Hollowspine's Reviews > Snowbound Mystery

Snowbound Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
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's review
Feb 15, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: ya
Read from February 15 to 25, 2010 , read count: 2

This was a very nostalgic book for me. I remembered the story a bit better than the first boxcar children book with the mystery of the cabin and the squirrels in the attic. This also was a great book to read with all the snow we'd been getting this year.

As with the first book the Alden children never ceased to amaze me with their consistently positive attitudes, polite speech patterns and unflinching work ethic. I also noticed however that although they didn't go out of their way to be extravagant their situation has changed a lot from the first novel. Everyday that they were able to the Aldens walked to the Nelson's store and bought whatever they wanted, though no mention of how much money they were carrying or where it came from was ever made. However, the things they bought were never non-necessities and were often given multiple purposes.

Grandfather Alden is, like his grandchildren, an extraordinarily polite and moral person. He also seems to own the entire town where he lives. So, in the end, the children, the Nelson's and a local grocer in town benefits from the Alden's adventure.

I wonder what I learned from these books as a kid, what I took from them. I am fairly polite in my dealings with people, and I do have a good work ethic...but I'm not sure if it stems from being an introverted person never wanting to draw negative attention to herself or from an Alden induced sense of decorum. My money's on the introversion. Also, my nature is just not on an Alden level. I don't think I learned to be as ...realistic as I am, I think it may run in my family (or at least the dose I got).

I still occasionally entertain notions that the Aldens are really some form of advanced robots made by Mr. Alden and then lost for a brief time before he managed to recover them. They are programmed to always see the silver lining and to respect all life at all times; even when trying to wrangle squirrels they try to maintain the squirrels dignity.

In conclusion, perhaps I can credit some of my limited good qualities to reading about the Alden children, though I believe it is impossible to be as positive, polite and contented as the Aldens are (I've never met anyone who hasn't had a bad day). However, I also believe that not many people read the Boxcar books to their children anymore and I do not believe that many children read it to themselves. I wonder if the Boxcar children have any place in literature today except as pieces of nostalgia?

If that is so, then it is a sad waste. If only more children (and adults for that matter) were held up to Alden like standards the world would be a better place to live.

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