JACK AND ANNIE continue their quest for the secrets of happiness--secrets they need to save Merlin. This time, the Magic Tree House takes them to the one continent they haven't visited before: Antarctica! What can they hope to learn about happiness in such a barren place? Only the penguins know for sure . . . Jack and Annie are about to find out!
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Random House Books for Young Readers
December 07, 2009
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Excerpt from Magic Tree House #40: Eve of the Emperor Penguin by Mary Pope Osborne
CHAPTER SIX, All Fall Down Nancy put away her radio and looked at Jack and Annie. “I don’t know how you two got past me.” “We’re sorry,” said Annie. “This is unbelievable!” said Nancy. Jack couldn’t believe it, either. How did they mess up so badly? “I’m so sorry I brought you here,” said Nancy. “No, no, it’s our fault,” Jack said again. “It’s mine, all mine, oh . . . ,” said Nancy. She seemed near tears. “You’re just little kids.” Not so little! thought Jack again. Gee! A snowmobile rumbled outside, its engine warming up. “Oh, dear,” said Nancy. “I’ve got to lead the group up a safe route to the crater, or they’ll be in trouble. But Pete should be back here in just a few minutes. Will you be okay by yourselves till then?” “We’ll be fine, don’t worry,” said Annie. “Good,” said Nancy. “Here, sweeties.” She poured some water into two cups and gave them to Jack and Annie. “Drink.” While they drank the water, Nancy spread a blanket on the floor and turned on the small heater. “Lie down here,” she said. “Just rest.” She patted the blanket. Jack and Annie lay down. Nancy covered them with another blanket. “If you get thirsty, drink more water,” she said. “Thanks,” said Annie. Jack was too embarrassed to say anything. He felt like a preschool kid being put down for a nap. “Okay!” Nancy said with a big sigh. “You kids nearly gave me a heart attack,” she repeated half to herself as she left the hut. “Sorry,” said Jack. But Nancy was gone. Soon the roar and rumble of the snowmobiles filled the air as Nancy led the scientists and journalists up the mountain. “We really messed up our mission this time,” said Jack, lying under the blanket. “And we were doing so well, too,” said Annie. She sat up. “Can I see Morgan’s rhyme, please?” Jack pulled the rhyme out of his pocket and handed it to Annie. “Okay,” said Annie. She read aloud: . . . then all fall down, Till you come to the Cave of the Ancient Crown. “I wonder if this counts as falling down?” said Annie. She put the rhyme into her pocket. “I don’t think so,” said Jack. “I don’t know what that means. And there’s no ‘Ancient Crown’ in Antarctica. It’s all science and research and rules and helicopters and snowmobiles. . . . It’s the real world. . . . His voice trailed off. “Well, I know one thing: I don’t want to waste time lying around here,” said Annie. She threw off the blanket and stood up. “At least I can take a few pictures while we wait for Pete.” “You really feel like doing that?” said Jack. “Not really, but I’m going to try,” said Annie. “I don’t think you should,” said Jack. “Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon,” said Annie. “Maybe I’ll see an ancient crown.” “Yeah, sure,” said Jack. Annie put on her goggles and ski mask and headed outside. Jack reached into his pack and pulled out their book. He took off his glove and looked up ancient crown in the index. He wasn’t surprised to find it wasn’t there. Jac