The Boxcar Children written by Gertrude Chandler Warner was the book that put me on the road to reading. I fell in love with Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny. I wanted to live in a boxcar and have the same adventures as the Alden children. Warner’s writing and appealing characters motivated me to read her subsequent books and develop a fondness for mysteries.
When I learned Patricia MacLachlan was writing a prequel to the original Boxcar Children, I was a bit hesitant. Patricia MacLachlan is a phenomenal writer, and if anyone could do the job she would be the one to do it. But would she stay true to Gertrude Chandler Warner’s original story and characters?
I turned to the first page of MacLachlan’s prequel. I was immediately transported back to my childhood. Patricia MacLachlan maintained the same storytelling magic as Gertrude Chandler Warner. The Boxcar Children Beginning immerses the reader into a simpler time. It entertains. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. The story demonstrates kindness, family values, and sucks you into the Alden family’s adventures. Patricia MacLachlan didn’t disappoint. Her prequel is a winner!
This is a perfect book to read aloud with the family. It lends itself to discussions about past history, The Great Depression, and work ethic. It’s quality summer reading!