Monday, September 10, 2012
THE BOXCAR CHILDREN BEGINNING
When I was in third grade, Mrs. Kelly read aloud THE BOXCAR CHILDREN. I loved that book! I found the idea of four kids living out in the woods, in a boxcar, feeding and caring for themselves totally intriguing.Last year, I heard that Patricia MacLachlan had been commissioned to write a prequel to THE BOXCAR CHILDREN. This week, that book arrived on my doorstep.
In the prequel, Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny live at Fair Meadows Farm with their parents. The book is set during the Great Depression, and times are tough, but Mr. Alden farms and Mrs. Alden sells her baked goods in town, and the Alden family appears to be surviving. They even have enough to take care of another family who arrives on their doorstep during a spring snowstorm. Then tragedy strikes…
Patricia MacLachlan has done a terrific job capturing Gertrude Chandler Warner's 1942 voice and as a long time Boxcar fan, I totally enjoyed the prequel. I'm not sure, however, that BEGINNINGS will capture/hold the attention of my urban students, who may find the Alden's family's rural life a little slow. I am also not sure that I would give this book to students who had not read other books in the series, but for BOXCAR fans, this is a fun new read.