The Boxcar Children

By Gertrude Chandler Warner, L. Kate Deal (illustrator),

Book cover of The Boxcar Children

Book description

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!

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Why read it?

4 authors picked The Boxcar Children as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The Boxcar Children is the next on this list because it’s actually a good mix of the first two series I’ve mentioned—it has four children, with two boys (Henry and Benny) and two girls (Jessie and Violet), and it’s set in America.

There’s no fantasy, but there’s still plenty of strife as the Alden siblings lose their parents, and they try to make it on their own. They settle down in an old abandoned box car as Henry finds work in a nearby neighborhood, Jessie and Violet teach Benny to read as their grandfather, who they’ve been trying to avoid…

I think it would be really neat to go live in a boxcar for a while, like the Boxcar Children did. They got to have adventures and could do whatever they wanted without grownups telling them what to do.

Even after their grandfather found them, they still get to solve lots of cool mysteries.

In The Boxcar Children, four siblings run away from an abusive home and live by their wits and skills in an abandoned boxcar in the woods. As a young reader, I loved this book because the kids seemed magic to me. How did they know how to sew and cook and get jobs and build things? As a parent, I loved this book because it modeled great values (honesty, hard work, loyalty) for my kids. I say to my sons now as we teach them to make bread or sew on a button or catch a fish: you never…

From Elizabeth's list on girls with the skills to survive.

I loved this series as a kid. I didn’t have any siblings close to my age, so I was a fan of “big family” novels, stories where groups of siblings go on adventures, solve mysteries, get into trouble, and generally enjoy life together. In the Boxcar Children, the four Alden kids make a home for themselves in an abandoned railroad car in the woods. The adventures abound from there.

From Kate's list on trains.

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