Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Gertrude C. Warner
Illustrator: L. Kate Deal
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
When Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny's parents die, they find an abandoned boxcar in the woods and make it their home. Their grandpa lives in a nearby town and wants the children to live with him, but they are afraid that he will mistreat them. Besides, they can take care of themselves just fine. Henry does odd jobs for a kind doctor in town without giving away his identity. However, when Violet becomes sick the doctor reveals to their grandfather their location. Their grandpa is actually quite kind and they agree to live with him, especially since he moves their beloved boxcar to his backyard.
The Boxcar Children is a short, engaging chapter book for young readers. Small black and white silhouette illustrations are included in each chapter. Children will be fascinated with the Alden’s who become self-sufficient despite their young ages. Readers will use their own imaginations to think about what they would do if they had to live alone in the woods. Some parts are scary, like when they hear strange noises coming from the woods. But the children find the culprit in the end of this first installment of the Boxcar Children series.