Parents' Guide to

The Boxcar Children Series

By Barbara Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Engaging classic mystery series great for beginning readers.

The Boxcar Children Series Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 6+


I read this book when I was in the 4th grade. It was the first book I had ever had to do a 'project' on. I used a box from the large kitchen matches as my box-car. For the 4 children i used the flat wooden spoons that came with our ice cream snacks. I drew faces on the spoons and pasted cut out clothes on them. I had little sprigs of tree branches as trees. I am 68 now (2019), I have always loved trains and I think of that book every time one passes. I enjoyed the series that followed and the 4 Alden children solving mysteries in each book. The original story really got me hooked on reading! It left a lasting impression.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 5+

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (5):

This is a great series for beginning readers. Though not deep, these plot-driven mysteries hold the reader's interest. Gertrude Chandler Warner, an elementary school teacher, wrote the first 19 of the books, using the 500 most common words and kept plots simple. (Later books have the byline "created by Gertrude Chandler Warner.") Although not complex, the characters are appealing and realistic.

The first book is the star of the series, but all the books provide hours of good reading.  There are more than 130 books in the series, including a prequel by Patricia MacLachlan, published in 2012.

Book Details

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