Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Boxcar Children #1

The Boxcar Children

Rate this book
The Aldens begin their adventure by making a home in a boxcar. Their goal is to stay together, and in the process they find a grandfather.

154 pages, Paperback

First published February 6, 1924

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Gertrude Chandler Warner

530 books659 followers

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 CHILDREN MYSTERIES.

As a child, Gertrude enjoyed many of the things that girls enjoy today. She loved furnishing a dollhouse with handmade furniture and she liked to read. Her favorite book was ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Often on Sundays after church, Gertrude enjoyed trips to visit her grandparents' farm. Along the way, she and Frances would stop to pick the wildflowers they both loved. Gertrude's favorite flower was the violet.

Her family was a very musical one. They were able to have a family orchestra, and Gertrude enjoyed playing the cello. Her father had brought her one from New York ---a cello, a bow, a case and an instruction book. All together, he paid $14. Later, as an adult, she began playing the pipe organ and sometimes substituted for the church organist.

Due to ill health, Ms. Warner never finished high school. She left in the middle of her second year and studied with a tutor. Then, in 1918, when teachers were called to serve in World War I, the school board asked her to teach first grade. She had forty children in the morning and forty more in the afternoon. Ms. Warner wrote, "I was asked or begged to take this job because I taught Sunday School. But believe me, day school is nothing like Sunday School, and I sure learned by doing --- I taught in that same room for 32 years, retiring at 60 to have more time to write." Eventually, Ms. Warner attended Yale, where she took several teacher training courses.

Once when she was sick and had to stay home from teaching, she thought up the story about the Boxcar Children. It was inspired by her childhood dreams. As a child, she had spent hours watching the trains go by near her family's home. Sometimes she could look through the window of a caboose and see a small stove, a little table, cracked cups with no saucers, and a tin coffee pot boiling away on the stove. The sight had fascinated her and made her dream about how much fun it would be to live and keep house in a boxcar or caboose. She read the story to her classes and rewrote it many times so the words were easy to understand. Some of her pupils spoke other languages at home and were just learning English. THE BOXCAR CHILDREN gave them a fun story that was easy to read.

Ms. Warner once wrote for her fans, "Perhaps you know that the original BOXCAR CHILDREN. . . raised a storm of protest from librarians who thought the children were having too good a time without any parental control! That is exactly why children like it! Most of my own childhood exploits, such as living in a freight car, received very little cooperation from my parents."

Though the story of THE BOXCAR CHILDREN went through some changes after it was first written, the version that we are familiar with today was originally published in 1942 by Scott Foresman. Today, Albert Whitman & Company publishes this first classic story as well as the next eighteen Alden children adventures that were written by Ms. Warner.

Gertrude Chandler Warner died in 1979 at the age of 89 after a full life as a teacher, author, and volunteer for the American Red Cross and other charitable organizations. After her death, Albert Whitman & Company continued to receive mail from children across the country asking for more adventures about Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny Alden. In 1991, Albert Whitman added to THE BOXCAR CHILDREN MYSTERIES so that today's children can enjoy many more adventures about this independent and caring group of children.

Books about Gertrude: https://www.goodreads.com/characters/...

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
60,347 (46%)
4 stars
37,838 (28%)
3 stars
24,119 (18%)
2 stars
5,779 (4%)
1 star
2,774 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,930 reviews
Profile Image for Sherry.
3 reviews
December 30, 2020
When I was young, around the age of 7 I think, my mother was hospitalized for several months. I went to stay with my aunt and uncle. I missed my parents dreadfully. One warm afternoon while wandering around around on their property, I found a box of old books in a barn of sorts. I picked up The Boxcar Children and begain to read. My loneliness disappeared, and my life changed forever. The story pulled me in and I couldn't put it down. I felt as if I was a part of their adventures and the boxcar. Since that day 50 years ago, I have been an avid reader. I read this book to my children, I have even shared it with my grandchildren. I have an original copy and I will pass it down to one of my children when I pass.

To the adults that read this book and gave it low reviews, I think to really enjoy this book you must be a child. The simple mystery, and exploration is made for a young child's mind.
Yet the sad truth is children are now spoon feed TV, DVDs and Video games at an early age, little imagination is needed. Maybe thats it, maybe this book is just to simple now days.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.5k followers
May 2, 2022
The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children, #1), Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Boxcar Children is a children's book series, written by Gertrude Chandler Warner. A classic tale among a group of four orphaned siblings, taking care of each other, after their father dies. Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are brothers and sisters. They're orphans too, and the only way they can stay together is to make it on their own. When the children find an abandoned boxcar in the woods, they decide to call it home and become the Boxcar Children!

تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز نخست ماه می سال2018میلادی

عنوان: بچه‌های واگنی؛ نویسنده: گرترود چندلر وارنر؛ مترجم: آیدا مرادی‌ آهنی؛ تهران، نشر جیکا، سال1395؛ در111ص؛ مصور؛ کودک و نوجوان؛ شابک9786008328063؛ چاپ دوم سال1397؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده20م

سری بیست جلدی کتابهای «بچه‌های واگنی»، داستانهای چهار کودک به نامهای (هنری، جسی، وایولت و بنی)، از یک خانواده به نام «آلدن» هستند؛ بچه ها پدر و مادرشان را از دست داده‌ اند؛ آنها از پدربزرگشان فراری هستند؛ و هیچوقت پدربزرگشان را ندیده‌ اند، اما می‌دانند که او از مادرشان بدش می‌آمده، و به همین برهان نمی‌خواهند با او باشند؛ در یک روز بارانی، آنگاه که آنها در جنگل سرگردان، و به دنبال یک مکان خوب هستند تا از دست باران در امان بمانند، ناگهان یک فکر ناباورانه به سرشان می‌زند و ...؛ نویسنده ماجراهای این خانواده ی داستانی، را در نوزده کتاب پس از این کتاب نیز، پی گرفته اند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 11/02/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,219 reviews2,049 followers
April 29, 2017
I never came across this book as a child - presumably it did not cross the Atlantic to the UK where I grew up on a diet of the Secret Seven and the Famous Five. So I thought I would check it out now as it sits at the top of many popularity lists.
Having read all the reviews I think many people must be giving it five stars just for nostalgia value because to an adult outsider like me it certainly does not get five stars for content! However it is a nice, child friendly story with a degree of action but nothing truly scary or worrying. The four children are caring and sharing and totally unreal, but this is fiction we are reading!
Today's children would still enjoy it for the pure fun of reading about four children setting up home in a box car and making a success of it. I can understand why it is so popular and why it holds a special place in the hearts of those who read it years ago.
Profile Image for Greg.
129 reviews58 followers
July 11, 2012
Never having read any of The Boxcar Children series as a kid, a friend recently gave me a copy of an ebook comprising the first 12 volumes to see what I missed out on. As a boy, I had been a fan of Enid Blyton's books, which were largely set in Britain, so I was curious to see how something similar from the US would read. I had also read that The Boxcar Children series is still very popular among kids despite having started in the 1940s.

As the book was first published 70 years ago, I was expecting it to be somewhat old-fashioned and sexist. To some degree this is true. The four orphaned children mimic the typical white middle-class family with the older boy and girl taking on parental roles towards the younger girl and boy according to a largely traditional sexual division of labour. Henry, the older boy, goes into town to do odd jobs so that he can earn money to buy food and other needed items, such as a tablecloth, for himself and his siblings. Jessie, the older girl, stays at home to mind the younger kids (at one point cutting Benny's hair) and acts as a housekeeper, washing clothes and cooking meals. Similarly, Henry makes a cart for Benny while Violet is thrilled to hem the new tablecloth and Jessie makes a broom. However, the girls are also resourceful in locating an old dump from which cracked, but serviceable, crockery and a cooking kettle could be salvaged. They also make, with the help of little Benny, a stone-lined fire-pit over which the kettle could be suspended from a wire strung between two trees. Jessie also made a ladle from a tin cup fastened to a stick and used charcoal to write words on sheets of wrapping paper so that Benny could start learning to read.

But the kids also work together to build a small dam across a stream and instead of Henry using his age and gender to dictate what the group should do, he often asks Jessie for her advice. It is probably because he is the eldest that Henry is always the one to light the fire, and it is his strength (as the oldest and biggest child) that is sometimes needed to lift heavier rocks.

The book subtley teaches some practical wisdom - to always drink water from a water pump or fountain as opposed to a brook, that things can be recycled, to use boiling water to rinse off crockery found in a dump instead of just washing it in cold water, to use sand as a scouring agent, how to manage time (Jessie washing everyone's stockings while the others built the dam), using pine needles as bedding, locating a hearth away from anything that might catch fire (and having a container of water to hand in case something did catch light), and so on.

The children are also respectful of other people's property, with for example Henry asking permission to take stunted vegetables thinned out from a vegetable patch or bent nails from a garage rather than presuming to take them even though they would've been discarded anyway.

The overall impression I have of reading the book is that the kids are very practical and independent (except, not unreasonably, when it comes to illness). They seem to belong to a can-do generation unlike many of today's children whom, I feel, are more dependent and infantilised. Many schools in the US apparently ban kids of even high school age from possessing or using a pointed pair of scissors because it could hurt somebody. Likewise pen-knives are forbidden. And how many kids today could make a broom, hem a cloth or make a cart without the help of parents or other adults? Books like The Boxcar Children therefore serve as useful and accessible repositories of practical knowledge and advice that kids today and in the future can learn and that will hopefully encourage them to explore, make, repair, and innovate in ways that endless hours of computer games and cartoons on TV will not.

A couple of things that made me go 'hmmm' include the kids not hearing thunder as they slept outside in a wood (is that even possible?), or the description of the kids after a day spent cherry-picking as being 'better than most workers, because [they] are so happy' (so most workers should go about their work gleefully in order to be considered 'good'?). Henry also seems to be a bit dense later in the story in not recognising a man he had only seen a day or two before - but this is probably to add a little tension to the narrative and to get any kids reading the book a bit frustrated over how long Henry was taking to figure it out.

Apart from these minor quibbles, this is a book I would recommend to any child old enough to read it - and maybe for those adults who want to catch up with aspects of their childhood that they missed.
Profile Image for Brooke.
23 reviews2 followers
October 15, 2010

I read this in 1993 when I was in 3rd grade and just loved it.
I never thought of all the gender stereotypes because I knew that it was an old book and you often see that in old books.
Come on, there is a "horse and cart" coming down the road, the boys are wearing short pants and stockings, and the girls have on kerchiefs over their heads.
Clearly this is not a modern book and we don't need to expect it to be modern.
Kids reading it should not be changed or affected by the gender stereotypes because they should be able to understand that in the past, things were very different than how they are now.

To children reading this when it was re-released in 1942, children who had been through the great depression, this book told them what kind of people they should be... ever optimistic even in hard times, good at working together toward a common goal without fighting with each other, self-relient and hard working. Good lessons for kids in any time period, including today.

History of it, for those interested.....
People think it came out in 1942.
But they often don't know this actually came out in 1924 but few copies were made and it is extremely hard to find an original. The books is very different from the current version.
I do have one, and many things were changed. Some of the characters names are different, there are a lot more adventures in the book (the current version is shortened), and the kids actual mom and dad are included in the beginning of the book before they died (and it was a bit darker, because apparently they got drunk a lot and were not said to be good parents- so if you thought it was odd that the kids aren't upset over their dead parents, well, maybe that's why).
The book was also a lot more descriptive than now.
But anyway, it was published by a different company in 1924. Then, in 1942, it was re-published but the new company had the author re-write it to simplify it for younger children to read. That's why there are all the changes.
The current version, the 1942 version, is the same as the version you read today.

Profile Image for Tracy .
762 reviews12 followers
May 4, 2022
I remember my teacher reading this to our class and being completely enthralled by the adventures of the amazing boxcar children.
Profile Image for Katie.
69 reviews1 follower
March 23, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Hilary .
2,230 reviews398 followers
April 15, 2016
We enjoyed this story of siblings surviving without grownups. Aimed at younger children as a read on your own style book ,we found it did lack substance because of it's simplicity of language. We did find similarities with Blyton's Secret Island which is a wonderful book. As an adult I found the storyline involving the Grandfather having nothing to do with the children's mother a little strange and perhaps unnecessary in a book aimed at young children to read to themselves as the situation wasn't given an explanation. I expect that considering this is a read alone book from the 1940s it was probably quite good for it's time, even these days I think most of the school reading books are very boring.
Profile Image for Juli.
1,879 reviews474 followers
August 9, 2019
I have always heard such good things about this children's series...but never took the time to read any of the books. This year I decided to make a concentrated effort to revisit favorite books/series that I love and to finally read books I've always wanted to read. This series made the list. I'm so glad I took the time finally to enjoy this sweet story! I enjoyed it enough to read more!

The Boxcar Children series was originally started in the 1920's. Gertrude Chandler Warner was a first grade teacher, and wanted to write an adventure story for young children. This first book was originally published in 1924, but revised, edited and re-released in 1942. Warner added 18 more books to the series, starting with Surprise Island in 1949. More than 132 books were added to the series by other authors, as well as a couple spin off series. I can understand why -- this adventure story is sweet, engaging and fun to read. I'm 50 years old, and still loved this tale of four children who want to stay together at all costs after the loss of their parents.

This first story introduces Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny. After being orphaned, they are roaming and working to survive as a family. They have a grandfather, but they are afraid of him. They find an abandoned boxcar near a town and make it their home. They trust very few people because they are afraid of being sent to an orphanage and split up. They have quite the adventure! Great story for kids and adults!

I listened to the audio book version of this story (Oasis Audio). Narrated by Aimee Lilly, the audio is just under 2 hours long. Lilly reads at a nice, steady pace and has a pleasant voice. She gave a great performance. This audio would be fun and interesting for both kids and adults.

I'm definitely going to keep reading this series. It's happy, innocent and enjoyable. Sometimes I need a "feel good'' story, even if it was written for young children. :)
Profile Image for DivaDiane.
948 reviews88 followers
November 5, 2021
I read this as a kid, probably around age 9. I needed a Middle Grade audio book for a challenge and found this. Actually, I found The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit first and confused the 2. I have the Boxcar Children as an ebook that I've been meaning to read for many years (to my son who is now really too old), so this was perfect.

This simple story from a much simpler time is told in quite simple language. Perfect for new chapter book readers (ages 8 - 10 I should think). The children are too good to be true and they meet a lot of lovely people and even the mean people they meet aren't that mean. It is never explained how they could've been so wrong about their grandfather. I don't remember that hole from when I read it as a child, but I really wanted to know now.

The audio book I listened to was good. The narrator, Aimee Lilly, was quite good, but her children's voices were pretty annoying. They used sparing sound effects to enhance the narrative. I liked it.
Profile Image for Stacy.
81 reviews
February 1, 2008
I wanted to read this book because my mom said it was one of her favorites from her childhood. She said she identified with the children who had to take care of themselves. I don't think that's a compliment to my grandparents.

Anyway, reading this makes me realize how much children's literature has changed. The plot is like Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events - orphan siblings using their own resources to help themselves. But the tone is so sugary sweet it gives me a toothache. The children are always happy when they're working, never seem to miss their parents or complain about sleeping in a haystack or a boxcar, and never even think about getting on each other's nerves.

Would I have liked this if I had read it as a child? A very, very young, innocent child? Were any of us ever that innocent?
Profile Image for Amanda NEVER MANDY.
453 reviews99 followers
January 14, 2016
My love for reading was formed during my early years and I can clearly remember the books that brought it about. The picture books were all a blur of toddling first steps, a means to get to the main event…chapter books. I was never the child you had to force to check out the “big kids’ books”, I was the one that had to be reminded of the checkout limit. To be submerged in an ocean of bound together written words was and still is divine!!!

This book deserves a nod for creating two reading interests for me: the mystery and the series. I can now laugh at the far-fetched premise of orphaned children living in a boxcar solving mysteries but at the time, I was hooked. I can guarantee part of my want for a clubhouse stemmed from this read, though sadly by the time I got a treehouse I was past mysteries and more into MLP and TMNT.
Profile Image for Emily.
119 reviews568 followers
December 26, 2022
So nostalgic! One of my first (if not my very first) chapter books. Not much happens though?!
Profile Image for Britany.
964 reviews417 followers
January 18, 2020
Picked this one up on the serial app mostly for the nostalgia factor but also hit a PopSugar Challenge prompt of reading a book in a series with over 20 books. Who knew?

Four siblings whose parents pass away leaving them to fend for themselves and run away from their town before their grandfather can find them. They find a old boxcar that they quickly inhabit and live in. They have adventures, adopt an Airedale, Watch, and earn a small living helping out the local Doctor. All is happy and a tad unbelievable, but it was fun to dig into this timeframe and a feel good adventure with some cute additions.
Profile Image for Esti.
75 reviews2 followers
September 5, 2017
Bonus review (not following the rules, but very heartfelt): I re-read this book out of sheer nostalgia, after typing up my review of the very unfortunate graphic novel adaptation. Though I probably read it a dozen times as a child, I hadn't looked at it since about fourth grade. I was impressed, when I read the graphic novel, how much I remembered from the original... Benny's pink cup, the swimming pool, the wonderful domesticity of everything, to the point of spending scarce money on salt and stockings just to remain civilized. I've always been an enthusiastic player of the game 'House,' and to this day books like the Boxcar Children are the only reason my dishes get washed in a timely manner. I also found that one of the most discomfiting features of the graphic novel is its rampant use of contractions, which Ms. Warner seemed to avoid as much as possible, even at the cost of some realism. When I finished the novel and was tempted to read on in the series, I suddenly remembered how little use I'd had for the rest of the books... the mysteries were charming enough, but nothing could top the great adventure of four children surviving so brilliantly on their own wits and skills. Children today (and of my generation, and probably one or two before it) don't really have those skills--when adolescent boys carry knives now they are rarely for whittling, and I certainly didn't learn how to cook a nice stew until I was well past childhood. But we all wish we did, and we hope that our own triumphs are as courageous and innovative as making a proper home out of an old train car. In its way, this book has the same appeal as a fantasy novel, where the protagonists (usually heroines, in my library) learn all sorts of magic and swordplay by their twelfth birthdays. Though to my (more or less) adult eyes, the story is quite dated, the world the Alden children live in is absolutely magical, and I'm so happy to have revisited it.
Profile Image for Laur.
494 reviews71 followers
September 21, 2021
A true heartwarming classic tale among a group of 4 orphaned siblings taking care of each other after their father dies. In their journey to find I place to stay together, they find an old abandoned boxcar. The boxcar becomes their place of refuge, and the children delight in fixing it up to become their home. As the older boy seeks to find work in town to provide them with food, he finds kindness with a Doctor who hires him for chores.

This is 1st of a series called the Boxcar Children. It’s a rather short, but very inspiring story.
Profile Image for ellie.
544 reviews165 followers
March 21, 2018
This is the book that made me a reader. I know many people don't have any way of knowing this, so I'm so grateful that I know. I still remember the day I walked into my 5th grade classroom in 2008, and there was a little bookshelf in the corner with a green beanbag. It was my first time in an American classroom, and I had never read an English book before. My homeroom teacher told us that if we read anything there, she'd give us a sticker! So I went, sat on the beanbag, and looked at the books. I found this one, with a group of kids and this bright red train on the cover.

So I opened it, and to my delight, there were drawings! I loved the drawings, and I loved the four kids, their dog, and their boxcar. I remember connecting to the children so much, despite not being an orphan or in the 1950s, because I was so overwhelmed at this new world. And these kids were, too, but they had each other. I had them. They were determined to survive, no matter what, and so was I. I've read almost every single book in this series, and the first is still the one I know and remember the most. And of course, love the most.

Rereading now, exactly 10 years later, I see how simple the language is. The concept is also pretty freaking crazy if you think about it - these kids in the middle of the woods somehow manage to not die for a month. But still! I love it. I will always love them. When I wasn't very familiar to reading English, this helped. This little tiny book encouraged me to keep reading about their adventures, to keep improving my English, to keep reading. I'll forever be thankful for these four kids.
Profile Image for Jenne.
1,086 reviews662 followers
July 28, 2015
hahaha wow this is such a weird story! But also just the kind of thing I like. I mean who wouldn't want to set up a little house in an old boxcar in the woods and eat delicious food and play in the creek.
In closing, I have two words: CHERRY. DUMPLINGS.
Profile Image for Kris Irvin.
1,358 reviews51 followers
June 13, 2013
I read The Boxcar Children as a child. I think I was 7 or 8 when I started reading them. It was the first series I ever collected and I loved these books.

I wanted to introduce them to my 5 year old. He's mildly autistic and has a very short attention span, but surprisingly, he sits still and listens to the story here. He loves Benny and Watch, and though he may not understand all of what is happening, I think he is getting the gist of it all. It's been a great experience to read these and re-live my childhood while sharing the magic of the story with my son.

Fantastic book no matter how old you are. I love how cute and mildly antiquated it is. I love the characters and how the children are so good. They're good to each other, they work hard, they try try try. They are great little people and I am happy to have them be in my son's imagination - I mean, I'd rather have these sweet little children being his imaginary friends than having violent Batman or whiny Caillou be his imaginary friend.
Profile Image for Nadin Adel.
733 reviews69 followers
November 25, 2017
A novel about orphan siblings whom ran away from their grandfather that they never saw and knew he would treat them badly, as he didn't like their late mother. The story ending is wise as it turns out into a great conclusion.

To sum up, sometimes the things we are most frightened of are the things we should, actually, embrace with all our senses. Finally, never close your ears of what you thought was the mere truth, everything needs consistent testing and evaluation by both our mind and heart.
Profile Image for Megan.
713 reviews5 followers
February 10, 2009
I happened to stumble across this and I was addicted to these when I was younger so I thought a re-read was in order. It was a little different than I remember but just as charming. I can see why I wanted to live in a boxcar when I was little. However, there is some weird gender things and other stuff that I never would have noticed as a child but seems glaringly obvious and weird as an adult. Overall reading it again was a heck of a lot of fun.
Profile Image for Gretchen.
111 reviews14 followers
October 23, 2018
This is not a 5 star book but dammit, I'm giving it 5 stars anyway. I remember gobbling this up as a kid and it felt like a goddamn treat to read it as an adult and throw away everything I've learned of life. As I read it, I remembered what it felt like to be a kid -- every broken dish, every rusty spoon is a treasure. I dreamed of moving to the woods, making do for myself, surviving on my own without adults who just don't get it. And (possible spoiler alert) they end up rich! Rich, I tell you! That's exactly how I thought my life would turn out and I'm still waiting. Best of all worlds, totally fake book where people are rewarded for good behavior, there's not a disgusting creep on every corner (or in the White House) and that's exactly how I want it.
Profile Image for Jess Owens.
303 reviews4,388 followers
June 14, 2018
I haven’t read this series in a long time. I was going to say how long, but I’m not trying to give away my age.

These have to be the worlds most well behaved and unrealistic children of all time but I love them. It was fun to read again as an adult.
Profile Image for Kathy.
2,156 reviews31 followers
November 6, 2020
Read this many years ago and enjoyed the adventures of Harry, Jessie, Violet and Benny. They are so hopeful and trying so hard, it is an enjoyable read during these stressful times.
Profile Image for Diana • Book of Secrets.
780 reviews567 followers
November 11, 2019
Re-read! THE BOXCAR CHILDREN is one of my top five favorite books from childhood. I loved everything about it. That cozy home & life they made in the boxcar was so intriguing. I didn't realize until I was an adult that it was part of a mystery series, now with 150+ books. I have some catching up to do...♥
Profile Image for Book Concierge.
2,764 reviews333 followers
May 27, 2022
This is the first in a very popular series for children. First published in 1924 it introduces readers to the four orphaned siblings: Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny. Nothing is said about how they came to be all alone, but they do have a grandfather whom they believe does not like them, since he never came to see them.

But they are very resourceful and work well as a team. They find an old boxcar on a section of abandoned railway, which is near a running brook and not too far from a town. Henry, the oldest finds work mowing the lawn and doing other chores for a doctor and his mother, while Jessie and Violet work to make a “home.” It’s a grand adventure and a charming story with a happy ending. Perfect for the intended audience.

I can certainly see why the books are so popular and wonder why I never read them as a child. I think I would have loved them. (And I may read more of the series.)
Profile Image for Leslie.
64 reviews1 follower
April 12, 2009
I loved these books as a child. I just re-read this one again, now as an adult. In reading many of the comments made here, I realize that most of you may not know this book was published in 1942, right after the Great Depression. This is a book about children who start off with nothing, but managed to survive and even thrive on their own resourcefulness. This was probably a very powerful book in 1942 and it is still relevant, perhaps even more so, today.

I love that these children are respectful, support each other, work hard, and never lose faith that things will somehow be alright. How many children today would be so thrilled to find cracked dishes in a dump and be grateful to have them?
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 40 books411 followers
September 29, 2016
Ahh, this just stirs up happy childhood memories. I loved this book and series so much. It is one of those series that our family lends out all the time,
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,930 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.