Hi, My 8 year old son has become addicted to this book series. Honestly, I don't know anything about these books (one I looked at was about the civil war ). I googled them and found them to be on a TON of christian book lists for children. do I need to start reading these before I let my son read them?

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I don't think you need to be overly concerned about magic tree house. We have a few of the books on cd and there are no overtly Christian references in them. In the end some might even call them unchristian because of the magical aspects of the stories. I was raised a Christian and my parents wouldn't allow us to read anything about magicians or magic because of the biblical condemnation of divination and magic as demon worship.

The basic premise of these books is pretty good because each story presents the children with a challenge or riddle that they need to solve by doing research on a particular subject-which is a good example for anyone religious or otherwise, if you have a question or problem that needs solving it helps to do research. Teachers love these books because they encourage kids to go to the library and look at nonfiction as well as fiction. That being said, since the books involve a certain degree of fantasy, a reminder to your son to use his "baloney detection kit" while reading these books would be well advised.
We've read the books. They're harmless. :)
As Jennifer said, I haven't found any overtly Christian references. If you'd let your kids read fantasy fiction you'll probably be fine with this series. I like them quite a lot and wish my 5yo was more into Magic Tree house, lately he'd much rather we read Captain Underpants which has led to tons of potty humor. I just discovered that there is also a series of Magic TH non-fiction that would be great to read in tandem with the chapter books.

Not sure why they'd be on so many christian book lists unless it's simply because they are extremely popular and one of the few series that are great for both girls and boys.

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