Surprise Island (The Boxcar Children, #2)
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Surprise Island (The Boxcar Children #2)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  4,754 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Summer vacation on an almost private island gives the Aldens a challenge.

Book Details: Format: Paperback Publication Date: 1/1/1989 Pages: 188 Reading Level: Age 7 and Up
Paperback, 188 pages
Published January 1st 1989 by Albert Whitman & Company (first published January 1st 1949)
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Community Reviews

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Meredith Buchanan
I was going to read Surprise Island, and then comment on it, but every page is such a treasure trove of clichés, naïveté, and ridiculousness, that I think I might have to grace you with a running commentary.

Chapter One: The First Surprise

The book begins with Grandfather lovingly telling his grandchildren that he bought them an island, *cough* I mean, his father bought an island a long time ago, and they can stay there ALL SUMMER. He’d visit, but he’s just too busy.

Grandfather: (Shrug.) “But boy,...more
Greg
This is an enjoyable enough children's story where four siblings are permitted to spend their summer holidays living in an old barn on an island, supervised - from afar - by an old fisherman and a young handy man with a mysterious past. Themes apparent in the novel's predecessor, The Boxcar Children - the practicality and (relative) independence of the children, the sexual division of labour and the extent to which the kids co-operate on various tasks (which I remarked upon in my review of that...more
Elizabeth
I decided to read one of the Boxcar Children books after reminiscing about them with a colleague. Turns out, they are pretty strange from an adult perpective. When I was a kid, I thought it would be great to be as self-sufficient as these kids. As an adult, I'm thinking, "What, you let your grandkids live on an island for the summer with nobody but some stranger who lost his memory?!" But still, they're good books. It was fun to take a trip down memory lane with this group of resourceful youngin...more
Jamala Alkeshi
This is another great Boxcar children book continuing the story of them finally finding their grandpa and living in the boxcar in his backyard. This is when the books start to become mystery's and the boxcar children are solving them all by themselves. In this book they find out that their grandpa has an island that they eventually get to go spend the summer on. Eventually they start finding evidence that Indians used to live on the island, and it starts to become a mysterious Island as they unc...more
Laken Doom
This second book in the popular series "The Boxcar Children" was written by Gertrude Chandler Warner and illustrated by Mary Gehr. This book follows the summer of four children Jessie, Henry, Benny and Violet. The four children are surprised by their grandfather when he announces he not only owns an island but that they will be staying on that island all summer long by themselves! We follow them all throughout their journey on the island and learn about Indians that used to live on the island ba...more
Jodi
Decent book but dated - it was written in 1949. My kids were shocked at the thought of 4 children being allowed to live in a stable on an island for the summer with little adult supervision. Sure it would be fun and maybe during the time this book was written it was possible, but today it would never be allowed. Also, my modern mentality made my hackles raise at the thought of a strange man on the island who kept showing up to talk to the children. Of course, it all worked out fine with it being...more
Alexandra
The first and second books in this series are pretty similar. They're both basically the 4 children surviving and cooking their own meals and having fun. They're pretty cute and set the stage for future books to come.
Jileen
#2 in the Boxcar children series. I read this chapter book to my 7 and 5 year old boys. It wasn't amazing but still a good read for that age group. They would have probably given more stars if it were up to them.
Christina
These are not my favorite audio books because they are simplistic, but they are written on a 3rd/4th grade level. My children at ages 4 and 7 find them very entertaining and love the mystery aspect.
Elevetha
The Boxcar Children = most read series between the ages of 6 and 9 for me. I think of these fondly. Every child should read this series.
D.M. Dutcher (Sword Cross Rocket)
In this book, the children's grandfather reveals the surprise that he owns a small island. He allows the children to summer on it, and they spend their time exploring, making friends with their guardian Joe, and having an all-around fun time.

It's always odd to read sequels to The Boxcar Children, because the first book sounded like it took place in the 1900s, while future ones jump into the 1950s. This book tries to bring back the spirit of the children living on their own, which was what made t...more
Julie
I think it is a wonderful book of surprises.
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: This is another book from the Random Bookshelf that I am reading from this year.The Boxcar Children have played a big part in my and my children's lives. I intend to acquire a complete set of the first 19 books (the others hold no interest to me) and keep them as keepers on my juvenile shelves for my future grandchildren.

Book 2 is very similar to that of the first in the series. First of all, there is no real mystery except for the hidden identity of a man on the island known...more
Julie
For the most part I enjoyed the book, it was a favourite series of mine when I was a child, although this one I don't remember reading, it was still a nice, quick read. The characters have grown a bit, but they still manage to go on an interesting adventure. I think the book is well worth reading for the age range, even if it is quite outdated, as I think a lot of readers can relate to the characters.

One of the issues I had with the book, was, I found parts of it a bit unbelievable at times in...more
Kokoro
I read 131 to 143 pages on Friday, October 21. Benny is Reconciliationed with Mike. I'm glad.

I read 118 to 130 pages on Wednesday, October 19. They painted bird. Because, it was rain day. And, Jessie make a big applepie. Then, they eat with Mr. Browning.
The other day, four children invite their friends. But, Benny and his friend Mike are started fighting...

I read 98 to 117 pages on Tuesday, October, 18. I like "Grandfather's visit." Grandfather is coming to island. Then, four children show th...more
Cynthia
Summary
The orphaned Alden children (Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny) and their dog Watch now lives with their grandfather James Alden. Their grandfather had a surprise for the children – the opportunity to spend the summer on a small island his father bought. Dr. Moore and his mother went along to enjoy the island for the summer. Captain Daniel took them to the island and delivered supplies to them. On the island the children lived in the barn while the grandfather returned to the mainland for...more
Irene
May 05, 2013 Irene rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Elementary school aged kids
Shelves: children
I am really loving this series!

This book has all four children equally represented, and I feel we do get to know them a little better. I probably should not have read any of the books out of order; this being the second in the series, it makes sense that this book would have more character development than some of the later books, when the kids are already established characters. Here, we learn that Violet is artistic (she likes to paint and she has a gift for music), Jessie really is a great co...more
Bird
I read this with PB, hoping for a nice, warm feeling of nostalgia. Instead, I was hit with the reality of just how bad these books are. The writing is bad (how many times can she used the speaking tag "cried" for Benny?!), the story is mundane and repetitive (oh look, the children are having milk and bread for dinner - again), and the kids don't act anything like real children (I have to assume that not only did the author not have children, but that she never spent any time around an actual chi...more
Andrew Jameson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Morgan
The first Boxcar Children book was classic and precious. My children love this sequel and the writing is good, but the plot / structure is disturbingly insane. Really, not that cuddly madcap Nesbit/Lewis kind of insane that you can get away with in a children's book.

Why does the grandfather leave them alone on an island with a strange man? That's just creepy. Every time that mystery Joe takes little Violet down to the shack for a private violin lesson I freak out.

The children almost drown, trap...more
Natalie
I read this book to my six year old son and it took us many sittings to finish. It wasn't as quick or exciting as the first book, there was really no mystery and there wasn't anything at stake. It sort of meandered like a stream, taking the story this way and that, but never really making any progress. These children also don't act like any 6, 10, 12, and 14 year olds that I know. Who leaves four children to their own devices on a private island for the summer with only a teenager and a crotchet...more
Christi
Another great "chapter" book in the Boxcar series. This book focuses on the wonderful adventures that the little "family" of four children have on a small island owned by their Grandfather. It's full of the same theme as the previous book, that hard work, family, and working together will be of benefit for all. There are a couple new characters in this book along with the "mystery" that truly is a fun one to play along with and my 4 and 2 year old girls loved the anticipation of waiting until th...more
Holly
This book is all about independents, exploring, and resourcefulness.

This book picks up with the four kids, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, living with their grandfather. One day Grandfather announces a big surprise. He owns an island. The kids are excited to find out that they will be able to staying on an island for summer vacation. The kids enjoy exploring the island and creating adventure. As with the first book they are very resourceful but this time in using the things they find on the i...more
Traci
The Boxcar Children is an amazing series. I used to read them all the time. Mysteries were always my favorite growing up and still really interest me. This book was great because there was a lot of suspense and you always had to keep reading because you wanted to know what was going on. I was never bored and couldn't put it down. The four children in the story are orphans but go to live with their grandpa and spend the summer on an island where strange things keep happening. There is also a stra...more
Kristine Pratt
I'd read The Boxcar Children probably a dozen times in my life, but for some reason never once thought to look up the other books in the series. That was my loss because what made the first book magical is still there in the second books.

The children get to spend summer on an island - on their own no less, just like they were in the Boxcar days (with some kindly adults looking in now and again). They camp out, handle their own meals and all adventures, and even find a mystery to solve.

I loved t...more
Pamelabyoung
What a great bedtime book! My son and I enjoyed this sequel to The Boxcar Children and had a hard time closing the book each night. We loved the mystery of Joe and all of the museum finds the children discovered on the island. I loved that the naive, sweet qualities of the original book were continued throughout this sequel. I need to research at which point Gertrude Chandler Warner stopped writing the books. I find it amazing that there are over 100 books in the series and I only knew about the...more
Leah Flanagan
My daughter enjoyed it. Its surprising how much these children are capable of, I'm just glad that they wouldn't let Benny stay on the island when they blow up the cave!
Audrey
Jan 23, 2014 Audrey rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Children
My son and I read this book together. It was well written for a children's book in my opinion. It was refreshing to see children who had learned to cook and clean and do things by themselves. It is foreign to think of children making an apple pie or a birthday cake or a pot of chowder. Maybe we can stand to teach our children a little more responsibility than we do today. My son liked it but it was a bit long for him. We had to split it up over a fairly long period of time to get through it as i...more
Olivia
Interesting, suspenseful.
Nothing objectionable.
Tammy
Read this with my daughter, great book for older grade schoolers.
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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
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