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The Railway Children

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  36,566 Ratings  ·  917 Reviews
In this much-loved children's classic first published in 1906, the comfortable lives of three well-mannered siblings are greatly altered when, one evening, two men arrive at the house and take their father away. With the family's fortunes considerably reduced in his absence, the children and their mother are forced to live in a simple country cottage near a railway station ...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published May 24th 2000 by Dover Publications (first published 1906)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) That would depend on the person. A book I love might bore someone else witless.

Personally I first discovered this book in my 40s and found it a good…more
That would depend on the person. A book I love might bore someone else witless.

Personally I first discovered this book in my 40s and found it a good read. Any children's book that can entertain and engage an adult (without being an adult book disguised as a children's book) is a classic.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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The shock involved in crying over a children's book that endorses theft, children soliciting favours from old men, and frequent acts of trespass on to Railway property is hard to describe.

As is the dislocation in reading a Father tell his son that girls are as clever as boys before inviting his daughter to consider a railway career, and a man with a Polish surname imprisoned in Siberia for offending the Russian state. Still, I am fairly sure that this was published in 1906 and not 2006, afterall
Pilot for the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, The Railway Children versus Atlas Shrugged

It's a capacity crowd tonight at the Surrealist Boxing Stadium, and everyone's wondering if The Railway Children have a chance against Atlas Shrugged. I can see them in the blue corner, I must say they look nervous, they know they're behind on weight and reach but their supporters are out in force, that's always worth a lot, Bobbie is trying to calm Phyllis, she's whispering something in her ear. And
Muhammad Ahmed Siddiqui
changed my mind this is a 5 STAR BOOK

I am overwhelmed by the emotions and was hungover for a day. The whole journey throughout this book was magical. It was nostalgic. It was beautiful.

This book tells the story of three children whose father is taken away by the police and they have to live with their mother in poverty nearside a railway station.

If poverty is living in a wonderful countryside, meeting with lively people, roaming around free and exploring new areas then I will happily accept i
Jan 13, 2009 Becki rated it really liked it
One thing I've noticed while reading "the classics" is that most of them center around female characters. I find that interesting, especially when you look over American educational statistics and see that girls generally fair much better at English class than boys. Perhaps this could be a reason?

It was a relief, then, to read The Railway Children and discover that female and male characters get equal play in this book. In fact, it was the favorite book of a male friend of mine when he was littl
Ivonne Rovira
Children who have grown up with Matilda, The Dumb Bunnies or The Cat in the Hat can't really appreciate what an advance Edith Nesbit's The Railway Children actually was. For the first time, an author wrote about children who weren't miniature adults, who weren't preternaturally perfect, but who were flesh-and-blood children, children who quarreled and worried and snapped at one another when they grew fatigued or anxious.

Nesbit also provides a somewhat realistic view into the Edwardian period: Wh
Laura Verret
I believe this may be one of the best children's stories I have ever read. Told in a creative and sprightly way, this book carries you into the story of Roberta, Peter and Phyllis. After their father is called away on a long, mysterious trip, these three must adjust and help their mother as they sell their mansion and move into a smaller cottage just outside of a rural village. There they make friends with various people who work at the railway station, and thus begins their love of trains. They ...more
Kellyn Roth
This is such an adorable story! My mom read it aloud to me and my brothers a couple years back. It's touching, funny, and picturesque.

~Kellyn Roth, Reveries Reviews
A light, summery, charming read in an old school British sort of way. It was a little slow paced and predictable though, then again I was expecting it to be like that.

I did find the kids quite cheeky when they went around demanding things from the Old Gentlemen, the villagers, and the poor Doctor. I know they were trying to help their mum and other people, but it was still kind of greedy and cheeky. Though they were quite selfless and nice when it came to the Russian guy and the red jumper guy,
Jan 06, 2012 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star
Again E. Nesbit shows herself expert at showing-not-telling, and at writing for anyone and everyone. With the story told from the point of view of the children, and aimed at children, all anyone under a certain height level is going to understand is that the father of the family goes away one night and does not come back, and the mother tells the three that he is away on business – and everything changes. Mother is upset or sad all the time, even when courageously pretending otherwise. The child ...more
Roger Brunyate
Jul 07, 2016 Roger Brunyate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Nothing if not Strictly Truthful
And something wonderful did happen exactly four days after she had said this. I wish I could say it was three days after, because in fairy tales it is always three days after that things happen. But this is not a fairy story, and besides, it really was four and not three, and I am nothing if not strictly truthful.
Edith Nesbit had her tongue well in her cheek, of course, as she came to the end of her children's classic, published 110 years ago in 1906. After all,
LH Johnson
I'm on a bit of a classics kick recently. And as mentioned in my review of For Love Of A Horse, these aren't the Oliver Twist sort of classics. These are classics that have framed my childhood - and my adulthood - and are just really, really good.

I love The Railway Children. (And I love Bobbie in particular.)E Nesbit is a stylish, approachable author who writes with a sort of seditious aplomb. There's a whole level of this book that I missed first time round, the subtle comments on society, cla
Aug 03, 2015 Mangrii rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La historia nos cuenta las pequeñas aventuras de un Roberta, Peter y Phyllis tras trasladarse a vivir a Tres Chimeneas; todo ello tras un extraño suceso en su familia, de repente tu padre ha desaparecido y ellos no saben lo que ha pasado. En su nuevo emplazamiento, los niños vivirán entretenidas aventuras, harán amistad con el Jefe de la estación, con el mozo de la misma o con un misterioso Anciano Caballero que todos los días les saluda en el tren de las 9.15, tras salir del túnel.

Narrado en te
E. Nesbit's (Edith) story, The Railway Children, was published in 1906. This first decade of the 20th century also introduced us to Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables and Burnett's A Little Princess. All three are considered childrens classics but are equally enjoyed by adult readers. Unlike many of today's children's stories, these classics place children in real life situations, and they find real life solutions to their problems. Although sometimes far fetched, they provide a level of belivab ...more
Jul 18, 2012 Tony rated it liked it
THE RAILWAY CHILDREN. (1906). E. Nesbit. ***.
E. (Edith) Nesbit (1856-1924) was a writer of children’s books that were very successful in England and remain so to this day. She is not read much in America, primarily because her plots are simply too sweet for U.S. kids – or at least that’s what the critics say. In this book, one of her most popular, we meet a family of mother, father and three children. The kids are, from the eldest down, Roberta (Bobbie), Peter, and Phyllis. It’s a perfect famil
Jun 20, 2012 Mommalibrarian rated it really liked it
Written in 1906 - still fresh. The fact that there is no electricity and people walk instead of getting their mother to drive them are the only real indication of its age. On page 6 the father tells his ten year old son, "Of course they [girls] can help. Girls are just as clever as boys, and don't you forget it." When the father is taken away the 'clever' mother supports the family writing poems and children's stories. Her son regrets at one point that she has to be so clever as she has less tim ...more
Vu K
Jun 25, 2013 Vu K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any seven to ten-year-old children, their parents, or would-be parents
Thích hơn quyển 'Five Children and It' cũng của Nesbit (đã được dịch sang tiếng Việt, mang tựa đề 'Năm đứa trẻ và con tiên cát', bản dịch của Nguyễn Thị Huyền, NXB Văn hóa Thông tin).

Một cuốn sách mang tính giáo dục, nhưng đầy nhẹ nhàng chứ không khô cứng vì câu chuyện diễn ra thật tự nhiên.

Đang sống trong sung sướng, những đứa trẻ rơi vào cảnh khốn cùng khi cha của chúng bị bắt, mẹ phải làm việc mà không đủ để chi tiêu, nên những đứa trẻ không phải đến trường, mẹ lại không có thời gian để chăm
Apr 18, 2015 Kavita rated it did not like it
Meh. Tedious.

I really thought I would enjoy a book about the railways, and I did enjoy that aspect of it. It's funny how quaint and informal the railway officials are but it was nice to see the children's growing love for the railway station, the trains and the employees working there.

The plot, as it goes, was boring. The childrens' father was imprisoned for spying but the mother does not tell the children anything and lets them speculate all manner of terrible things, which I found to be quite
Gail Allaway
Aug 18, 2015 Gail Allaway rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in 1906, this is a riches to rags story of three well-to-do children (Roberta, Peter and Phyllis) living a privileged and happy life in London, home schooled by their extremely attentive mother and wanting for nothing until their father is mysteriously taken away by two visiting gentleman one evening turning their lives upside down.

The family is forced to get rid of their servants and go to live in a small country cottage next to a railway line, and here their exploits begin. While thei
Con Bé Ki
Không phải ai cũng có thể/nên viết câu chuyện đời mình.

Điều cảm nhận đầu tiên đó là Sách rất Đẹp và cả câu chuyện trong Sách cũng rất đẹp. Đẹp nhất là những cái tên, như con tàu "Rồng Xanh" (còn có tên gọi khác là Ốc Sên), con tàu "Giun của Wantley" và con tàu "Nỗi Sợ Hãi Bay Trong Đêm", ngôi Biệt Thự Đỏ hay ngôi nhà trắng Ba Ống Khói...

Điều thứ hai và cũng là hết điều rồi, là những câu chuyện đẹp và những cuộc trò chuyện thú vị luôn làm thời gian trôi qua rất nhanh.

Cái không thích duy nhất ở cu
Ritika Gupta
Jan 22, 2014 Ritika Gupta rated it really liked it
While reading some books, you smile often and this wasn't that kind of book. Because you don't smile often but always. The goodness of heart, the kindness, innocence and love is overwhelming especially in today's world. Almost an utopian work, worth a read not only for kids but also grown ups. And especially for the skeptics grown ups. Such works should be read more often. A breath of clean and fresh air amidst the polluted air that we breathe.
May 14, 2016 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute but nothing terribly special. I read this mainly because C.S. Lewis loved Nesbit's work. Nothing magical happened in this book though...just your typical good children doing good and saving the day sort of tale.
Dec 24, 2014 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, own-copy
Brings back great memories of watching the film as a kid.

Not sure how children today would react to it, as parts of it seem very dated, and also a bit sexist.

Overall though, I really enjoyed it.
Mar 11, 2016 Shakira rated it really liked it
Really really enjoyed this, I haven't read a good classic in a while and I love the movie for this book.
Jul 14, 2015 Valerie rated it liked it
I believe I watched the movie a few years ago but I forgot for the most part what happened. Since I wasn't a big reader when I was a kid I feel like I missed out on some great experiences (aka books). Sure you can always read a book like this when you are older but it won't have the same magic as if you read it when you are 7.

That being said I read this book trying to put myself in the mindset of my younger self. I don't think I was completely successful. It seems like a good deal of readers gre
Oct 01, 2009 Kirsty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I read many times in my childhood and enjoyed, but I hadn't read it since. It was refreshing to listen to this audiobook version and essentially have someone read a children's story to me again. If you don't know what The Railway Children is about I'd be very surprised however, just in case here is a brief plot summary for you. Three siblings of which two are girls and one is a boy, move home with their mother after their father is sent away. Their lives change drastically, they g ...more
Mar 03, 2015 Aakash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, ebooks, 2015
Well! Its a kids story sort of classics.

Its a very creative story Starting in london where they live in a Villa fully happy. It seems a perfect life for them. They have all the things they need. There were no downs in their lives it seemed like a smooth sea without and disturbance. Suddenly one day their father mysteriously goes away. and they have to leave the london and go somewhere to live in a small cottage in country. And they have a quiet adventurous life at the three chimneys like the ch
Jo Woolfardis
A beautifully written book, though definitely from another time. Three siblings and their mother leave their London home for the countryside because some men come to take their father away. What follows are a series of mini-adventures, mostly concerning the Railway and surrounding areas where the children express themselves through kindness and good deeds.

The reason I enjoyed this book so much was, not just for the wonderful old-fashioned language you find in books such as these (calling someone
Elizabeth McDonald
Jun 28, 2009 Elizabeth McDonald rated it really liked it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Edward Eager, I suppose
Shelves: british, childrens
A sweet book! The only E. Nesbit I read as a child was Five Children and It, and it's kind of delightful to discover more of her work now. I love seeing how much Edward Eager (author of Half Magic, among others, and long one of my favorites) drew from E. Nesbit. The children might all be cousins for how similarly they're written - and how realistically. Unlike most authors of her day, Nesbit portrayed her child characters as very human. They get into scuffles and arguments with each other, make ...more
Dec 06, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing
This book was first published in 1900 in Great Britain. Edith Nesbit was a favorite author of JK Rowling when she was a young girl. Nesbit has a wonderful conversaitonal quality to her stories, and makes the reader feel like you and the author share great secrets. This book is 329 pages, and contains a lot of turn of the century British verbiage... so you'll need to explain quite a few terms and phrases. It's a very sweet story about a family that experiences great sadness, and the adventures of ...more
Oct 03, 2015 Hulalah rated it it was amazing
What a lovely book! I loved every bit of it. I loved the way the author narrated the story; like any outsider. His observations of the little family were splendid. The lesson I learnt or should you say a little reminder that was brought to me was that children really feel everything and can really have deeper thoughts than adults. The only difference is that their beautiful realizations are hidden in their innocent faces and their little innocent minds can do wonders to finish off the evil in th ...more
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Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924) was an English author and poet; she published her books for children under the name of E. Nesbit.
She wrote or collaborated on over 60 books of fiction for children, several of which have been adapted for film and television. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a socialist organisation later connec
More about E. Nesbit...

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“Also she had the power of silent sympathy. That sounds rather dull, I know, but it's not so dull as it sounds. It just means that a person is able to know that you are unhappy, and to love you extra on that account, without bothering you by telling you all the time how sorry she is for you.” 26 likes
“Don't you think it's rather nice to think that we're in a book that God's writing? If I were writing the book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right—in the way that's best for us.” 20 likes
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