Magic Tree House – “Haunted Castle on Hallow’s Eve”


I’m a little bit slow on getting these up so I hope that you will forgive me. 🙂 For October I wanted to choose a book that has a spooky Halloween kind of theme, so we read Haunted Castle on Hallow’s Eve. In this book Jack and Annie are summoned by Merlin to help recover the stolen Diamond of Destiny. The clues to the diamond’s disappearance are located in a haunted castle. With the help of their friend, Teddy, Jack and Annie begin their search and discover there’s more to the missing diamond than they realized. I made a few changes to the format of my program and it went really well. The kids had so much fun.

Haunted Castle cover




Magic Tree House Book Club – Haunted Castle on Hallow’s Eve




15 – 20 minutes – book reading and discussion

Some of the feedback that I received from the kids was that they wanted to hear the book, even if they had already read it. I really wanted to make the class one that the kids felt was their’s and something that they would like to continue coming to. So, I decided that I would read a chapter out of the book. For this book I read chapter 3 because it’s far enough into the book that the story is really building and the ending leaves them in just enough suspense and wondering what is going to happen next. This was not only great for the kids that read it because they could add to the discussion but also enticed the kids who hadn’t read it to check it out so they could finish the story.


15 – 20 minutes – craft activity
One of the special objects in the book that Jack, Annie, and Teddy used to perform magic and help them find the Diamond of Destiny was a hazel twig wand. I found it rather difficult to find hazel twigs in our area (I even looked online, but wowzers those things can be expensive and when working with a small, practically nonexistent budget, it just wasn’t practical). I ended up finding some shorter dowel rods for super cheap. I re-purposed some leftover storytime craft supplies and let the kids make their own hazel twig wands. This is a super fun activity and they all had a blast and were so excited to show me their wands.


-hazel twig- wands








15 minutes – search for the Diamond of Destiny
In the book, Jack and Annie had to find the Diamond of Destiny after it was stolen, so I wanted to have a scavenger hunt to find the diamond; but, more importantly, when Jack was holding the Diamond of Destiny he felt stronger and braver. I wanted to allow the kids to take home their own Diamond of Destiny to help empower them to overcome whatever obstacle they may be struggling with. I found some Halloween themed scavenger hunt clues and hid them around our community room. Although, they had to be careful because there were curses too that instructed us to do silly things like walk like a zombie until we found the next clue. We have this amazing “hidden” panel in the wall in our community room so I hid a diamond that I had purchased behind it. We found the diamond along with the other “diamonds” that I had set with it for the kids to pick for their very own. We had a lot of fun and they loved finding the curses. One thing that I did notice, when trying to do a scavenger hunt try to make it so that everyone has an opportunity to be involved.

In case you are wondering, these are the gems that I found for everybody to take home and this is the Diamond of Destiny.

5 minutes – drawing for next month’s book




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