The 13-Story Treehouse: The Treehouse Books, Book 1

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
The 13-Story Treehouse: The Treehouse Books, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Madcap mayhem perfect for Big Nate fans.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids might want to team up with friends to write a book together, just like Andy and Terry -- or at least design their own dream treehouse.

Positive Messages

Beneath the zany mayhem is a message about working together: Andy struggles to keep Terry on task, and the friends squabble. In the end, they need to combine their talents to get the job done.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The boys recognize the importance of honoring their commitment to their publisher, despite their difficulty settling down to work. Terry apologizes after hitting Andy with a banana.

Violence & Scariness

During an argument, one of the boys whacks the other with a giant banana. Andy throws the TV over the side, narrowly missing a pedestrian. A sea monster threatens to devour Terry. A giant gorilla invades the tree house and is attacked by a flock of flying cats.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The 13-Story Treehouse is pure fun, with just a few crude references to amuse the target audience, including "poo" and a "rude finger." Though it doesn't offer any deep lessons, it serves up a heaping pile of silliness that might ignite creativity. The mix of narrative and comic illustrations puts this in the same camp as Big Nate and Wimpy Kid, but this new series is less crude and more positive. The boys make questionable decisions -- such as not telling their friend they turned her missing cat into a canary, and waiting until the last minute to finish an assignment -- but it's generally harmless fun.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byI love bedtime ... January 22, 2021

Funny and creative

You never know what they will end up doing. Between my son reading or myself reading aloud we read the entire series. These are creative, crazy and fun. I said... Continue reading
Adult Written byLebron12James3 March 15, 2020

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Tell other families what you think
Kid, 11 years old February 12, 2020


The 13 story treehouse is amazing. Epic things happen, it is very funny, and the drawings are cute. I recommend this book.
Kid, 10 years old August 23, 2019


Great start to the series! Ok it’s not as good as the rest of the series, But all of them are great!!!

What's the story?

Andy and Terry have to turn in a new story to Mr. Big Nose, their publisher, tomorrow -- but they haven't even started it yet! They find it's hard to focus when you live in a 13-story treehouse with a game room, a bowling alley, a lemonade fountain, an underground lab, and a machine that shoots marshmallows into your mouth. Every time they settle down to work, they're distracted -- by a TV show, a sea monster, a burp-filled bubblegum bubble, a bunch of monkeys, a giant gorilla, flying cats. ... Eventually they realize they don't need to struggle to come up with a story.

Is it any good?

THE 13-STORY TREEHOUSE is a promising start to a series by longtime collaborators Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. The plot is almost irrelevant: It's a light frame to support a string of ridiculous adventures. The black-and-white line drawings are delightful, packed with tiny gags. Treehouse invites comparisons to the Big Nate and Wimpy Kid books, but its humor is gentler. The boys are fun loving and carefree, and there's no social angst or middle-school sniping.

The treehouse is a boy's dream come true, with a vegetable vaporizer, a giant catapult, a tank of man-eating sharks, and seemingly endless amusements. It's no wonder the characters have a hard time focusing on their work. And this is just the start: The next book in the series tacks on another 13 stories packed with bumper cars, a skating rink, and more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of books that blend comics and narrative. How would 13-Story Treehouse work as a novel without pictures? Or as a comic?

  • Design your own over-the-top treehouse. What would you put in it?

  • Do you ever get distracted when you're trying to do your homework or another important task? What helps you stay focused?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love graphic novels and comics

Themes & Topics

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