Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

One of the great things about summer is that there has been plenty of time for the boys and I to curl up and read some great books. My boys really enjoy mysteries. They started with the Cam Jansen series by David Adler last year and made their way through most of those. These summer they discovered "The Boxcar Children" by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Ms. Warner began writing this series in the 1940s about 4 orphaned children, Henry, Violet, Jessie, and Benny, who hide out in a Boxcar to avoid having to go live with their Grandfather whom they have never met and who they are very afraid of. These children are incredibly resourceful. The first book didn't even feature a mystery, but it soon became the mainstay of the series as children clamored for more and more stories about these children. Ms. Warner passed away in 1979 but the series was revived in 1991 by the Albert Whitman publishing house and there are now 111 titles available. These are chapter books, about 120 pp in length which take about 1 1/2 hours to read aloud (I know this because my children insist on reading them in one sitting - it's OK - it's a good way to spend an afternoon!). The truth is, I have been enjoying the stories also.

Today we read my favorite one so far, "The Mystery at the Crooked House" which features a story about a mystery writer and a unique house.

If you haven't already discovered the Boxcar Children, I encourage you to check them out.

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