The Boxcar Children (#1)
by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are orphan siblings whose parents are dead. They have a grandfather, but do not think that they like him and claim that the feeling is mutual. They have nowhere to live, but the children are determined to survive on their own. After a few nights of sleeping in random places outside Jessie found an old red boxcar in the woods, and they thought it was the perfect place for them to stay, at least for the time being. Shortly after they found the boxcar, they found a wounded dog in the woods, and decided to keep it as their own. They named the dog "watch" because he was their "watchdog." The children made the boxcar into their home by searching through dumpsters for things to use as dished and other household necessities. They were happy and proud. Henry went into a nearby town and found a family to work for so that he could earn some money. He became very close with Dr. Moore and his family. Dr. Moore saw an ad in the paper for lost children, and knew that the four siblings were the ones they were looking for. The ad was written by their grandfather and offered a $5,000 reward, but Dr. Moore did not turn them in. One day, Violet became very sick and the children had to go to Dr. Moore's house for the night so that she could be taken vare of. While they were there, the children's grandfather came to Dr. Moore's house looking for his grandchildren. The kids got to know him without realizing it was their grandfather, and seemed to love him. He loved them too. When Violet got well, the children moved in with their grandfather. He lived in a beautiful, luxurious house, but the children missed their boxcar and their grandfather kenw it. One day he surprised them by moving the boxcar onto his property, and the children were overjoyed. They promised their grandfather that they would never leave him, and all was well.
This story would be good to implement in the upper grades because it is a beginning level chapter book. The book could be incorporated with a literacy lesson where the class would sequence events from the story in a big flow map on the board. The teacher would then erase a few of the events, and have children rewrite the story with their own events in place. This would give them practice in both reading and writing, and would also be a good book to read to practice reading comprehension.
Animoto created about The Boxcar Children containing images pertinent to characters or events in the story.