The 91-Story Treehouse: The Treehouse Books, Book 7

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
The 91-Story Treehouse: The Treehouse Books, Book 7 Book Poster Image
Frivolous friends try babysitting in rambling tale.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Promotes using libraries to find accurate information and inspiring fiction. References 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Activity pages include crossword and a word search.

Positive Messages

Babysitting is a serious responsibility, and young children need attentive supervision even when they're having fun. It's important to fix your mistakes. Curiosity is good, but being a know-it-all is annoying.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Andy and Terry are flighty, but they step up when needed. Jill is thoughtful and generous, helping to get the boys out of jams.

Violence & Scariness

Kids get sucked into whirlpool, a snake gobbles up a cat, a child is struck on the head with a mallet.

Language

Insults like "stupid" and "dum-dums."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The 91-Story Treehouse sticks close to the formula that has made Andy Griffiths' and Terry Denton's Treehouse Books series so popular: a fantastical story, wild humor, and a mostly irrelevant plot. This seventh book sees friends Andy and Terry babysitting their publisher's grandchildren -- poorly -- and grappling with a dangerous enemy they accidentally welcomed into their ever-growing tree house. There's some cartoon violence (characters get sucked into a whirlpool, one gets bonked on the head with a mallet). Although the publisher suggests this series for age 6 and older, we recommend it for age 8 and up because of the length and content.

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What's the story?

In THE 91-STORY TREEHOUSE, best friends and storytellers Andy and Terry are given an unexpected task by their publisher: to babysit his three young grandchildren. Andy isn't convinced it's a good idea, given that their enormous tree house is chock-full of hazards like chainsaw juggling, a shark tank, and a giant red button they don't know whether to push because they don't know what it does. Unsurprisingly, the boys lose track of the children, who've fallen into a whirlpool. The rescue effort leads them to a desert island, a garbage dump, the surreal land of Banarnia, and a spider web. The boys have to confront an intimidating enemy so everyone can be safe -- and they can finally finish their book.

Is it any good?

Absurdity is the real joy of Andy Griffiths' and Terry Denton's raucous Treehouse Books, and this seventh tall tale in the series keeps the giggles coming despite seeming minimally stitched together. The 91-Story Treehouse is even less cohesive than the earlier books in the series, and the repetitive sequences feel like padding.

Fans of the series will appreciate nods to earlier adventures (spy cows!), and newcomers will get sucked right into the silliness. The story cheerfully celebrates friendship, optimism, and joy in the unexpected -- but don't look for deep meaning here. Enjoy the ride, and the prospect of giggling until rainbows come out of your nose.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the silliness of The 91-Story Treehouse. Why do you think funny books like this are so enjoyable?

  • Have you ever tried to babysit or supervise a younger child? Did you find it easy or difficult?

  • What would you add to Andy and Terry's tree house?

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