Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Who doesn’t love the classic The Boxcar Children book by Gertrude Chandler Warner where four orphaned siblings find themselves living in an old train car until their grandfather discovers them? This was one of the first books I remember reading independently, and was one I read over and over again throughout my childhood. Our 8 year old daughter checks the CDs out from the library and listens to them every night at bedtime. Now this delightful book has been transformed into The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set by Albert Whitman & Company and is entertaining an even younger generation.
We received the Time to Read level 2, Early Reader Set geared for ages 5-7, grades K-2 through the Homeschool Review Crew. They are below our 3rd-grader’s reading level and above our 4-year-old’s reading level, but perfect for reading aloud together, which is how our family used them. The beautifully-colored hard covers are a treat for the eyes, and the artwork inside just as lovely.
“The Boxcar Children” title is based on the original book where readers are introduced to the orphaned siblings. In this condensed version we learn the story of the orphaned Alden children, we meet Watch, the injured dog, and Violet gets sick and needs a doctor, which leads to connecting with Mr. Henry, their grandfather.
“Surprise Island” is based on the Movie, Surprise Island, and the book by Gertrude Chandler Warner. The Alden children head to their family island for summer vacation. They meet Captain Daniel who takes them by boat to the island where they explore with Joe, a boy who works on the island. Among their adventures, they find a cave and nearly get trapped by rising water. The end of the book reveals a surprise about Joe’s connection to the family.
“The Yellow House Mystery” transpires when the Alden children visit Surprise Island again. They are curious about the abandoned yellow house that belonged to a man named Bill, who mysteriously disappeared years ago. Always up for adventure, the Alden children search for clues that leads them to Bear Trail where they camp in less than desirable conditions and the rest of the mystery unfolds.
The story of “Mystery Ranch” unfolds when Aunt Jane becomes ill at her Wyoming ranch, and the Alden children travel by train to help her during recovery. On the train, they meet a mystery man who becomes a key part in solving the suspicious activities happening around the ranch.
Each of the four books includes just enough mystery and adventure to intrigue young readers, and ends with the mystery solved and relationships restored. Illustrator Shane Clester’s artwork is colorful and just detailed enough for this readership age.
This set would make a great gift for a young child, or for donation to your local public library and public school library!
These classic books will remain a treasured Harlow Family library addition for years to come. They’re sturdy enough to endure being read and reread by our family and passed down to future generations. We highly recommend these books for families of young children, and for folks like me who love quality children’s literature for themselves.
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