been traveling through time to both real and fantasy realms through the pages of The Magic Tree House  books thanks to one student's senior project.


North Pocono High School junior Emily Morgan, daughter of Western Wayne High School English teacher, Marianne Morgan, recently donated a full set of the 46 books, plus a number of companion non-fiction research guides in the Magic Tree House series to Mrs. Box's classroom.


Students in Mrs. Stacy Box's 2nd grade class at the RD Wilson Elementary School have been traveling through time to both real and fantasy realms through the pages of The Magic Tree House  books thanks to one student's senior project.

North Pocono High School junior Emily Morgan, daughter of Western Wayne High School English teacher, Marianne Morgan, recently donated a full set of the 46 books, plus a number of companion non-fiction research guides in the Magic Tree House series to Mrs. Box's classroom.

Through these books students explore the world of Jack and Annie, two normal children from Frog Creek.
Jack and Annie travel through time through a magical tree house solving ancient riddles in order to help free Morgan LeFey from a spell and save four ancient stories from being lost.

With the books donated, Mrs. Box's students have encountered ninjas and samurais in ancient Japan, Cro-Magnons and woolly mammoths in the Ice Age and met William Shakespeare in Elizabethan England.

What's more, Mrs. Box and the other second grade teachers use the series to inspire a love of reading and to teach important literacy analysis skills, particularly that of characterization.

"We thought this was a good way to enhance not only their budding vocabularies but also enable them to best describe a character," Mrs. Box said. "It's neat to see what they come up with and how they defend their selected descriptors using story evidence!"

Mrs. Box said that the books have been a "big hit" with her students. "It's been like Christmas in room 226!"
Mrs. Morgan had nothing but praise for her daughter and her project. “Emily is a role model for her peers,” Morgan said.

Emily’s idea for the project came from watching her peers not reading novels for classes.
“She was disturbed by this,” Morgan said, “and she wanted to do something about it.”

Morgan also said her daughter “really thought about the books she chose” and was sure to pick things that had inspired her to read as a child.  

Emily has also ventured out of The Magic Tree House and into the world of American Girl.
This past summer, Emily taught a course for girls ages 7-12 using texts and projects that incorporated the different nationalities and time periods of the dolls.

“For one doll, Josephina, they kids painted flower pots and learned a Mexican broom dance,” Morgan said. The American Girl company even donated a doll to be used for the class.

With such a wonderful response to last summer’s American Girl class, Emily anticipates running a new class this summer to have students “write and illustrate their own biographies.” Registration is through the North Pocono Community Education program and is open to students outside of the district and is for boys and girls.

Emily's project, called "How to Eat a Book," is designed to promote literacy and a love of reading in NEPA. She has raised donations equaling more than $22,000 and given away more than 1,100 brand new books and other literacy materials at facilities such as the Women's Resource Center, The Friendship House, The Scranton School for the Deaf and The Salem Public Library.

Western Wayne senior Shaun Howard partnered with Emily by designing a bi-lingual reading game for her website. Shaun's game, which has won rave reviews from parents and young players alike, can be found at www.eatabook.webs.com.

If you would like to donate to “How to Eat a Book,” Emily can be reached through her website at www.eatabook.webs.com. She can also be e-mailed directly at emily_morgan95@live.com.
Items wanted are gift cards and new books for children ages infant to 10 years old.
Emily Morgan contributed to this story.