Friday, February 15, 2019

The Boxcar Children

The Boxcar Children. Gertrude Chandler Warner. 1942. 160 pages.

First sentence: One warm night four children stood in front of a bakery. No one knew them. No one knew where they had come from. The baker's wife saw them first, as they stood looking in at the window of her store. The little boy was looking at the cakes, the big boy was looking at the loaves of bread, and the two girls were looking at the cookies. 

Premise/plot: Four orphan children are on the run in Gertrude Chandler Warner's classic children's novel. The children are aware that they have a grandfather; they even know the town where he lives. But...the children fear this man they've never met. They'd rather struggle to survive than risk falling into his hands. (What if he's mean? cruel? what if he doesn't want them? what if he does? what if he separates them?) The four children--Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny--begin their new life living in an abandoned boxcar on an abandoned track. Henry is old enough to walk into nearby towns and work for food. The others mostly scrounge around and find useful junk that they can re-purpose into a few necessities. All seems to be going well...until one of the children gets really sick....

My thoughts: I liked  The Boxcar Children. I did. I had read it more than a few times growing up, but it had been at least fifteen or twenty years since I'd last read it. It was such a treat to read it again. It's a simple book, in many ways, yet it's got its charms. I liked how these children do make a home for themselves. How they work together as a family. While I wouldn't say that I ever loved this one as much as Mandy or Anne of Green Gables or The Secret Garden, I have definitely always liked it.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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