Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

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 7+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

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 bycoskat12 February 28, 2014

Crazy fun

My son has read all the Andy Griffiths books and so have his class mates. Great for getting boys into reading.
Adult Written byDennis K. April 2, 2018

Depends on your child, but mine started these at 5 (almost 6)

My son is a decently strong reader, and he got the first book when he was 3 months shy of 6. HE LOVED IT and read it 5 times in 2 days. He was so impressed h... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old March 11, 2016

13 Story Tree House

I think that this is a really good and easy book to read blended with comedy and someviolence
Kid, 10 years old August 29, 2018

Read this review to know the truth about The 13-Story Treehouse

One of my good friends recommended this book to me because she thought it was hilarious. I saw how some of the material could be funny to some people but to me... Continue reading

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

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love graphic novels and comics

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate