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The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler…
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Four orphans: Benny, Henry, Jessie and Violet Alden, no longer have a home, and fear they will be separated if adopted again. They search for a place to settle, at least for a moment, when they encounter a immobile box car. It is dry, has a door to protect them from the weather, and has stopped on the tracks near a river...it is a home. Henry works for a man in town, performing daily tasks and need to dos, while the other three make-up there home. Foraging for food, kitchen utensils/supplies, and using the environment around them. These kids are independent, hard-working, loving, clever, and above all else, resourceful. ( )
  candyceutter | Oct 13, 2015 |
This is the first in The Boxcar Children series, and it is about the four orphaned siblings who are on the run from their grandfather. They think he will be old and mean and scary, so they make a life for themselves doing odd jobs and salvaging supplies from a nearby dump. I adored this series as a kid, but this re-visitation was kind of... bleh. The kids are all so saccharine they pretty much made my teeth ache. Their ingenuity and optimism are certainly good qualities, but it feels like the darker issues they face (homelessness, sickness, etc.) are glossed over and hidden behind their relentless cheerfulness. ( )
  liannecollins | Sep 5, 2015 |
It’s fascinating with a kids-living-on-their-own story. Without any parents they are running away afraid they will end up with their grandfather - whom they all think is an evil man.

There’s not a bad streak in any of these four kids - or their dog for that matter - it’s all very cozy despite their destitute situation living in an abandoned boxcar. So, well, it’s a good moral story that found an audience and many other books in the series. ( )
  ctpress | Feb 21, 2015 |
This very gentle, early-reader Robinsonade was intensely memorable for me as a child, and is still charming today, judging by my 6yo's enjoyment of it. Four orphaned children who are on their on, running from a grandfather they believe to be cruel, find an abandoned boxcar and make it their home. They find a dump (oh, the days when people just started dumping crap in random places) and trashpick a kettle, and pitchers and plates and a cup, and make a soup ladle. They build a stone firepit, adopt a dog by picking a thorn from his paw, and dam up a small pool for bathing. The hard-working older brother brings home enough spare cash to provide butter, the girls figure out how to keep milk and butter cold in a rock in a pool -- it's all completely precious.

Anyway, of course it ends happily, and my 6yo seemed quite satisfied with the happy ending.

As an adult, I noticed many interesting strands that I didn't pick up on in my childhood -- the baker & her husband who didn't like children, but would have been happy to "keep" them for child labor! The wealthy grandfather who was a mill owner, but paid for a big town race once a year. Might be fun to read a socialist realistic retelling of The Boxcar Children. The gender roles of the two older siblings were notable too, although they were more matter-of-fact and less annoying than in some more modern works.

This time around, I read a "60th anniversary" edition which included a brief biography of Gertrude Chandler Warner, and a lot of photos. It mentioned she'd written The Boxcar Children originally in 1924, but the version which has been reprinted so many times is the illustrated version published in 1942. Who knew?

Anyway, the book was delightful, and I'm pleased to have had the experience with Ada. I was never that into the books after this first one, when the kids are living the high life with their rich granddad, but the first one I read over and over. ( )
  lquilter | Jan 23, 2015 |
My kids really enjoyed this one, possibly even more than they enjoyed the two Laura Ingalls Wilder books we've tried. They have the same detail that kids find fascinating, but without all the boring bits of exhaustive detail. Add in gentle bits of suspense and nice sibling relationships, and this was a winner. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
An impeccable production of a compelling story...
added by cmwilson101 | editPublisher's Weekly

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gertrude Chandler Warnerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deal, L. KateIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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One warm night four children stood in front of a bakery.
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ISBNs 1602705860 / 0807528676 / 1453220135 / 0329701819 / 1616412135
are graphic versions of the book.

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Book description
A wonderful children's book...
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 a family. They're brothers and sisters - and they're orphans, too. The only way they can stay together is to try and make it on their own. But where will they live?
One night, during a storm, the children find an old red boxcar that keeps them warm and safe. The children decide to make it their home and become The Boxcar Children!
[Personally, I have no idea who the Alden family is - I was hunting for the series I read in 5th grade - The Boxcar Children.]
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0807508527, Paperback)

The Aldens begin their adventure by making a home in a boxcar. Their goal is to stay together, and in the process they find a grandfather.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:45 -0400)

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Describes episodes about children who make a boxcar their home.

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