Saturday, October 5, 2013
Book Review - The Boxcar Children Beginning: The Aldens of Fair Meadow Farm
Before they were the Boxcar Children, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden lived with their parents at Fair Meadow Farm. Although times are hard, they're happy--"the best family of all," Mama likes to say. One day, a blizzard hits the countryside, and a car is stranded on the road near their farm. The family in the car needs shelter, and when the Aldens take them in, the strangers soon become friends. But things never stay the same at Fair Meadow Farm, and the spring and summer bring events that will forever change the lives of the Alden children. Newbery-Award winning author Patricia MacLachlan pays loving tribute to the classic novel by Gertrude Chandler Warner in this story of the Alden children's origins and the challenges they faced before their boxcar adventures.
About the Author and Illustrator
Patricia MacLachlan is the celebrated author of many timeless books for young readers, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal. She lives with her husband and two border terriers in Williamsburg, Massachusetts.
Tim Jessell is the illustrator of numerous books for children, including The Secrets of Doon. He is the new illustrator for The Boxcar Children series. He lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
My Take on the Book
My eldest and I have been reading the boxcar children books together because I remember reading them when I was a child myself (and I loved them then and love them now). I have to say though that I always wanted to know more about how the children had found themselves in the predicament that they did, and now we get to see what the back story was. I particularly enjoyed getting to learn more about the parents and how they were raising their children (even though you saw much of this in the way the kids acted and reacted to things in the later books). My daughter told me that the "book was good and that she liked it" and that "I like the pictures in this book better than the other books". As a parent, I have to say that not only was the story and characters strong, but I liked that the book was easy for my daughter to read and that she could take on even as an early reader. If you are a fan of the boxcar children, you will love this book and all that it contains. If you have never read, nor shared the boxcar children with yourself or your family you are missing out and should pick this up, you will not regret it!
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