Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
This delightful yet simple tale almost seems boring on the surface. Four siblings are orphaned and fearful of their new guardian, their grandfather, whom they have never met. They decide to run away together instead of facing the unknown. The children work to stay together with the two oldest siblings acting as mother and father. Henry, the oldest brother, works at odd jobs to provide food and money for his siblings. Jessie, works at home to make dinner and keep order. The other two help as they can. The siblings do not fight but aid each other with whatever tasks they may have, never shirking from work. In the end, their grandfather turns out to be a charming man and they find happiness together. I enjoyed the sense of family and love that permeated the book. I found it refreshing to hear children showing true love, kindness, family togetherness and the ability to work hard.