Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mystery Ranch (The Boxcar Children, #4)” as Want to Read:
Mystery Ranch (The Boxcar Children, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mystery Ranch (The Boxcar Children #4)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  4,613 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews

Eccentric Aunt Jane needs help on her ranch. The Aldens overturn a plot against her.

Kindle Edition, 128 pages
Published (first published November 30th 1957)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mystery Ranch, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mystery Ranch

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Meredith Buchanan
This book starts out with a bang, naturally, as Grandfather comes in and slams the door. And then slams another door. And he only said ‘hello,’ to Benny, instead of his normal, long-suffering pandering! That’s how Benny knows something is wrong. He immediately goes to Jessie and Violet with this distressing news, but they don’t know what to do, presumably because they’re girls and this is a man’s problem, so they shout for Henry, who girds his loins and leads the troops down to barge through the ...more
Sep 19, 2011 Sirena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Boxcar Children is one of the first books I remember reading all by my self as a child in the 80's. I loved the Alden's, that much I remember, but I do not remember the stories. Because of that, I decided to re-read at least a few Boxcar Children books.
When I went to the library I was amazed at how many episodes there are. There are well over 100! I always thought they went to about 20 or 30. I tried to find some of the first books so I grabbed what I thought was number 3 and 4. What I go
Nunca antes había escuchado de esta autora y menos aún de sus libros, pese a que al parecer es muy conocida.

Debo admitir que no sabía que éste es el cuarto de una serie de 15 libros, pero la historia no fue difícil de entender, porque la autora pinta el contexto de una forma tan amena y divertida, que me fue fácil engancharme con la historia.

Si bien es un libro para niños creo que cualquier adulto puede disfrutarlo.

La historia está llena de aventuras y un poco de misterio. Los personajes son bas
Tina Harden
Aug 09, 2016 Tina Harden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot in this title may not shine as bright as the others but it does still have a good "takeaway", RESPECT. Pure and simple. An old bitter lady who does nothing but disrespect her caretakers is changed through the respect given to her by the children.

A rift between brother and sister that has lasted decades is repaired through respect. This is a good title to use when looking to teach young children about respecting others, even when faced with harsh words and bad attitude from people.
Cherie In the Dooryard
Yaaaawn. Form a parent perspective, this was the most boring of the Boxcar Children series yet. No suspenseful details, no mini-mystery, no tension. The kids seemed to like it, but what do they know?
Dec 31, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might be one of my favorites of this series. I think it's because we all know an Aunt Jane. You can't help but love that old lady!
Nov 29, 2016 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Feel-good book without a lot of substance, I felt. Had a good heart, helping others, so that's a good thing, but the cloying sweetness is getting a bit thick. The children liked it.
Aaron Gannon
Dec 17, 2016 Aaron Gannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sam says: I like all of the book.

Amelia says: I liked when Aunt Jane got the dog
Eric Jolly
Feb 11, 2017 Eric Jolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When this book was written, was uranium not known to be cancer causing?
Blaire Malkin
We enjoyed this one as well, though I was admittedly freaked out that aunt Jane was living with all that uranium! Not my favorite of this series...continues the theme of independent kids having adventures.
Sep 26, 2016 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, a re-read was really eye-opening! Not my favorite Boxcar Book. Uranium? Did I even get what was happening in this book as a child? Do I even get it now?
Apr 28, 2013 Irene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elementary school aged kids
Shelves: children
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 21, 2016 BDC rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as the others. Interesting plot, but much shorter than the others.
Theresa Abney
Dec 17, 2016 Theresa Abney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 17, 2012 Miss rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eng-420
Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden wanted to know why their grandfather was sad. He learned that his sister was living on their family ranch, lonely. He heard this from her neighbor who takes care of her. The children agreed to visit the ranch to cheer her up. The children learned that the grandfather and their aunt had not spoken for many years because their grandfather wanted to see the ranch and she didn't. So she remained on the ranch. They also learned that some men were searching the l ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Jun 03, 2012 Nicola Mansfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reason for Reading: This is part of my Random Bookshelf Reading project. I'm also working on re-reading this series and collecting the first 19.

This book takes a small turn from the formula of the first three. First the boxcar is not mentioned at all, not even in reminiscences of the past, and the children do not this time go off on their own and make do in the wilderness. First we see cousin Joe and Alice sent off to Europe for summer vacation on the first page. This allows the introduction of
Feb 05, 2013 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
I would say I generally like all of the Boxcar series, but some stories are more engaging than others. They're kids books, written a long time ago, when life was simpler, and I like that feel to them. The mysteries aren't usually that mysterious, and it's not a super-exciting action type of book, but they do keep the kids interested in finding out what will happen next, and what clue will they find, and sometimes a surprise ending. There's so many in the series, I'm not going to review them all. ...more
Cathrine Bonham
Sep 11, 2014 Cathrine Bonham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Alden children started the first book as orphans without anyone to take care of them except each other. Now their family has become even bigger with the discovery that their Grandfather has an older sister living on a ranch out west. The two siblings are estranged but James Alden is willing to bet that his grandkids can melt his sister's bitterness. And he's right.

The mystery in this book revolves around strange men who offer to buy Great Aunt Jane's ranch. Why do they want it so bad and how
Dharia Scarab

My love of reading started when i was young, and it gives me immense pleasure to provide books to Spread the Word Nevada, an organization that passes them on to children in the community. They are a terrific organization supporting an important cause. If your local I encourage you to check them out. For those living further a field, look in your own community, their may already be a similar program in place. And if not, you can always help start one.

Myself, I go ou
First off, I loved the Boxcar Children as a child. Especially the plot of the first book! They are probably why I can't enjoy mystery books anymore (I figure out the end way too soon) but at least I get the mystery solved! (My most favorite character? It would change all the time, since all four children have their aspects! But I always thought that if it was reflected onto me and my three siblings, I'd be Henry, personality wise, and Jessie age wise!)

As to the Mystery Ranch: I didn't like this
Heather Gallagher
Book 4 in the Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner published in 1958. I've been reading these books as part of my study of mystery writing and while in some ways they are quite dated, in others - consistent characterisation, cliff-hanger chapter endings and familial love - they are great. The proactive Alden kids are hard not to like and in this story they are sent to stay with their mysterious aunt Jane. While the mystery element in these books can be slight - it turns out there i ...more
Laura Cushing
Oct 21, 2015 Laura Cushing rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Next in the Boxcar Children series I am reading, Mystery Ranch. In this installment, Grandfather's estranged sister Jane is lonely grumpy and given up on life. The girls go to stay with her first, and try to help her get back to living. When the boys and Watch the dog come, she's overcome by the kindness and love of the kids and gets less depressed.

Meanwhile, there's a strange man lurking around the ranch where Aunt Jane lives dun dun dun....

The mystery ends somewhat predictably but hey it's a
This book reminded me why I have am am so endeared to this book series! :D I love the sweetness of the children and their compassion and love for one another, their family and friends, and people. This story the Alden children, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny visit their cranky old great-aunt on her ranch for the summer. But there is a mystery man about the place, as well as three men trying to take Aunt Jane's ranch from her! And how will they be able to get their aunt to like them?

I love the
Oct 18, 2010 Kelsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
At the begining the childrenn are at there grandfathers house were they live now. Grandfather comes home upset abuot his sister. the children ask him wats rong. he told his the problem. So Violet and Jessie go to there ant Janes ranch. once they are there for few weeks Ant Jane wants the other two boys to come to come.when they are all there are all there there for about a week Ant Jane anounced that they were good children and she is giving them the ranch.the rest of the book talks abouhow the ...more
Aug 10, 2014 Miri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Violet and Jessi Alden go to their grandfathers old family ranch to visit his elderly sister who is in poor health and is a very grouchy old woman. Upon their arrival they discover Jane Alden isn't really ill, she is just bored and depressed and not eating, and soon their presence cheers her up and her attitude changes. Soon enough Henry and Benny arrive at the ranch as well and the children soon discover men lurking around trying to buy the ranch from their aunt Jane. What could they want with ...more
Kallen Kentner
Without giving anything away, the plot of this book makes it obvious it was written a while ago. This book was written by the original creator of the series and the plot elements are a bit dated.

However, as a young child reading it, I never really thought about it and it makes sense from a young child's point of view. Regardless, I loved the boxcar children books as a child, but I don't remember Mystery Ranch ever being my favorite.
Nov 28, 2012 Brinli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is as well good like the others; it has that really mystery feeling that just captures a readers mind. I liked this book because I relate to living on the ranch so thought it would be fun to read and after flipping through the pages its pretty cool. I liked how all four children figure out more and more discoveries after another especially about their aunt. I would recommend to other young readers whoever like mystery books to read and it will take you on an adventure.
Ashle Oaks
May 10, 2013 Ashle Oaks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm rereading the original 19 and this has to be my favorite one so far besides the first. This one focuses a bit more on the girls, especially Violet. It was nice to read things about Violet other than she was kind and sickly. The book definitely shows it age with the way everyone treats the uranium. I don't know much about uranium, but I do know that it's not something you should touch with your bare hands.
Kristine Hansen
Jul 18, 2012 Kristine Hansen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, kids
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 31, 2008 Me rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I were to ever add every boxcar book I've read, it would be over 140 books! The better ones were the one written by Warner herself.I myself am not so quite sure how I continued reading them it was just the perfect family,The sisters never fought, the brothers never farted, and they all seemed so very in love? so not like mine. :(
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Happy Hollisters (Happy Hollisters, #1)
  • Mandie and the Ghost Bandits (Mandie, #3)
  • The Disappearing Floor (Hardy Boys, #19)
  • The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse (Hank the Cowdog, #8)
  • The Lost Locket (Nancy Drew: Notebooks, #2)
  • Stacey and the Mystery of Stoneybrook (The Baby-Sitters Club, #35)
  • Ralph S. Mouse (Ralph S. Mouse, #3)
  • The Lucky Lottery (A to Z Mysteries, #12)
  • Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Babe Ruth Baseball (Cam Jansen Mysteries, #6)
  • The Silent Piano
  • Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch (Encyclopedia Brown, #2)
Gertrude Chandler Warner was born in Putnam, Connecticut, on April 16, 1890, to Edgar and Jane Warner. Her family included a sister, Frances, and a brother, John. From the age of five, she dreamed of becoming an author. She wrote stories for her Grandfather Carpenter, and each Christmas she gave him one of these stories as a gift. Today, Ms. Warner is best remembered as the author of THE BOXCAR CH ...more
More about Gertrude Chandler Warner...

Other Books in the Series

The Boxcar Children (1 - 10 of 143 books)
  • The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children, #1)
  • Surprise Island (The Boxcar Children, #2)
  • The Yellow House Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #3)
  • Mike's Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #5)
  • Blue Bay Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #6)
  • The Woodshed Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #7)
  • The Lighthouse Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #8)
  • Mountain Top Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #9)
  • Schoolhouse Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #10)
  • Caboose Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #11)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Aunt Jane” 1 likes
“There’s another surprise!” Sam said. “I’ve seen your Mystery Man!” 1 likes
More quotes…