Thumbing Through Throwbacks: Boxcar Children

January 28, 2018     erinbook     Feature, Thumbing Through Throwbacks


From a young age I was a big fan of mystery novels and TV shows. Maybe it was watching Murder She Wrote and CSI with my grandma or maybe it was because of a popular children’s series known as The Boxcar Children. Raise your hand if you’re old enough to remember these books.

I remember there being a lot of books in this series but I never realized just how many. When looking up information for this post I discovered that this popular mystery series has over 150 books in its listing including specials and spin offs. However only about 19 of these were written by the original writer.

One interesting fact about these novels are that while the original books are set in the 1920s and 30’s (when they were written), later books in the series are set in modern day. I don’t know how that works with the timeline but I suppose books for second graders don’t really have to make sense.

However, I digress.

While later books in this series are framed as mysteries the very first novel, simply titled THE BOXCAR CHILDREN, is more of a survival adventure. 4 siblings (2 girls and 2 boys Narnia style) run away to live together in an abandoned boxcar in the woods to avoid a supposedly cruel grandfather. Simple enough. The story just goes from there, the children surviving on their own and having and adventure.

I loved this book as a kid in the 90’s. I loved all it’s subsequent sequel mysteries as well but THE BOXCAR CHILDREN #1 was always my favorite. I loved stories of kids going out and surviving on their own with no adults to be found. Later books in the series are more reminiscent of Scooby Doo stories, which I’ve always loved, but it’s not the same as this original book.

To this day I’ve never read all the books in this series. After all there’s over 150 of the dang things. I’ve probably read 30-40 or so of them over the years, completely out of order as they are mostly standalone stories.

I absolutely recommend this books for young readers, even now. They’re just a lot of fun and part of what got me into reading long strings of books in a row. Read them to your kids or let them read them themselves. They’re short, simple, and fun reads for kids. But start them off with the first book at least.

What was your favorite Boxcar Children book?

Did you have a favorite throwback children’s series or book? Share in the comments.

From my shelf to yours,


One response to “Thumbing Through Throwbacks: Boxcar Children

  1. Aleesa

    I love this book! i read this when i was younger and couldn’t put the series down. I really do like what you said about this book, and about how you gave some background information about the series/book. I especially like how you told us when the book was set at.

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