Découvrez votre prochain livre préféré

Devenez membre aujourd'hui et lisez gratuitement pendant 30 jours
The Box-Car Children: The Original 1924 Edition

The Box-Car Children: The Original 1924 Edition

Lire l'aperçu

The Box-Car Children: The Original 1924 Edition

3/5 (783 évaluations)
109 pages
1 heure
Jun 17, 2020


A #1 Amazon New Release in Children's Train Books!

Four young orphans discover an abandoned boxcar and move in, embarking on a life of self-reliance and hard work — but they also enter a world of freedom and adventure. Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are afraid of the grandfather they've never met, and to escape his custody they set out on their own, working odd jobs to make money for necessities. When Violet falls ill, they're forced to take her to a doctor . . . and risk losing their independence.
This new hardcover volume reprints the original 1924 edition, including the illustrations. Ranked among the all-time "Top 100 Chapter Books" in a School Library Journal survey, The Box-Car Children is also among the National Education Association's "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."
Jun 17, 2020

À propos de l'auteur

Lié à The Box-Car Children

En lire plus de Gertrude Chandler Warner
Livres associé

Catégories liées

Aperçu du livre

The Box-Car Children - Gertrude Chandler Warner

Bibliographical Note

This Dover edition, first published in 2020, is an unabridged republication of the work first published by Rand McNally & Company, Chicago and New York, in 1924. The four color illustrations by Dorothy Lake Gregory prepared for the original printing, as well as the cover illustration, have been reprinted in black and white within this edition.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Warner, Gertrude Chandler, 1890–1979, author. | Gregory,

Dorothy Lake, illustrator.

Title: The box-car children: the original 1924 edition / Gertrude Chandler Warner; illustrations by Dorothy Lake Gregory.

Other titles: Boxcar children

Description: Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 2020. | This Dover edition...is an unabridged republication of the work first published by Rand McNally & Company, Chicago and New York, in 1924—Copyright page. | Summary: Four orphaned siblings take refuge in an abandoned boxcar that becomes their home, as they hide from their villainous grandfather.

Identifiers: LCCN 2019023978 | ISBN 9780486843384 (paperback)

Subjects: CYAC: Orphans—Fiction. | Brothers and sisters—Fiction. | Homeless persons—Fiction. | Grandfathers—Fiction.

Classification: LCC PZ7.W244 Bn 2020 | DDC [Fic]—dc23

LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019023978

Manufactured in the United States by LSC Communications



2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1



The Flight

The Second Night


A New Home


Earning a Living

At Home

Building the Dam

Cherry Picking

The Race

More Education




A New Grandfather

A United Family


Jess shut the door with as much care as she had opened it.


ABOUT seven o’clock one hot summer evening a strange family moved into the little village of Middlesex. Nobody knew where they came from, or who they were. But the neighbors soon made up their minds what they thought of the strangers, for the father was very drunk. He could hardly walk up the rickety front steps of the old tumble-down house, and his thirteen-year-old son had to help him. Toward eight o’clock a pretty, capable-looking girl of twelve came out of the house and bought a loaf of bread at the baker’s. And that was all the villagers learned about the newcomers that night.

There are four children, said the bakeshop woman to her husband the next day, and their mother is dead. They must have some money, for the girl paid for the bread with a dollar bill.

Make them pay for everything they get, growled the baker, who was a hard man. The father is nearly dead with drink now, and soon they will be only beggars.

This happened sooner than he thought. The next day the oldest boy and girl came to ask the bakeshop woman to come over. Their father was dead.

She went over willingly enough, for someone had to go. But it was clear that she did not expect to be bothered with four strange children, with the bakery on her hands and two children of her own.

Haven’t you any other folks? she asked the children.

We have a grandfather in Greenfield, spoke up the youngest child before his sister could clap her hand over his mouth.

Hush, Benny, she said anxiously.

This made the bakeshop woman suspicious. What’s the matter with your grandfather? she asked.

He doesn’t like us, replied the oldest boy reluctantly. He didn’t want my father to marry my mother, and if he found us he would treat us cruelly.

Did you ever see him?

Jess has. Once she saw him.

Well, did he treat you cruelly? asked the woman, turning upon Jess.

Oh, he didn’t see me, replied Jess. He was just passing through our—where we used to live—and my father pointed him out to me.

Where did you use to live? went on the questioner. But none of the children could be made to tell.

We will get along all right alone, won’t we, Henry? declared Jess.

Indeed we will! said Henry.

I will stay in the house with you tonight, said the woman at last, and tomorrow we will see what can be done.

The four children went to bed in the kitchen, and gave the visitor the only other bed in the house. They knew that she did not at once go to bed, but sat by the window in the dark. Suddenly they heard her talking to her husband through the open window.

They must go to their grandfather, that’s certain, Jess heard her say.

Of course, agreed her husband. Tomorrow we will make them tell us what his name is.

Soon after that Jess and Henry heard her snoring heavily. They sat up in the dark.

Mustn’t we surely run away? whispered Jess in Henry’s ear.

Yes! whispered Henry. Take only what we need most. We must be far off before morning, or they will catch us.

Jess sat still for a moment, thinking, for every motion she made must count.

I will take both loaves of bread, she thought, and Violet’s little workbag. Henry has his knife. And all Father’s money is in my pocket. She drew it out and counted it in the dark, squinting her eyes in the faint light of the moon. It amounted to nearly four dollars.

You’ll have to carry Benny until he gets waked up, whispered Jess. If we wake him up here, he might cry.

She touched Violet as she spoke.

Sh! Violet! Come! We’re going to run away, she whispered.

The little girl made no sound. She sat up obediently and tried to make out the dim shadow of her sister.

What shall I do? she said, light as a breath.

Carry this, said Jess, handing her the workbag and a box of matches.

Jess tiptoed over to the tin box on the table, drew out the two loaves of bread, and slipped them into the laundry bag. She peered around the room for the last time, and then dropped two small clean towels and a cake of soap into the bag.

All right. Pick him up, she said to Henry.

Henry bent over the sleeping child and lifted him carefully. Jess took the laundry bag, turned the doorknob ever so softly, opened the door ever so slowly, and they tiptoed out in a ghostly procession.

Jess shut the door with as much care as she had opened it, listened to the bakeshop woman’s heavy snoring for a moment, and then they turned and picked their way without a sound to the country road.

She may wake up before morning, you know, whispered Henry. We must do our fastest walking before then. If we can only get to another town before they find out we’re gone, they won’t know which way to go.

Jess agreed, and they all walked briskly along in the faint moonlight.

How far can you carry Benny? asked Violet.

Oh, at least a mile, said Henry confidently, although his arms were beginning to ache. Benny was five years old, and he was a fat, healthy boy as well.

"I think we could all walk faster if we woke him up, said Jess decidedly. We could each take his hand and

Vous avez atteint la fin de cet aperçu. Inscrivez-vous pour en savoir plus !
Page 1 sur 1


Ce que les gens pensent de The Box-Car Children

783 évaluations / 29 Avis
Qu'avez-vous pensé ?
Évaluation : 0 sur 5 étoiles

Avis des lecteurs

  • (3/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    My 2 Cents: One of, if not my favorite book from childhood. It's been the model for which I've based a lot of "life" decissions.
  • (4/5)
    like watching full house, but with adventure! somewhat... i read them all when i was a kid!
  • (3/5)
    Read this as a kid and remembered liking it. Some kids' books hold up pretty well when you read them as an adult, even first- or second-grade level. This one, not so much. It was okay and a very fast read, though. I would have rated it two stars if I were rating it according to how much I enjoyed it, but for a kid at the appropriate age it's probably a three or four, so I settled on three stars.
  • (4/5)
    I remember reading the Boxcar Children books when I was very young and being absolutely entranced at the idea of being alone in the world, living in an old boxcar, no ooky parents around. I probably should have left this one in the memory banks; not that it's bad, just that from the towering distance of incipient old age it all seems so gosh darn sweet. Siblings never fight and always pay each other compliments, nothing bad happens to four kids out on their own, they even get adopted by a cute dog, for heaven's sake! I'm not saying I need a fight to the death aired on live television to make things interesting, but something in between would be nice. Ah, well. I still have my fond memories from childhood, at least.In summation: A lovely story for kids, and not so much for grumpy old ladies.
  • (5/5)
    When we were children out playing in our back yards, we were ALL boxcar children. We all braved the wide world alone and took care of those smaller than we were. We were the adults in our own little world of play. This book brings back all those wonderful memories of childhood.
  • (3/5)
    I should have read this classic as a child, I wonder how I missed it.
  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    This is the story of four orphaned siblings looking for their grandfather. In the meantime, they have made a home in a boxcar.The book is full of examples of hard work, love, and forgiveness. It is a heartwarming story that students will enjoy.
  • (4/5)
    The rest of the series is complete crap, but there is something classic and wonderful about children digging through trash to find cups for their milk. To this day I remember that they kept their glass milk jug (!) cold in the nearby stream. This book was clearly the prelude to my post-apocalyptic fantasies.
  • (4/5)
    lovev this whole series
  • (4/5)
    This should have a "Caution: Parents be aware your children may run away to find a boxcar" warning. One of my favorite books growing up.
    Everyone has those times in the childhood where they think running away is better than being at home. The Alden children reinforce that belief. Not only do they manage to leave a bad life with the family of bakers but they also find a boxcar and are able to scrounge around enough to survive until one of the children becomes ill. By that time they have met a doctor who has heard of their grandfather.
    This is an old fashioned story where the family always works out their problems and their is no true evil - everyone (except the baker's wife) is good and kind, loving and trustworthy. Read this with your children, preferably in a boxcar.
  • (3/5)
    What a lovely book! Looking forward to continuing with this series!
  • (4/5)
    Reason for Reading: This is another book from the Random Bookshelf that I am reading from this year.The Boxcar Children have played a big part in my and my children's lives. I intend to acquire a complete set of the first 19 books (the others hold no interest to me) and keep them as keepers on my juvenile shelves for my future grandchildren.When I read these books from the library is the mid '70s, they were hardcover's with picture boards and I was entranced with them. I'd always go over an pick one out to read whether I'd read it before or not. For my oldest son, who was a very young, strong reader, these were his first chapter books that he read for his own personal pleasure. Due to my business as a used book dealer at the time of his childhood, we went to a lot of garage sales on Saturdays and he would always take a Boxcar Children book with him in the car and have it finished before we'd finished garage sailing. He had a huge collection of all the newer books and super specials, etc. For my younger son, these were his first chapter book read alouds and he loved him so much. I think he and his dad read about 8 of them when he was about five. Now having just re-read this one again I'm fairly confident he could read it himself so I'm going to set it aside for him and let him have a go in the near future.Although the books in this series always have a mystery to solve, this first book does not really have a mystery other than the children themselves. Orphans who have runaway because they don't want to stay with a mean, old grandfather they've never met. They stumble across an old boxcar and set up house in there, which is a lot of fun seeing how these children work so diligently to create a simple home for themselves. The writing style throughout the series is also very high interest while keeping to a simple 3rd grade reading level. I honestly can't remember the stories of any of the other books offhand but I do especially love this first book as it is the only one of the series to be illustrated by L. Kate Deal in stunning silhouette art. One can tell the story takes place long ago with the girls in dresses and kerchiefs and the boys in short pants and long stockings but the darkness and absence of detail leave much to the imagination. Even if you have no intention on reading the series as a whole, "The Boxcar Children" itself is a modern classic to be enjoyed by all.
  • (5/5)
    I read this as a child and of course love love loved it. I would play Boxcar Children endlessly with my two other friends, both girls, who played the sisters, so I played the eldest brother (it was obvious to me his was the best role to have as he knew everything and was the breadwinner and the most calm) and we were minus the youngest brother (who was really more of a pain than anything else). But the whole mystery thing? I tried, but I never got into it. Once they left the boxcar, the fun was over. Re-reading this, I find the writing to be rather simple and repetitive, but it's a kids book, and kids books at that time weren't allowed to have words over ten letters long, or some such.
  • (2/5)
    this is the only boxcar children book i've ever read, and i never had interest in the others because the kids end up with their grandfather at the end. i think the whole boxcar idea fulfilled some kind of independence-fantasy i had as a child (see also: my side of the mountain).
  • (4/5)
    I was lucky enough to find this edition after reading a later book set in San Francisco (pretty awful) that turned out to be one in the franchise contributed to by different writers after Chandler's death. She wrote 19, and this first one is excellent. The silhouette illustrations are lovely, and in the back are a brief bio and a letter she wrote to a girl who wants to be a writer. Substitute teaching during WWII, she specifically wrote this book for her students who had difficulty reading, wanting to give them a good story in language they could follow.
  • (2/5)
    My mom loved these books, and always wanted us kids to love them--but, by the time I got around to trying them in first grade, I was already reading Nancy Drew and these just couldn't keep my interest. Now that I've gone back to reading some kids and MG lit as an adult, I thought I'd give them a second try. Unfortunately, I have to admit that I still can't quite understand what others have seen in them. For me, the book felt a bit flat and simple--I'd have preferred a bit more depth or detail, even if the book or story had been simpler. I'm sorry to say that, in all likelihood, this wouldn't be a book I'd pass on to kids or parents looking for simple chapter books for their children. I just found it a bit boring, both back when I was in first grade, and now as an adult.
  • (4/5)
    What a sweet book! I'm not the target audience (as of this first reading, I'm 52), but I can certainly see the appeal. It shows that you don't necessarily need a villain to make a book (as I learned in, I think, middle school, sometimes "the environment" can be a successful antagonist). Surely being an orphaned child in the 1920s (when this was first written, though apparently revised in the 40s) is problem enough. And yet the Alden children approach their adversity with pluck and resolve and good humour (there's an awful lot of ' "Oh, Benny!" they all laughed' sorts of phrases). The kindness of most of the people they meet, the happy resilience with which they solve problems (they'd make a good match for Pa from the Little House series are a pleasure. The writing is plainspoken (I tried to read an early Bobbsey Twin book recently, which I'd use to love, and it's almost unreadable now) and effective.

    (Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s).
  • (3/5)
    I actually only like the first book, because I lose interest after they moved out of the box car. LOL
  • (5/5)
    My favorite children's book EVER. Found it at a yard sale recently and plan to read again at age 27!
  • (5/5)
    best book ever... my inspiration for my story, "A wild life"
  • (5/5)
    I've read some reviews that say this series may not hold for modern young people, but really, I read it in the mid-late 80s and I enjoyed it, and I think there is still plenty of entertainment value for today's kids. Maybe some kids will be deterred by the lack of technology, but if they enjoy a good adventure, I'm not sure they'll miss it. After all, the adventures that the children go on are often the kinds of adventures that many kids dream of (like spending the summer all by themselves on an island, living off the land) and the mysteries that they solve are often the type that only kids see (like a hidden room "no one" new existed). One thing I really enjoyed, as I read from one book to the next is that you slowly so the characters growing up before your eyes. Each book took place months apart, so over the course of the series they age and grow. By the end you start to get hints of their future (like who one of the girls may end up marrying). This is a large reason I do not recommend reading the books 20 and up, as they take the characters back to the age that there were in book one. I didn't enjoy that aspect, and didn't think the stories were as good, either. A few years ago, I was feeling nostalgic and decided that I wanted to read the books again. Obviously, it took me virtually no time to get through the series, but I actually enjoyed it as much as I did as a kid, and I actually found things in it this time that I didn't appreciate as a kid (history types of things and things that they could do in the 40s and 50s that wouldn't be allowed today). While some adults probably wouldn't enjoy this if there was no nostalgia for them, others mights find it a fun, quick read.
  • (5/5)
    This story follows 4 siblings: Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny who are orphans. The children are determined to make it on their own so they do not get separated, so they set out to find a safe place to live. they find an old, red boxcar that provides shelter from a storm. Against all odds, they make it into their home and become the Boxcar Children. I read this book when I was younger, and throughout enjoyed reading it again! It is a wonderful transition book that is an easy read for children who are moving up to chapter books. The print is large and easy to follow with its simple sentences. You really begin to get to know these characters and you definitely want to get the other books in the series to see what other adventures they get themselves into!
  • (4/5)
    Now that they are orphaned, the four Alden children are in search of a place to live -- somewhere close enough to a town so they can still buy food, but far enough away that no one will spot them and turn them over to the horrible grandfather they have never met. When the come upon an abandoned boxcar, all four children: Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny decide that it is perfect. They set about making the boxcar into a home and in the process make a good friend who helps them out in more ways than they could expect. Orphans and adventure...how did I not read this when I was a kid? This would have been perfect for me. Although I didn't see a real mystery within the book, it was definitely a fun read. The words sometimes sound too beginning readerish, but I don't think it would get in the way of enjoying the book/story for a more advanced reader.
  • (4/5)
    Pretty much a staple of my early elementary school years, I read it over and over again. Didn't get too far otherwise in the series - maybe book five? After they leave the boxcar it just got way too goody-goody for my evil childhood mind. Not that they were deviants or anything, but I always wished I had a boxcar to run away to; still do really.
  • (4/5)
    Another fine chapter book to read aloud to young listeners. The old time feel and pace of this book was just right. There is a slight mystery that occurs that my 5 year old did not really pick up on - but certainly did not detract from the book. Some old wording that was not updated in our copy but a swift parent could easily modernize while reading. A feel good happy ending story - we will certainly read book 2.

    Just went and read some other reviewers - wow some harsh critique out there. I agree with another poster who reminds us all that this a book from the past of course there are gender stereotypes and scenarios that seem unrealistic in modern times...but should we just throw out all the books that do not directly relate to modern times? I think literature is one of the greatest ways to help children relate to a time and place they will never be apart of.
  • (2/5)
    "This is my pink cup!" Yes it is, Benny. Very cute story.
  • (5/5)
    I'm so excited to reread all these children's series with Maggie in about 4 years. I lived on the Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, Bunnicula, Ruth Chew and, later, John Bellairs.