Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Remembering the Boxcar Children

When I was very young, there was a book that I couldn’t put down; The Boxcar Children. Nearly 50 years later, I still remember that book as if it was yesterday. Who knew one book would stick with me for so very long?

The Boxcar Children is a literary franchise originally created and written by American writer and first grade school teacher Gertrude Chandler Warner.

Originally published in 1924 by Rand McNally and reissued in 1942, the novel “The Boxcar Children” tells the story of four orphaned children, Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny, who run away and create a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar in the forest. The story follows the four children as they make the boxcar their home while facing many challenges. It’s a heartwarming story as the children are eventually united with their Grandfather who gives them a new life full of adventure.

The franchise grew from that first book to now over 100 titles aimed at readers in grades 2-6.

I was always taken by the simple, black and white cut illustrations throughout the book. I remember looking at the illustrations over and over again, often replicating them during art class or creating my own just doodling on a piece of paper.

The Boxcar Children series is still available. I encourage all parents, or grandparents of age appropriate children to share these wonderful books. I’m sure your children will love them as much as I did.


Elaine said...

I saw one of her books at a thrift store not too long ago and almost picked it up, but it was coming apart at the binding and was priced more than I was willing to pay. They are wonderful stories and I agree they should be part of every childhood. Thank you for sharing your memories of them!

Anonymous said...

I've seen these before - they are charming books! And a charming period (30's) that I love - how neat that you stumbled upon this memory again! Which chapter are you on ? :) Happy Reading!

mike said...

oops - last comment was from me!