The Boxcar Children

Boxcar Children image002



The Boxcar Children series was, like many young readers, my first experience reading a series that was on my reading level.  I loved following the adventures of the Alden family,and the first one was my favorite.  I re-read the descriptions of the boxcar and how they slept and even created pretend situations with my own “boxcar.”

Check out this interview [on one of my favorite child lit blogs: Mr. Schu Reads]with Patricia MacLachlan who wrote a prequel to The Boxcar Children titled, The Boxcar Children Beginning: The Aldens of Fair Meadow Farm.  I haven’t yet read this prequel, but I’ve added to my read list.


Check out these 10 Interesting Tidbits on The Boxcar Children [by Mental Floss].  I’ts hard to believe that this series didn’t have an audience or that it was protested by librarians!

2. The first one was written and published in 1924, but it wasn’t until its re-release in 1942 that the series really found an audience.

5. You would think that a good old-fashioned book like The Boxcar Children could hardly raise any parental eyebrows, but when the book was first published, there were definitely some upset adults. “Perhaps you know that the original Boxcar Children raised a storm of protest from librarians who thought the children were having too good a time without any parental control,” Gertrude once wrote to her fans. “That is exactly why children like it! Most of my own childhood exploits, such as living in a freight car, received very little cooperation from my parents.”



Even though Warner didn’t write the entire series, the books have had a popular and steady place on book store shelves.  As an adult, I appreciate even more the way the Aldens stick together as a family.  Plus, I appreciate the intricate silhouette illustrations now.  Does this series teach “family values, strength, and hope”? as one article suggests? Is this series considered a classic because of its popularity? Or could we consider it a classic because it does have elements of classic adult literature, like being based on orphans? There are many valuable questions to discuss and ask while looking at this series in context of what books persist.  Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy the consignment set I found and read it to my boys!


Also, a new animation film version is being released next week – check out the trailer here!

 Teachers, Parents, & Reading Enthusiasts:

There is a huge amount of resources for activities, crafts, and reading ideas along with using this series.

Search Pinterest for many great Boxcar ideas like dioramas, worksheets, and much more.

Boxcar Children Official Website {Includes biographies, activities, and learning guides}

Activity Guide {One of many available online}



  1. Here from the blog hop. I always wanted to like this series… but could never get into it. Tried reading aloud, audiobook, leaving the books around for the kids to pick up on their own (that one usually works best), but no luck. But maybe with Patricia McLaughlin’s magic touch… I should try again?
    Hopping by from the blog hop! Feel free to hop on back.

  2. I haven’t thought about this series in years. I can remember when my teacher read it to the class and how I fantasized about living in a boxcar. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Never read this series, Brittany. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing on the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

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