Mary Pope Osborne Facts

Mary Pope is an author of children’s books. She is best known for her Magic Tree House series.

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Facts About Mary Pope Osborne

  • Mary Pope Osborne was born in 1949 in Fort Still, Oklahoma, US.
  • She had a twin brother called Bill, a sister called Natalie, and a younger brother named Michael.
  • Her father was in the military, and his job meant that Mary Pope Osborne’s family had to move regularly. As a child, she lived in Oklahoma, Virginia, and Salzburg, Austria.
  • After her father retired from the military, the family moved to North Carolina.
  • In North Carolina, Mary Pope Osborne joined her local community theatre, and she went on to study drama at the University of North Carolina.
  • She changed the focus of her degree in her junior year and majored in religion.
  • After her college graduation, Mary Pope Osbourne and one of her friends went travelling. They camped in caves in Crete for six weeks, and then headed east, visiting Iraq, Iran, Nepal, India, Turkey, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, Syria, and Lebanon.
  • Her trip ended when she was admitted to hospital with blood poisoning. During her recovery, she read Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
  • After returning to the US, Mary Pope Osborne lived in California, Washington DC, and New York.
  • She married her husband Will Osborne in 1976. They met at a play. Will Osborne was playing the role of Jesse James.
  • Before becoming a full-time author, Mary Pope Osborne worked as a bartender, travel agent, assistant editor at a children’s magazine, drama teacher, and medical assistant.
  • The first book Mary Pope Osborne wrote was 1982’s Run, Run As Fast As You Can.
  • She has since written more than 100 stories for children, in a range of genres, and for readers ranging from young children to young adults.
  • The Magic Tree House books are Mary Pope Osborne’s most successful works. More than 130 million copies of the books have been sold since the first book (Dinosaurs Before Dark) was released in 1992.
  • Merlin and Morgan le Fay (based on characters from the King Arthur legends) are recurring characters in the Magic Tree House series.
  • Out of the two main characters in the Magic Tree House books, Mary Pope Osbourne says she is more like Jack but she would like to be more like Annie.
  • She says that she can work on her books for twelve hours a day for seven days a week.
  • Her husband Will Osbourne has been responsible for adapting the Magic Tree House books for the stage. In 2007 a musical adaptation was premiered, and in the Magic Tree House Kids Shows books in the series are performed on stage by casts made up of children.
  • Mary Pope Osborne has twice been president of the Authors Guild.
  • Her Magic Tree House series was turned into an anime film in 2011, and it premiered at the Tokyo Film Festival.
  • Mary Pope Osborne said that Hemingway’s simple and direct style influenced her own writing style.
  • Mary Pope Osborne’s books have been translated into more than 30 languages.
  • When she’s not writing, Mary Pope Osborne enjoys kayaking and taking hikes with her pet dogs.
  • She currently lives in a house on a lake in Connecticut.

Writing is a miracle. You can travel anywhere in the world, to any time and any place — and still be home in time to have dinner.

Mary Pope Osborne
  • Mary Pope Osborne was an avid reader as a child, and some of her favourite books included the Nancy Drew mysteries, the Little House on the Prairie books, and Uncle Wiggly books.
  • She still loves to read, and she has a library of more than 2000 books in her house.
  • The Magic Tree House books have been turned into a series of graphic novels. They are adapted by Jenny Laird and illustrated by Kelly and Nichole Matthews.
  • The idea of the tree house in the Magic Tree House books was triggered by Mary Pope Osborne seeing a tree house during a walk down a country road with her husband in Pennsylvania.

I’m one of those very lucky people who absolutely love what they do for a living. There is no career better suited to my eccentricities, strengths, and passions than that of a children’s book author.

Mary Pope Osborne