Diana L. Marshall’s Favorite Childhood Book

Vintage_1950_Boxcar_ChildrenThe Boxcar Children Written By: Gertrude Chandler Warner

I grew up in a house where books were considered wonderful treasures and my mother, a schoolteacher, held the unofficial title of family librarian. I didn’t realize until I was grown up how fortunate and rare it was that our mother had influenced daily reading from the beginning of our lives and that my siblings and I had such a vast collection of children’s books to enjoy everyday.

So to pick my favorite childhood book is somewhat of an impossible task for me. But the book, “The Boxcar Children” I remember to this very day how I had marveled over and mimicked this story. I remember going to the library in my school and in the town I lived and searching to check this book out over and over again. I even remember the color of the cover being red.

The book tells the story of four orphaned children, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny. They create a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar in the forest. They eventually meet their grandfather, who is a wealthy and kind man. The children eventually decide to live with the grandfather, who moves the beloved boxcar to his backyard so the children can use it as a playhouse.

In the book the children live without parents and find food and essentially take care of themselves. It is one big adventure and a story of great independence. My siblings and I would pretend we were living on our own just like the boxcar children. We had a large wooded area next to our home we called “The Woods” and we would pack some food for the day and make a shelter out of branches. It was an exhilarating adventure every time and those adventures are now some of my most cherished memories of my childhood and they all stemmed from reading this wonderful book.