Katie's Reviews > The Boxcar Children

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
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Mar 23, 08


If I had just given this a rating instead of feeling the need to re-read it, I would have clicked five stars and moved on with my life. I remember REALLY liking these books when I was a kid. And I like to think of myself as fundamentally the same person. Turns out, The Boxcar Children series is terrible! The only reason I gave it two stars was out of respect for the sliver of memory I have left of enjoying it. The writing is uninspired, the situations are improbable, and the stories aren't even mysteries! This weekend I read The Boxcar Children, The Bicycle Mystery, and the Bus Stop Mystery (which was the worst of the three, by far). What a letdown.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Kianna (new)

Kianna lol I remember when i was in elementary, my Teacher would read those books to us and i always thought they were so boring. i actually thought i was the only one who felt that way about those books because everyone else in my class enjoyed them haha!


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I think part of the magic of this book that only appeals to children (I say this specific one because I tried reading the others in the series, and even as a kid, I did not like any of them, and I also have a theory for that) is the fact that it's, in essence, a written manifestation of every child's adventure fantasy of running away from home to survive on his/her own. Of course it would not work for an adult because one with a developed sense of rational would never understand the logic or probability of playing house in a abandoned boxcar in the woods. You ask a child, "If you were in this situation, how would you get food? Shelter?" and you get The Boxcar Children. You ask an adult, and you would probably get "Go to the homeless shelter or soup kitchen." as a reply. It's definitely not an exciting, romantic adventure. That's also the problem with the other books, is once the children have been found, there's not really that sense of independence anymore. The Boxcar is tethered to Mr. Aldren's backyard. Instead of having adventures to find food and money, it's "Oh, we'll just go home."

Nevertheless, I still give it five stars. I absolutely loved this book as a child, and I still remember the times I felt physically transported outside of my house to the boxcar. But since you said so, I'll just keep it as a distant, delightful memory instead of trying to reread it.


Alyse Like Carolyn said, these books were written to be appealing for children. They are very easy to read and don't require a lot of thought for young readers. It's also important to remember these were written a long time ago and many of the themes may not be as applicable (or probably) in modern life. Wuthering Heights would never happen as it was written today, either, but that doesn't make it any less of a story....


Kylee This book was amazing as a kid. And to this day I still read it to bring old memories back. There is nothing wrong with a little imagination, this would never happen in real life but who cares it's a children's book. And for all of you giving this a two or one didn't understand the entire concept of this book. You are too stuck in your little grown up world to understand the full potential this book has to offer. All you are thinking about is how the kids would die and would never be able to escape and live in a Boxcar, but does that really matter. Have a little imagination, go into a little kids perspective, living with just your sibling out in the woods discovering new things everyday almost as if it was a game. This is why I hate the older generation that only have a mind of a thirty year old and can't loosen up a little and think like a kid every once and a while.


message 5: by Dawn (new)

Dawn You are the same person you were as a child? You haven't matured at all?


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