Anyway, on to the review!
First off, I had no idea this story was so old. The original version of The Boxcar Children was published in 1924. It looks like it didn’ t really take off as a story though, until the 1940’s, when it was reissued. The original author wrote 19 of the books, with most of the happenings occurring between 1940 and 1950. Over 80 other titles were later added by other authors, set anywhere between the 1970s and present day. I don’t know what it is, but people really like reading about rich orphans, I guess!
Book:The Boxcar Children
Author: Gertrude Chandler Warner
Year Published: 1924
Genre: Children’s chapter books
Overall Rating: 5 stars
Target Audience: Children 7-12
Setting: A small town and an abandoned boxcar somewhere just outside the town.
Characters: Benny, Violet, Henry, and Jessie- all siblings and orphans.
Plot: The four orphans show up from nowhere (maybe from an orphanage?), and use their wits and ingenuity to survive in an old boxcar. Eventually, their grandfather finds them, and they have a surprising reunion at the end. I guess the story takes place in the summer, because they don’t have to go to school. Actually, I think all of their stories take place in the summer.
Thoughts: When I was a child, I loved this series of books. They were probably one of the stories that actually spurred my desire to ready. I loved how many different books there were, and our library seemed to stock like 50 of the titles, so it took me quite a while to read them all. This story is very old-fashioned, and very unlike the stories written for children today. Today’s children still survive off of their wits for the most part, but usually there is actual drama to overcome, or serious events. Although you would think not having a family and living out in the forest was a serious event, it is not depicted as such in the book. All in all, I think this series is a wonderful series for children, and the mysteries they always resolve in the later books are quite enjoyable for children to figure out, much like Encyclopedia Brown.