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The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children, #1)
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The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  99,514 Ratings  ·  2,491 Reviews
One warm night four children stood in front of a bakery. no one knew them. No one knew where they had come from. Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are orphans. Determined to make it on their own, they set out to find a safe place to live. They discover an old, red boxcar that provides shelter from a storm. Against all odds, they make it into their home-and become The Boxcar ...more
Paperback, 156 pages
Published January 1st 1989 by Scholastic Inc. (first published 1942)
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Jessica I think first to third grade readers, but it depend on the reading level of the reader. I started reading this book series when I was seven or eight,…moreI think first to third grade readers, but it depend on the reading level of the reader. I started reading this book series when I was seven or eight, and it was not too advanced for me.(less)

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Lin
Jun 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as a child and oh, did I ever cherish it. I'm a detail-oriented person, and this book speaks to the super organized control freak in me. Warner weaves so many details into the lives of the Boxcar children that, as a young'un, I found myself mentally picturing their home in exquisite detail. Over a decade since I last read it, I still remember the milk kept cool by the waterfall, or the kids carrying the cherries back to the boxcar between them. These details are the strength of ...more
Sherry
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Phrynne
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4000-books
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 actio
...more
Pamela
I absolutely LOVE this book and the entire BOXCAR CHILDREN series!!! Seeing this on a list of the Top 100 Children's Books, I simply had to add it to my Goodreads shelves. It was the book that pulled me in - hook, line, and sinker - as a passionate reader and supporter of public libraries. And praise be, many of my grandchildren are now discovering the magical joy of reading and have contemporary copies of this wonderful series, too.

For more titles on the Top 100 Children's Books list: www.good
...more
Greg
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 expecti
...more
Brooke
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


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 bec
...more
Amanda NEVER MANDY
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 interest
...more
Katie
Mar 23, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Esti
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 s ...more
Stacy
Feb 01, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: babies
Recommended to Stacy by: Mom
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 c
...more
MEGAN C
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
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.
Nadin Adel
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.
Jenne
Jul 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jf, logistics
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.
Ann
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read all of these books as a child and I loved them. great books for kids but beware it might want to make your kids live in a boxcar... I know it made me want to and my mother just laughed at me when I told her so... 😑
Kris Irvin
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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-li
...more
Leslie
Apr 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Ashley
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A re-read of a very beloved book from my childhood. This story seemed so exciting when I read it as a child. Of course as an adult I can see why it probably wasn't a good idea for the children to live alone. It was a fun adventure, though!
Sarah
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Linh
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved these books when I was a child:)
Alana
What a sweet re-visit to childhood! A story of siblings who are unrealistically kind to each other, sharing, resourceful, and a little too picture perfect in all their friends and family, but a fun children's adventure nonetheless. Who didn't want to have their own little boxcar home as a child?
Delicia
Oct 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Genre: fiction, chapter book
Topic: runaways, life in a boxcar,
Theme: independence, trusting adults, becoming self-sufficient,
Illustrations: There are very few illustrations in this book. The few there are depict scenes from the story.
Use: read aloud, guided reading, independent reading
Reading level: Fluent
Literary Elements: vivid descriptions

Thoughts:

Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny, four orphaned brothers and sisters, suddenly appear in a small town. No one knows who these young wanderers are o
...more
Bookwormdragon
Aug 21, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children
Shelves: reviewed, dont-own
This is one of the many classics from my childhood. I greatly enjoyed the whole series as a child, and would certainly recommend them to other readers in the targeted age-group, but I can't say that I have an overwhelming urge to re-read them as an adult. The Boxcar Children books fall into what I like to call the 'Library' category: worth checking out from the library, but not worth buying sight-unseen. While young children will probably enjoy them, I doubt that they will want to read most of t ...more
Greta
Mar 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
I never read these as a child and don't think I had much interest in them until searching for more books for my son to read. He's 7, in 2nd grade, but reads on a 5th grade reading level. I'm always trying to find books he can read that are on his level where the content isn't too old for him. This was one of the books I picked off the library shelf in hopes that it would meet that criteria. I thought it was a nice story and look forward to reading a few more of the boxcar books to see how they m ...more
Michelle [Helen Geek]
One of the first books I ever had read to me. I remember my third grade teacher - Ms. Murray. I loved this book. I just bought it to read to my grand-girl. Third grade for me was in 1969. Wow! I never read others in the series and frankly didn't know there were others. I hope she likes this one so we can read them all!

Happy Reading!
Michelle
What a fun reread! It was every bit as delightful as I remembered. Didactic yet utterly charming. The fierce independence of the Alden children is fantastic. There's also a humor element in the absurdity of it all that wasn't there for me as a child.
Judy
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a favorite of mine when I was a child. I checked it out of the library many times, and shared the story with my sister (three years younger than I am). It fit right into our favorite form of play -- she always wanted imaginary animals, and I wanted at least one young child, and then we'd set about playing house, whether it be in the backyard, our bedroom, or under a pine tree in the mountains. (Of course, no adults were involved. Maybe we assumed the parents had abandoned us.)

It's a who
...more
Stephanie Sun
A nice nostalgia read courtesy of Worldreader Mobile and Open Road Media. I was so glad to find that the ebook has the gorgeous illustrations by L. Kate Deal, which make living in a boxcar and eating stew made of castoff runt vegetables just seem even that much more idyllic:


The Alden siblings divide loaves of bread.


Dumpster diving! Benny finds a pink cup.


Jessie stirs stew made from tiny vegetables.

Although not without creepy Pleasantville moments ("'Tomorrow will be Sunday, and I can stay at h
...more
iram
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grade/Interest Level – Upper Elementary (3rd-5th)
Reading Level: Lexile 490L
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Main Characters: Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny
Setting: Rural area in a fictitious town and in a boxcar
POV: Narrator
Rating: 5 stars

This story is about 4 orphaned siblings (Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny) and their search for the necessities of life, namely food and shelter. The children stick together by helping each other find food and comforting each other when resources run scarce. They preten
...more
Melissa Mckee
Warner, Gertrude Chandler. The Boxcar Children. Illinois: Albert Whitman & Company, 1977. Print.
Genre: Children’s Chapter Book
The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner is about four orphans running away from their orphanage due to mistreatment. They find a boxcar and make it into their home because they fear their legal guardian, their grandfather. While living in the boxcar, they encounter some issues that determine their future will not be as they’d hope living on their own. This bo
...more
Olivia
This is about the only one I've ever liked of the series. Of course, the writing is simple and not very detailed but younger children will definitely enjoy this.
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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 CH ...more
More about Gertrude Chandler Warner...

Other Books in the Series

The Boxcar Children (1 - 10 of 145 books)
  • Surprise Island (The Boxcar Children, #2)
  • The Yellow House Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #3)
  • Mystery Ranch (The Boxcar Children, #4)
  • Mike's Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #5)
  • Blue Bay Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #6)
  • The Woodshed Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #7)
  • The Lighthouse Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #8)
  • Mountain Top Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #9)
  • Schoolhouse Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #10)
  • Caboose Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #11)
“One warm night four children stood in front of a bakery. No one knew them. No one knew where they had come from.” 8 likes
“How they love the old boxcar!” 6 likes
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