Mary Pope Osborne is an American author who rose to fame through her series of books ‘the Magic Tree House’, which she wrote between 1992 and 2006. She was born in Oklahoma in 1949 as a twin (her twin was a boy) and moved to Austria, then Florida as a young child. After graduating from the University of North Carolina she travelled the world before settling in New York and marrying playwright Will Osborne in 1976.
Her first book was semi-autobiographical and told the story of a young girl growing up in a military family. She drew upon her own experiences for this book and called it ‘Run Run as Fast as you Can’. However, her literary career really took off in 1992 when her first book in the Magic Tree House series was published. The book instantly became a hit and has since captured the imagination of children throughout the world; the series being translated into over 20 languages. The books have proven so popular that they beat Harry Potter as the most popular series in the New York Times’ best sellers list (popularity outside of the US, however, has never really hit the same heights). Between 1993 and 1997, her literary talent was formally recognized as she became the president of the Authors Guild; the oldest literary organization in the United States. She now conducts numerous readings to children throughout the country who still find that the series has a magic about it that can encapsulate their minds.