Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Railway Children” as Want to Read:
The Railway Children
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

The Railway Children

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  52,436 ratings  ·  1,630 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)
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 The Railway Children, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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 r…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
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  52,436 ratings  ·  1,630 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Railway Children
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Railway Children, E. Nesbit

The Railway Children is a children's book by Edith Nesbit, originally serialized in The London Magazine during 1905 and first published in book form in 1906. It has been adapted for the screen several times, of which the 1970 film version is the best known.

The story concerns a family who move from London to "The Three Chimneys", a house near the railway in Yorkshire, after the father, who works at the Foreign Office, is imprisoned after being falsely accused of sp
...more
Jan-Maat
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
...more
Dhanaraj Rajan
Question: Why do I read Children's Literature?
Answer: I read them because they are feel good stories and they fill you to the brim with hopes. They teach you great lessons through simple actions and easy sentences.

Question: Did The Railway Children fulfill these expectations?
Answer: Certainly. My Four Stars rating is the proof of that.

Question: Why not a Five star rating?
Answer: Unfortunately I fell in the trap of comparison game. I compared it with other books of similar genre that had received
...more
Dannii Elle
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recently, I have been going through a phase of revisiting my favourite childhood reads to see if they still garner the same awe and satisfaction when read as an adult. This, I was happy to discover, is as beloved to me now as when I first read it as a child.

My younger self appreciated the focus on sibling bonds - from their minor feuds to their lasting camaraderie - but my older self has discovered the darker and more harrowing story-line, that I either seem to have prior missed or that had comp
...more
Manny
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Becki
Jan 13, 2009 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
...more
Loretta
I feel that there are many children’s classics that should have been read when one was young. For me, this was one of those classics. It was a nice enough story with each chapter filled with a good, solid, moral message for children, but again, as the story evolved, the ending was “tied up in a bow” and the characters world was set right again. Three stars for the writing.
Piyangie
The Railway Children is the best children's book that I read as an adult. It has the quality to capture both children and adults alike. Of course, it is a children's book but with a mature plot and a touch of realism. The story is not only about the "railway children", but also about the adults who are connected with them. And there is much to learn for both children and adults from this beautiful story.

When Roberta, Peter, and Phyllis had to move from their comfortable home with their mother a
...more
Luisa Knight
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Did you know that C.S. Lewis was greatly influenced by E. Nesbit’s literature? He adopted a similar writing style and mannerism to hers. In fact, he went as far as to mention the children in this story, the Bastable children, in his book The Magician’s Nephew. (Now you want to go back and read it, don’t you!).

So if you’re a Lewis fan, you’ll be delighted with this book and will enjoy discovering what aided his inspiration.

And if you’re not a Lewis fan, well, first you should take yourself in for
...more
Scarlet
Listened to a Librivox recording of this classic during a nine-hour car ride. It kept me entertained throughout the journey (and also helped to keep carsickness at bay). I would probably have enjoyed this a lot more had I read this in my early teens, when I was obsessed with authors like Enid Blyton. It's a charming, feel-good children's story with a cast of precocious kids who have their share of adventures while also rescuing a couple of people and brightening up the lives of the town folk in ...more
Laura Verret
A charming little children's tale - only in Britain, eh?
Roger Brunyate
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-readers
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 al
...more
Bill
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't even heard of this book, much less read it as a child, so the free LibriVox audiobook read by Karen Savage was a pleasant surprise and a very enjoyable companion on my daily walks.

The novel relates the adventures of three children transplanted with their mother from a quite comfortable life in early 1900s London to reduced circumstances in a farmhouse in Yorkshire, due to the father's sudden disappearance from their lives for unexplained reasons.

As their mother focuses on earning a meag
...more
Corinne
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Characters with excellent human values. It was refreshing to read this book during this harsh period.
Alice (Married To Books)
Having watched and enjoyed both film versions when I was younger, I was generally surprised to discover that I had never read the original classic until now. Set in London and a small rural village in the heart of the English countryside, three children (Bobby, Peter and Phyllis) are stunned when they have to leave the city lights and into a cottage in the middle of nowhere. Their father has been taken away from them and their mother won't reveal the main reason why. Meanwhile, the three childre ...more
Tharindu Dissanayake
' "Dear Mr. We do not know your name.
Mother is ill and the doctor says to give her the things at the end of the letter, but she says she can't aford it, and to get mutton for us and she will have the broth. We do not know anybody here but you, because Father is away and we do not know the address. Father will pay you, or if he has lost all his money, or anything, Peter will pay you when he is a man. We promise it on our honer. I.O.U. for all the things Mother wants. "
sined Peter.
"Will you give
...more
Duane
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
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
...more
Jenny Baker
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, 2019, childrens
My first read of 2019. I wish I had discovered E. Nesbit as a child, because I think it would have helped me to become more of an early reader.
Ruth
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Railway Children was a such a beautiful story.
In this sweet enduring classic,
set in the Edwardian era, is a tale
and adventures of three siblings:
Roberta "Bobbie, the oldest at
twelve years old who is a wise
and determine young girl, Peter,
the man of the house, a brave and
clever boy sees himself as a leader;
Phyllis, "Phil" the adorable and
bubbly youngest sister with a
very forgiving nature.

When their father is mysteriously
taken away by two men, their
mother moves them to the country
...more
Ferdy
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,
...more
Kady Monroe
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quick story about a family which has to move to a house near a railway line. They befriend the stationmaster and one of the train passengers. It was an enjoyable few hours audiobook.
Julia
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s been lovely to be a part of a children’s classics buddy read group, this month reading The Railway Children. I’d never read It when I was younger, so was great to read it now. The gentle way of it is a big contrast to what I’d normally read so it was a joy to read and escape to times gone by.
Tracey
Jan 06, 2012 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
Louise / Daisy May 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
...more
Tarmia
This was an endearing read, but one that, for me, was nothing more than endearing. The children, the side characters, and the narrator were all well considered and gave an almost whimsical sensation to the book, but I was lost when trying to properly connect and feel emotionally invested. It was very reminiscent of Little Women but luckily had less of the sexist undertones. Yes, I am aware of when these books were written, but I felt almost 'dirtied' by such statements as; 'girls are so much sof ...more
Eva
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
I cry so hard reading this book. So. Hard.
Marlene
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"...it's not so much what you do, as what you mean."

The Railway Children (1906, Wells Gardner, Darton) by E. Nesbit, is a children's chapter book set in Edwardian England near a railway station in Yorkshire. According to Wikipedia, the timeframe is thought to be the year 1905, which is the same year this story was published serially in The London Magazine. I tend to enjoy classic children's books, so when I found this title in my husband's library of Audible books, how could I resist?

Rating: 5
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2019 Roe Reading ...: The Railway Children 1 1 Sep 28, 2020 07:22AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add book cover 2 13 Jul 10, 2020 01:04AM  
Never too Late to...: 2018 July: The Railway Children by E Nesbit 19 27 Aug 02, 2018 04:34PM  
Reading Addicts: June Classic BOTM_The Railway Children 5 16 Jun 23, 2016 03:41AM  
Around the Year i...: The Railway Children, by Edith Nesbit 4 28 Mar 01, 2016 07:22AM  
enchanting adventures 3 34 Oct 09, 2014 05:09PM  
Reading Everythin...: The railway children 1 16 May 18, 2013 01:09AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Little Princess
  • What Katy Did
  • Tom's Midnight Garden
  • Pollyanna (Pollyanna, #1)
  • The Secret Garden
  • Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (Five Little Peppers, #1)
  • Eight Cousins (Eight Cousins, #1)
  • Black Beauty
  • Heidi (Heidi, #1-2)
  • Stig of the Dump
  • What Katy Did at School
  • The Return of the Railway Children
  • Little Town on the Prairie  (Little House, #7)
  • Swallows and Amazons (Swallows and Amazons, #1)
  • The Wind in the Willows
  • The Saturdays (The Melendy Family, #1)
  • Carrie's War
  • All-of-a-Kind Family (All-of-a-Kind-Family, #1)
See similar books…
737 followers
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

Related Articles

  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
31 likes · 49 comments
“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.” 31 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.” 23 likes
More quotes…