Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Railway Children (MG)

The Railway Children. E. Nesbit. 1906/2011. Penguin. 304 pages. 

They were not railway children to begin with.

I loved this one. I did. I don't know how I'd ever choose a favorite, favorite E. Nesbit because all of her books are oh-so-good. The Railway Children stars three siblings: Roberta (Bobbie), Peter, and Phyllis. This one features a strong mother figure, an involved parent. (Or at least the most involved parent I've encountered in Nesbit's fiction.)

This family is under stress. The father disappears quite suddenly from his children's lives. The mother won't explain just why their father has to go away, and why the family has to move to a little place in the country. The children just know that everything is changing--little things and big things. For example, they now must choose between jam or butter for their toast--they can't afford to have both.

But while many things are changing, not all of the changes are bad. For the children discover a new way of living life. And they become involved in their new community! For better or worse! Not every person is instantly charmed by these three children, but, it's hard to resist them for long.

There were many things I enjoyed about this one. I enjoyed the children. I enjoyed their mother. I loved that she was a writer, that she was supporting her family by writing stories. I enjoyed their community, I loved meeting the different characters. It was just a satisfying story with a lot of heart.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Sarah 12:36 PM  

Ah your review just reminded me of a similar series of books I used to read as a kid, The Boxcar Children :)

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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I am not a fan of:

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  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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