This book is the 21st book in the Magic Tree House Series. In the series, Jack and Annie go on many adventures through time through the magic tree house. There are four or five books in a set and in that set, the kids have different missions for their trips. In this book, Jack and Annie must go on a mission to find a special kind of writing that you can follow. They travel back to the American Civil War. The kids meet wounded soldiers and find Clara Barton's hospital where they volunteer to help out.
The story is clearly fiction, but Jack carries around a book on the Civil War as well as his own notebook. Throughout the story, whenever he has a question about something that is going on, there is a passage from the book included. He also writes notes in his notebook. He writes the important things, so I think that would help emphasize to students what is important to remember about the Civil War.
At the end of the book, there is a "Facts for You and Jack" page which provides more details about the Civil War. There is a paragraph about Clara Barton and how she established the Red Cross as well as about the Drummer Boys that were mentioned in the book.
There are a lot of fun activities, games, and information about the series on the Magic Tree House website. On the website, you can find an awesome passport for students. They can take a short quiz about the book they just read and get a stamp for their passport!
The book mentions the song Tenting Tonight on the Old Camp Ground written in 1861 by Walter Kittredge. Check it out below! (This version is a little different than the lyrics that are included in the book, but it's still interesting to hear.)