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Night of the New Magicians: A Stepping Stone Book    by Mary Pope Osborne order for
Night of the New Magicians
by Mary Pope Osborne
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

On their way to the ice cream parlor, Annie and Jack detour to the magic tree house to check for a wizardly assignment from magic tree owner Morgan le Fay. The sibling investigation team find instructions and clues, assigning them to warn four magicians of an evil sorcerer, who wants to steal their secrets. The mission takes them to Paris, France and the Exposition Universelle (Paris World's Fair 1889), in search of magicians of Sound, Light, the Invisible, and Iron.

To save the magicians, Annie and Jack plan to use one of five remaining magical rhymes from a book given to them by sorcerer friends Kathleen and Teddy. The Fair has 60,000 exhibits from all over the globe, displayed under the magnificent, newly-constructed Eiffel Tower (brainchild of Gustave Eiffel). At that time, the Tower was the tallest structure in the world, rising to a height of 1,000 feet. Riding the Fair's tour train, Jack and Annie are in awe of exhibits from 'the lands of the world', while keeping their senses alert to spot the endangered magicians. They find a booth with a sign for Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Aha! that gives Annie and Jack their first magician - (clue: 'sound that travels a thousand miles'). Asking to meet Mr. Bell, they're told that the inventor left the area, after receiving a note delivered by a mysterious man in a black-hooded cloak.

Annie and Jack approach the exhibit of Thomas Alva Edison, and listen to a demonstration of his invention of the incandescent light bulb (clue: 'fires that glow but do not burn'). Hearing of Mr. Edison's destination, Annie and Jack travel by horse and carriage to the Louis Pasteur Institute (clue: 'battles deadly enemies no one can see'). Unfortunately, Mr. Pasteur received a note inviting him to a party, that will begin at exactly 10 o'clock that evening at the Eiffel Tower. While worrying about finding the fourth magician, Annie and Jack must move fast to get to the Tower. A couple riding a bicycle-built-for-two lends their vehicle. At the Tower, a guard advises that the Fair is closed for the night. But they can't wait. How will the duo save the day this time?

Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House series is well-recognized for its enchantment in teaching historical events. Osborne's Note at book end details the inventors featured in The Night of the New Magicians, while Sal Murdocca's grey/black illustrations display detail like the Tower's gridirons, cobblestone streets, and large buildings in the night lights of Paris. Watch for Annie and Jack's next adventure - Blizzard of the Blue Moon.

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