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The Boxcar Children 1-4 (The Boxcar Children, #1-4)
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The Boxcar Children 1-4 (The Boxcar Children #1-4)

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  5,160 ratings  ·  158 reviews
The paperback editions of The Boxcar Children Mysteries: #1, The Boxcar Children; #2, Surprise Island; #3, The Yellow House Mystery; and #4, Mystery Ranch are offered together in a cardboard case.

Book Details: Format: Box Set Publication Date: 9/1/1990 Reading Level: Age 7 and Up
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 1st 1990 by Albert Whitman & Company (first published January 1st 1942)
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May 01, 2013 Shana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: zelda
I remembered loving these books as a child, especially the first and so recommended it to my 8 year old. That was 2 months ago. We read the first 4 together, she has read another 15 on her own. She says she loves them!

Of course, it happens that #19 is the last written by Gertrude Chandler, so perhaps the tone will change.
my daughter likes the mysteries, the adventure, and says she prefers the "historical" stories like Surprise Island, the Bicycle Mystery, Benny Uncovers a Mystery, Treehouse Mys
Krista Wayment
Sep 16, 2011 Krista Wayment rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young Readers who like mystery
My Rating/Reviewing MO

When I was younger I hated reading. Bless my mothers heart she struggled so much to teach me. Then we picked up the boxcar children and started reading them out loud to each other.

I fell in love with reading after this and that summer devoured everything I could get my hands on.

This is the story of a group of siblings that find themselves living in a boxcar. It is amazing to see their resourcefulness and loyalty to each other. They even solve a mystery. I recommend these b
These books were my first reads from a public library. I still remember my mother walking me into the library for the first time and helping me pick out some books. I was in awe of the place. I remember that I initially liked these books because they were about children having an adventure on their own. We used to build forts in the back yard and on my grandpa's farm, so when I read about these kids living in a boxcar, I could immediately imagine what it must be like to make a home for yourself ...more
I LOVED LOVED this series. This was the best series. I think the old books are really great. I read the first 4 books. I am anticipating to read the 5th one. I bought it with money my Granny gave me. I can't wait to read it. I know it will be good. That's all I have to say about this book.
As a child, I read these first 4 books of the series, over and over. My elementary school librarian joked that the library's copies might as well have been mine.

I hope my own daughter will find the same enjoyment in these books when she is older.

I grew up loving these books. They were a staple in my reading list. My daughter brought one home from the library recently and I hope she can find the story as interesting as I did in my youth. A great series.
My very favorite series as a child. I especially loved the first book. My sisters and I used to play "Boxcar Children." :) My kids have all loved these books as well...the original series that is.
Dana Goodmon
I loved these books growing up and always got so excited for book fairs so I could buy the next one! I think a re-read is in order to relive these books of my childhood!
I really loved these books when I was younger, now I can read them in about 30 minutes but they are great for a young reader or just a quick read.
Elementary school.. I loved these books.. they let my little self go on an adventure .. I still remember the thrill :)
I loved the first one, but it stopped being fun once they stopped living in a train and started being millionaires.
Jul 10, 2012 Haley rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mia Thomas
Recommended to Haley by: Colleen C.
Set in the Midwest in the 1940s, The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner is the story of four orphaned children, who are running away from their grandfather and are looking for a place to live. Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden are the grandchildren of James Henry Alden, a wealthy manufacturer.

Looking for food and a place to sleep, they went to the bakery to buy bread. The baker’s wife agrees to allow them to stay and work for her, but secretly she plans to send Benny to the orphan
These books are written for ages 7 and up, and is really written for them. Written by a teacher, and using the most simple and common words in the English language for the purpose of teaching proper grammar and spelling, Ms. Warner also knew what kids of this age were beginning to fantasize about-- a world without adults, but with the safety net of good friends (or in this case family); the idea of running away; exploring grief; the wilderness; testing the limits of society, and the necessity of ...more
When I think of reading in elementary school, it is The Boxcar Children books that come to my mind. In fact, I wrote my first book report on the first book in the series (you know, the one with the red boxcar on the front?). I still remember the names of the Alden kids: Jessie, Ben, Violet and Henry (and no, I didn't have to look that up) and can vividly recall their adventures.

These books call to the adventurous spirit in all children - I wanted to set off on my own, live off the land. I could
I loved The Boxcar Children as a child and now my children love them, too! Simple plots, like-able characters and fun adventures. Our family loves these classics!
I thought this is a good book for little kids to have some mystery and fun in their reading. I think anybody who reads these books will just want to keep on reading
This series was one of my favorite that kept my interest and kept me reading for pleasure.
I recommend the Boxcar Children adventures for ages 10-13.
My second grade teacher introduced me to the Boxcar Children and I fell in love with this series immediately. It's the story of the orphaned Alden siblings who live in a boxcar. They're extremely resourceful - the type who would make a pie by gathering birdseed, picking some random berries, sweetening them with a sugar packet one of them lifted from the school cafeteria, and baking it in a makeshift solar oven made from rocks and recycled tin foil. That's how the Aldens roll, y'know? Oh, and the ...more
Aug 10, 2007 Marianne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children 7 - 9 years old, and parents thereof
Long before there was Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, there were the Boxcar Children. Although four orphaned children living together on their own in an old train boxcar is unfathomable now, when I was in second grade, I was enraptured by the homey feelings the first book in the series evoked.

As an adult, I went back to Amazon and ordered this series of the first four books. I'm not sorry I did, though of course now I read the stories with very different eyes. Nonetheless, I hea
i wanted to be a boxcar child when i was a youngin.
Samantha Scout
6 year old loved these.
Man, I loved the Boxcar Children EVEN MORE than the Happy Hollisters! I also got a few of these from my mom and got the rest from the Glendale Public Library. Most of them were written in the 40s. These kids were orphans and lived in--you guessed it--a boxcar. They scavenged for food and got into all sorts of jams, but of course had a good time doing it. The oldest boy was named Henry. I think this might be where I got my affinity for that name, later to be reinforced by Hank Rearden in Atlas Sh ...more
Who didn't love this disgustingly, impossibly perfect family of four (well, five if you count the grandfather)?! I'm sure I had a bit of a crush on Henry, and I wanted a nurturing big sister like Jessie, but my favorite was Violet. (Benny was kind of a brat.) Every little girl loves playing house, and these books allowed me to live this fantasy vicariously through them. Oh, the freedom! And oh, the responsibilities! We amassed quite a collection over the years...I wonder how many are in the seri ...more
In Elementary School, I remember reading these books and wishing for a brother like Benny or to be a girl like Violet. The appeal of these books was twofold: the story is about a bunch of children who are independent and have adventures. I loved that I was able to read these books on my own as well. Years later I picked up one of these books and tried to read it, but the writing style does not hold up well with those who grow out of the chapter books. A recommended read for the young mystery rea ...more
(March 2010 edit)
I reread this with my 7 year old this past week. It is still a great book! Like it did with me when I was young, it totally engaged Riley and made him want to live in a boxcar, keep milk in a "fridge" in the river and have all kinds of fun adventures. It is adorable how much he loved the book!(=


I LOVED this when I was little!!! (= And so did my hubby who doesn't even read (=
This was the first "chapter book" I ever read. It made me want to run away and live in a boxcar. Four orphaned children are quite happy eating mostly berries, jam, bread, and a little meat. They scavenge for cups and furniture, make the boxcar a nice cozy home, and start a garden out back -- I think. (My memory might be failing here.) Anyway, it has a happy ending and a child 7 or 8 is old enough to read it.
I used to be obsessed with this series when I was a kiddie! :D I remember how I would ask my school librarian to bring in new books because I was sooooo eager to read this series. It is a MUST HAVE for kids that love mystery, action, and the lovable siblings that are the main characters. LOVE IT, and I'll always treasure the wonderful childhood memories I have of collecting and swallowing up this series.
Courteney Pepper
I know that most people loved these books, but I was forced to read them for school in fourth grade and they were so far below my reading level even in fourth grade that they put me to sleep. They were tedious and hard to get through because I found them boring. That being said, if they had been on my reading level I may have loved them.
Karen L.
These first 4 in the Box Car Series are the best. I believe that Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote these first few and after her death the publishing co. continued the series. They lost the charm that Warner gave the stories.

My kids loved the romanticism of the orphaned children living on their own and finding an old abandoned box car to live in. The stories are really enjoyable.
Suzanne Costner
Jun 10, 2007 Suzanne Costner rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nostalgia freaks
These books were old when I read them, that I remember. They looked pretty-beat up when I checked them out of the school library and they smelled musty. I remember loving them, the kids make a home in an abandoned boxcar, and they make tables and chairs and try to find some plates. What I can't remember is whay they ended up in the freakin' box car in the first place?!
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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
More about Gertrude Chandler Warner...

Other Books in the Series

The Boxcar Children (1 - 10 of 137 books)
  • The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children, #1)
  • Surprise Island (The Boxcar Children, #2)
  • The Yellow House Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #3)
  • Mystery Ranch (The Boxcar Children, #4)
  • 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)
The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children, #1) Surprise Island (The Boxcar Children, #2) The Yellow House Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #3) Mystery Ranch (The Boxcar Children, #4) The Lighthouse Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #8)

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