Saturday, February 02, 2008

Library Bag: The Boxcar Children

I don't know how I missed reading The Boxcar Children. Andrew is making up lost time with the series.

The orphans dig through a dump pile in search of necessities, happy to find discarded cups and plates with only a few cracks.

When they return to the abandoned boxcar, they do more than scrub the rusty spoons with sand from the creek.

Violet uses their treasures to create the essence of home:


Suddenly Violet cried, "Oh, I know where to put them. Come and see what I found in the car last night."

All Jessie saw were two pieces of wood nailed to the closed door of the car. But she knew at once what was in Violet's mind. She ran to get the board they had carried from the dump and laid it carefully across the two pieces of wood. It made a fine shelf for the dishes.
(...)
When they were on the shelf, Violet picked some white and yellow flowers and put them in a cup full of water in the middle of the shelf.

"There!" said Jessie, stepping back to look at it.

37 comments:

Flighty Girl said...

I LOVED The Boxcar Children when I was a girl! It is such a fabulous series for kids.

Rebecca said...

I loved these books!

Tamara said...

The Boxcar Children were my very favorite series of books as a child. I tell my husband that I came from The Boxcar Children school of decorating!

Miss G said...

I too loved checking the Boxcar Children out of the library when I was a girl! Kelly

Joy said...

That was my favorite series when I was a little girl! They made the most simple things sound so fun and delicious! Have fun reading with Andrew!

Becky said...

We love these books at our house. We are reading the entire series out loud together!

Anonymous said...

Meredith, thank you for sharing this. I do not know of these books and I will now be on a quest to find them. I would love to give some to my sister Violet (one of my 5 sisters!) P

Sarah E. said...

I really liked it as well. It's funny that you mentioned that part in the book because I remember after reading it, my mom told me she and her cousins would go through the dump when they would go to ther grandmothers. I thought that was so neat.

So Andrew is enjoying this book? We have read many books to Daniel (4 1/2) and I wondered about this one. We have read many Magic Tree House books, Charlotte Webb, Stuart Little. The abridged versions of the Wizard of Oz and Treasure Island and now Jungle Book. We are also enjoying my grandmother's Little House on the Prairie Set that I read when I was little.

I have enjoyed stopping by our Goodwill for some good books.

Heather said...

We also love the Boxcar Children! They are often available in used bookstores and at the library. Our library even has a few of the books on c.d. and we have really enjoyed listening to them as well - on long trips they really keep the children (and I) entertained! When we were on vacation last spring with my mum we put one in and she was terribly frightened by the realistic train sounds at the beginning of the intro music - she was sure we were about to be hit by a train and couldn't understand why my husband wasn't stopping! The kids loved that their usually calm Grammy was scared silly and now every time the music starts they think about her!
'Poor, poor Grammy - scared by a c.d.'

Ann said...

I read the Boxcar books when there were only two of them. I think the treasures from the dump part was my favorite. Even to this day I remember it often. How satisfying it is to find treasures.

Anonymous said...

I missed out on the Boxcars but my daughter loves them. I think they also suffered modernizing and so it's worth it to find the originals?

Andrew will LOVE Arthur Ransome books, he is so clever that he may not be too young to start reading them to him now. Have you come across them yet?

http://arthur-ransome.org/ar/swallows -and-amazons
and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Ransome

deb meyers

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing these books. I will have to find these for Gavin to read. My Gavin is a big reader. So far he loves all kinds of books..
Meredith can you please share with me who wrote the book you gave away..Cooking with Joy or what ever it was...I looked for it by title at Amazon but did not find it. Roxie

Anonymous said...

For those reading the series, be aware that Mrs. Warner wrote only numbers 1-19 (19 is *Benny Uncovers a Mystery*.) The other books out there are ghost-written (they'll be labelled "Created By Gertrude Chandler Warner") and I doubt quite as good as the originals.
-Katie

~Babychaser~ said...

Sounds like books after your own heart! I'll have to get them when my little ones are a little bigger! :)

Tubo Family said...

I adored these books when I was a kid and can't wait to share them with my boys in a few years. Perhaps then my husband will better understand my fascination with makedo-useitup-dowithout.

Anonymous said...

I just LOVED these books! You and your son will love them as well!

Rebecca said...

Oh, these were my favorites when I was a kid...the first book and the other one where they go to an island. I thought the dumb sounded like a great place to go find treasures!!!! Glad you found them now.

Carrie J said...

I never read these as a child but they were my husband's favorites. We are lucky to have some of his original copies. My kids loved them.

Edi said...

I can't believe you missed out on the Boxcar kids! I was in about 3rd or 4th grade when I learned about the book...our teacher would read a chapter each day or week or something.

I like the first 10 or so in the series where it's written by the original author. We've read some of the later ones and I don't like them as much...

My dd liked a few of the books but not something she was crazy about so I got rid of a whole batch of them on eBay about a year ago.

Enjoy them - they are great! I do love the first book the most - when they are trying to make a little home in the boxcar...and the food they prepare always sounds tasty - as simple as it is.

Meredith said...

Roxie, the book is by Joy Stuart--but it is not available on Amazon or on any other online venue that I could find.

It is published by Forest Hills Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, but even their church book store does not have it online.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, the Boxcar series! I loved these when I was a kid! I didn't know people read these anymore. For some reason, I don't think I read them with my kids, though we were book hounds.

Diane said...

I think my love of old things began when I read this book as a child. Still like old dishes and things that show someone has used them!

Jane said...

Pretty Great! I enjoy them with my students. The first is the best in mho. When I was a girl it was Pippa Mouse who was making all sorts of little things from bits and bobs of nature.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, the first book of "The Boxcar Children." My 2nd grade teacher read a little bit each day, after lunch and early afternoon lessons were over. I think we loved it so much, because those children were so CAPABLE, and of course, the idea of living in a boxcar in the woods was delicious. A terrific story of adventure and good character among the children. Desert Lady

Sweetpeas said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE The Boxcar Children (the whole series)!! And my mom loved it before me LOL. I checked it out of the library for the first time when I was 7, at mom's recommendation and read it in once night :) I already have a whole bunch of the series (second hand, of course) on my shelf waiting for my kids to be old enough for them :)

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

The original Boxcar Children was my very favorite book in elementary school. The school library, whom I'm sure meant well, refused at one point to let me check it out anymore. Fortunately, he relented and I continued to read and reread this favorite! I'm a book lover to this day, and know that part of that is because I was allowed to read a much loved book over and over again from the school library.

Yet Another Heather said...

I remember these books! There were other books I love too, especially Little House on the Prairie, but I read a LOT when I was little. These were available at the library and I tore through the series when I was 8 or 9 years old. Thanks for reminding me of them! I'll need to see if the local library still has them.

GiddyRobinMama said...

I loved the Boxcar Children. Our librarian would read them to us, I think it was the second or third grade.
Anyways, I got so into them I read every single book in the series. I bought the first five for my niece a few years ago, she liked them too. I also loved the Laura Ingalls series. I think both of these series created that just pull up your bootstraps and do what you can with what you have.

Amy said...

These were my FAVORITE books as a kid- thanks so much for the trip down memory lane today! :)

Anonymous said...

I loved the Boxcar Children as a child. My grandmother was a librarian and I would hang out at the library with her when I visited during the summer. I would sit and read the entire time in the children's section.

I loved that the kids were able to make a home for themselves. I can't wait until my dd is old enough for the.

Gini (Hallquist) Young said...

Loved those when I was a kid. I still think of the stories often times when I'm on the road and pass an old empty "box car."

April said...

I just read this last week! And to myself (not my children)! I always wanted to try to live in a boxcar. But I finally saw inside one when I was in third grade. It wasn't half as romantic as I imagined it.

Anonymous said...

I read all of these that my little elementary library had years ago...some of my best memories of early reading! I'm so glad you found them, since I never, ever hear anyone talk about them and I hope to find them for my children someday! Those and the "Little House" books are true childhood favorites of mine!

Ginny said...

This was my favorite series growing up! I pick them up whenever I see them for my daughters. I can't get my 10 year old to even look at them. Maybe I should try reading the first couple chapters out load, maybe that will make her see how great they are!

Ames said...

I'm glad these books are part of your life now! SO GOOD!!

TracyMichele said...

My brothers and I grew up on The Boxcar Children! I can't wait for my Littles to be old enough to read them!

Thanks for bringing me back! :)

spinninglovelydays said...

hi, meredith. i didn't discover the boxcar children until i was already an adult, but i am now collecting the series for my daughter. she's but a year old, but i know she'll appreciate having the collection when she's old enough to read. anyway, i like reading them too. :)