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The Box Children

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  205 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
"I will have to be careful," Lou Ann Campbell begins her diary. "Mother hunts through my room to make sure I'm not hiding things from her." The Box Children is the story of a twelve-year-old girl living on a Texas wheat farm. Her only friends are the Box Children, five tiny dolls she has named after her lost siblings-babies her mother has miscarried. This summer, Lou Ann's ...more
Hardcover, 186 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by Riverhead Hardcover (first published 2002)
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Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lou Ann Campbell is an extremely sympathetic character. She’s the eleven-year-old narrator of Sharon Wyse’s debut novel The Box Children.

“What you are reading is my diary,” Lou Ann writes. Lou Ann’s diary is a secret she keeps from her Mother, Father and older brother, Will. She lives with her family on a farm in rural Texas and it is her diary that acts as her confessor, confidante, and friend.

Despite the novel’s pastoral setting: “I can put my eyes just to the top of the wheat and see the worl
Sep 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sandy by: library shelf pick
Sometimes I think "This is an adult writing in these supposed words and thoughts of a child narrator. " It reminds me to stop myself from exclaiming how profound or extra-ordinaty this child's perceptions are.... Yet.... I also must remember how profound and extra-ordinary children's perceptions often are.

This is a wise child, learning to survive in a mean-to-her world with a violent mother and an utterly ineffectual father. She is smart and curious and tests the waters of her curiosity, sometim
Jul 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is hard for me to rate, because it was such a painful read. I didn't think I could finish it. I finally decided that I wanted to try again, because I stopped reading on such a depressing note and was hoping maybe the story would become more optimistic. I couldn't get the character out of my head, so I think that says something about the quality of the writing.

This was quite possibly the saddest book I've ever read. It filled me with anger and made me want to jump through the pages and
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ilyhana Kennedy
The first thing this novel does is undermine its credibility. A twelve year old girl from this social environment does not write so prolifically. A quick glimpse through later pages and the reader is expected to credit that in two a half months she has written the equivalent of a novel. So the framework for the story is jettisoned from the start.
It could have been written very effectively with just excerpts from her diary. The child's voice is authentic but her writing is not and the occasional
I really liked this book, narrated by a young girl, written in diary form. Here is a brief review of the book by the author:

Eleven-year-old Lou Ann Campbell starts a diary on scraps of paper that she hides from her mother in a barrel behind the bunkhouse on her family's Texas wheat farm. Lou Ann's mother has had five miscarriages and Lou Ann has created the box children--five plastic dolls who live in a shoe box--to memorialize these "ghost babies."

The Box Children is Lou Ann's secret diary. Thr
I'm surprised Oprah hasn't stamped her seal of approval on this one. Lou Ann has relatives with a tendency to touch her inappropriately and a pretty depressing life. I thought the writing was very good, though it tended to be sparse at times. However, I find certain parts sort of hard to believe.

*****************Spoiler ahead....***************

I don't know why any man who drinks in a story and is a father of a young girl automatically goes off to fondle her. Sometimes it seems like I was very,
Aug 19, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Box Children is written in the form of a diary of twelve year old Lou Ann. The writing style was difficult to adapt to at first. There is no punctuation, and sometimes words are misspelled or phrases don't make sense. However, the author does a great job of making it read just like a twelve year old girl's diary, so I'll give credit where it's due. Lou Ann's story is very dark, but her acute observations of her family life are downright hilarious. Every time you think things cannot get worse ...more
Nov 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. The book is written in the format of a diary from an eleven year old girl. She is going through was difficult experiences with a mother who is less than nurturing and kind. This young girl's inner strength is tangible and yet she is not even aware of it. It is a sad book and yet it made me realize how often in our own lives, the things that are difficult for us to endure, are the exact circumstances that make us strong and help us become who ewe are ultimately meant t ...more
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like Tideland
Shelves: favorites, 2012
This was a really good book, I feel that I can't justify it by writing a review. It was the sort of book I'm speed-reading through because I so badly need to know what happens next. I felt deeply for Lou Ann and had a ton of trouble even taking short breaks from the book, which is amazing as it's the first paperback I've read in a while. The only reason I'm giving four stars instead of five is I don't feel it really wrapped up, simply stopped - I wish the author had said more, or transitioned to ...more
Sep 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
Recommended to Tara by: Michelle
I really though this book was written well and captures the voice of this little girl. The most interesting part for me was her perceptions of her mother and the rest of the family. It had innocence to it. Through her eyes she shares her journey into womanhood and goes from honoring parents and not questioning to having opinions of her own and seeing her family as they are. It really makes me think of how children perceive and react to what goes on with families (good and bad). Although it is no ...more
This book was a coming of age story written in diary entry form by a little girl that was 12. The year was 1960 and her family farmed wheat. She writes about her normal day to day life, what her parents are like and what her toughts and dreams are. In the beginning she seems a little afraid of who she is and maybe a little ashamed. In the end she is proud of who she is and starts standing up for herself. This was a good quick read, but it was a little sad. This young girl definitely did not have ...more
Aug 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: friends
Recommended to Jenny by:
I’m not sure what made me finally pick up this book from my shelves, but I’m glad I did! Although when I began this novel, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the diary format and lack of correct punctuation used, but I quickly became involved in the story of Lou Ann’s pain and her deep sense of hope. It didn’t take long for me to wish I could scoop this child up into my arms and hug her tight, taking her away from all the saddness. "The Box Children" is an engaging, quick read (a couple of hours, maybe ...more
Jan 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2009
A sad novel about a brave eleven-year old girl who lives life with a deranged father, and an even more deranged mother. It follows less than a year of her life through diary entries she makes. The writer did a great job of making the entries very child-like. I truly felt I was reading this little girl's diary. Quick read...just a few hours. Overall I found it interesting, though definitely not one of my favorite books.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really good and kept me reading but I have issues with books like this. I feel like there is no finality to them and we don't learn what happened to the main characters. I also hate the subleties of what is implied is done to Lour Ann in terms of abuse. It would almost be better if the author came right out and said what happened.
Sandi Davis
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub
This was actually the second time I read this book, my book club was reading it. It's a diary written by a little girl, an easy read but a little haunting because it makes you think if something like this could really happen to a poor little girl. And yes, I believe there are more strange families than we like to admit.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Another tough read about a family with difficult relationships. This story written in the form of a child’s diary has a deep feeling of authenticity, like it was written from the heart by child who doesn’t quite understand her mother or her father or her brother or anyone else really.

A week of tragic tales. I tell you, if Rowling kills off Harry tomorrow, I’m foreswearing books.
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in fifth grade. I'm 21 now and I still think about it from time to time. The writing feels so genuine, not like somebody trying to force themselves into a headspace that doesn't belong to them. The book is filled with the unwitting poignancy and keen observations that children are known for. It's touchy at times, but by the end you'll feel like you've made a friend.
Nov 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was extremely good. I'm actually suprised I had time to read it. However I feel myself crying at a point and laughing at a point. This book is so unexpected because it makes a person think just from so little words.
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is well written, sad, funny, moving. The author manages to succinctly tell the story through the eyes of a wise-beyond-her-years young girl that is so likeable I wanted to pluck her from the story and give her a better life.
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderfully written book told by a very smart girl in rural 1960s Texas. Be warned, however, that if you are easily offended by language, racism or inappropriate parenting, this book is probably not for you.
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you liked THE GLASS CASTLE you will like this bk.
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not sure what I thought of this book - pretty dysfunctional family!
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed the point of view and the character development.
Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a perfect postcard of a book.
tiny and i wouldn't change a single word.
Jan 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lisa
Distrbing but beautifully written. Grabbed my heart and twisted it from the very first page.
Jul 09, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't waste your time. MMyers
Jennifer McMurrain
Know the author, it's awesome, set in Darrouzett, TX.
Amanda Ciancaglione
Nov 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Very disturbing book!!! I was shocked how this book turned out! I expected more but it was ok.
A short, sad book about a child with a mother crazier than even mine. Beautiful descriptions and an engaging story.
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