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The Boxcar Baby

(Steel Roots #1)

by
4.11  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The Box Car Baby introduces the character of AB’Gale Steel who was born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia, according to what her papa told her. Bishop Steel, a mechanical engineer for the Southern Railroad, found his adopted daughter snuggled in a basket of cotton on an otherwise empty boxcar in the train yard. When no one came around to claim the baby, Bishop Steel ...more
Paperback, 274 pages
Published July 12th 2013 by Seventh Star Press, LLC (first published 2013)
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Heena Rathore P.
The Boxcar Baby by J.L. Mulvihill is a steampunk dystopian with a very interesting plot which unfortunately wasn't executed well.

Considering the beautiful covers of all the three books in this series, I was expecting the book to be really good and polished, but unfortunately, it proved to be a bit of a disappointment. I have the entire series with me and I was really excited about it, but there is so much telling and not enough showing in this book that it gets difficult to read after a couple o
...more
A.B. Shepherd
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it
I don't have a whole lot of experience with the Steampunk genre in general so this was a little bit different for me.

J.L. Mulvihill does a good job of building a world - an alternate history of the USA in which workhouses are the norm and there is a heavy Big Brother type government. The poor are oppressed, valueless and forced into servitude.

AB'Gale, or Abby is a sixteen year old young woman who has lived a sheltered and priviledged life up until the point that her father vanishes. With the fam
...more
Rayleigh
Aug 15, 2018 rated it liked it
The Boxcar Baby is a steampunk adventure with a touch of fantasy that will tug at your heart strings.

AB’Gale is a sweet but fiery character who desperately wants to find her adopted father. Everything in her normal life is ripped apart when he goes missing and it’s up to her to find him and put it back together.

This book took me a while to get into. I wasn’t taken with the writing style right off (it desperately needs an editor….), and a lot of the story confused me in the first several chapters
...more
Pamela Scott
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres...

(copy via Tomorrow Comes Media and voluntarily reviewed, blog tour 12 August, posted late due to a mix-up with dates)

This is my first time reading the author.

I thought The Boxcar Baby was a great read. I didn’t realise at first that the book is classed as Steampunk. I thought it was alternative history or something similar. I don’t read a lot of Steampunk. I thought the world-building was great. AB’Gale’s life and the world she lives in come vividly to lif
...more
Honestly  Austen
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This story was full of adventure, heartache and friendship. From the opening chapter, this book was not like any I had read before. And as the story progressed and the events unfolded only adding more strife for the main character I was compelled to continue.

I love how The Boxcar Baby goes beyond the conventional norms which can be found in young adult fiction: how when the heroine meets a "handsome" stranger her goal can be sidetracked due to a possible love interest.

The central themes of frien
...more
Dcdfn
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Format: Kindle Edition
You can't predict what will happen next but you have faith that Abby will figure out someway to survive. This book doesn't end in a cliffhanger but I really want to know what happens next. A story for all ages, I wish my girls were young again because this would have been a great book to read together. 5 stars because I can hear my kids asking questions and telling me what they would do if they were there. Any book that can cause that much excitement is a great book.
Jenna | Bookmark Your Thoughts
“Sighing, I put my head on my knees and watch an ant crawl up the tree limb, so small and insignificant, and all alone. I’m glad I’m not an ant, though sometimes I feel like one.”

With the main heroine being the adventure taking Boxcar Baby herself, J.L. Mulvihill’s The Boxcar Baby follows AB’Gale as she desperately seeks to find her papa and set things back in order. When her papa doesn’t return home, AB’Gale takes it upon herself to discover his whereabouts before she and her family lose their
...more
a_tiffyfit
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received my e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review for a book tour.

AB'gale, a 16 year old girl, is the Boxcar Baby. She is called that because she was found as a baby in one of the boxcars of a freight train by her Papa. He named her AB'gale because the boxcar was labeled as such. She's commonly called "Abby" or "Abbygale" by others who do not know her.

One day, Abby's world goes to hell as her Papa has gone missing, not returning from his last job run over fiv
...more
Hollyann
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
(I received an ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.)

This book was hard to define. At times I was certain I would have to read the next two books in the series. Other times I was certain it wouldn't be worth it.

Mostly the problem was that there were too many things going on. From home to the train station to the workhouse to the train to a town to a mine and so on and the very large portion that was the workhouse didn't seem to add much to the story. It was just an obstacle.

The ominous
...more
Cassandra
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Boxcar Baby was a book labeled as Steampunk Fantasy-esque.

When actually sat down to read it took me about two weeks to read primarily since had a lot going in my studies. The Boxcar Baby was a pleasant surprise since considered the fact that if it was one of those books, you know, the type that if you don't finish in about three to four days you'll lose your place in the story or worse yet outright interest. It was a pleasant surprise again since none of this ever actually happened and every
...more
Rachel Tsoumbakos
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kids and young adults will LOVE this novel and, no doubt, the consequent books in the Steel Roots series. There is plenty of action, loads of adventure and a main character that is feisty and completely lovable. Not to mention the intrigue of a dystopian-steampunk universe and a swarm of characters that all have their own unique voices and stories to tell.

The Boxcar Baby is told through the eyes of 15 year old AB’Gale Steel, a young woman who had a safe, secure life in a hard world – until her p
...more
Sheila
AB’Gale, teen protagonist of J.L. Mulvihill’s The Boxcar Baby, has such a great teen voice, convincingly old-world, occasionally lyrical, determined, decisive and strong. She lives in a world of trains and steam-cars, where the poor are rounded up into “workinhouses” and dark deeds are afoot (or atrain I guess). AB’Gale’s adopted, a foundling from a boxcar, and her adoptive father’s gone missing, leaving the grandmother unable to pay the bills. Suddenly Abby’s safe small world is gone, and this ...more
Robin Blankenship
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
I want to start off by saying I am so very glad that this is a series. I can not wait to see where the story will head next. This is a YA book but I very much enjoyed it. This one was one I think would be good for anyone 12+. One thing I really loved about this one was it was fast paced and moved quickly. Mulvihill did an amazing job making realistic characters. She wrote in a way that helped us meet and understand the characters. Abby is a kind, spirited girl who embarks on a journey to find he ...more
WTF Are You Reading?
Boxcar Baby is one of those rare finds of a book that manages to evoke images of a by-gone era in a way that is accessible not only to the YA audience, but to a wide range of readers across the literary spectrum.

In AB'Gale, readers find a protagonist who is no stranger to the hard knocks of life, though her adoptive father and grandmother have done all they can to shield her and provide her with a loving and stable home.
With her father missing and her grandmother attempting to stall efforts by
...more
William Bentrim
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Box Car Baby by J.L. Mulvihill

This is book one of the Steel Roots series. Even telling you that up front won't stop you from being annoyed when the book stops abruptly. I enjoyed the book but I wish the author would have coasted to a stop rather than doing a tuck and roll out the window and having the story just stop. Abby is a teenager thrust into an intolerable situation when her father disappears, her main caretaker grandmother is incarcerated and she is pursued by an evil landlord.

Ms. Mulvi
...more
Jeremy Hicks
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
J.L. Mulvihill's Boxcar Baby is a dark, dystopian fairy tale set in a disturbingly realistic alternate America. One can easily see that fascism and the forces feared by survival and conspiracy types everywhere control the System as well as the lives of those trapped within it or living on the fringe of it.

AB'Gale Steel and her family are but one example of those whose lives are impacted by the depredations of the desperados in the System's bureaucracy. But Abby is different. She fights back. She
...more
Kathryn
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really liked the Boxcar Baby, J.L Mulvihill was able to build a world with interesting characters especially the main heroine AB'gale. I was able to empathize with her and her struggles in the dirty world of Abby's time. There are a lot of sad parts in the book that are well written and I found myself caught in the moment. I also thought it was interesting that in the book we kept talking about fairy tale monsters and are lead to believe that they don't actually exist until we get deeper into ...more
LadyDamonayde
This was a great book. I actually met JL at MidSouthCon this past weekend and really loved talking to her. She actually warned me about the twist at the end, but I still didn't see it comming.

I've been looking for more great steampunk and I've definetly found it in this book. I hope the next one comes out soon. I'll be keeping a close eye out.
Jen Mulvihill
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
So I wrote this novel so all I can say is that I really liked writing which I think is saying something right? So if you like this novel please write a review. All I ask is that you be real and say how you really feel about it.
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Born in Hollywood and raised in San Diego, CA, J.L. Mulvihill has made Mississippi her home for the past fifteen years. Her debut novel was the young adult title The Lost Daughter of Easa, an engaing fantasy novel bordering on science-fiction with a dash of steampunk, published through Kerlak Publishing.
J.L. also has several short fiction pieces in publication, among them "Chilled Meat", a steampu
...more

Other books in the series

Steel Roots (3 books)
  • Crossings (Steel Roots #2)
  • Rails West (Steel Roots # 3)