Blue Bay Mystery

Vacation this summer? Let’s get purposely stranded on a tropical island!

There’s actually a lot more of the feel of the first book to this one, since they’re on the island for a few weeks without any way of getting more supplies other than what they can build and find themselves. They do have two adults along though: Grandfather and newcomer Lars Larson1–who previously got shipwrecked here … and apparently wants to go back for vacation now? Sure. And Mike again, who’s fun enough. Do any of the other children have friends to spoil with vacations from a rich grandfather?


Mike's Mystery

So… the children own a town now? That’s cool. And Mike’s family (Surprise Island) lives there. Such mystery!

No, actually the mystery comes up when Mike’s house burns down. Which … actually ends up working out because instead of doing laundry (which she doesn’t care for) now Mike’s mother can make pies for a living. 60 pies a day! Sure.


Mystery Ranch


This time, apparently Grandfather has an estranged sister, living nearly on her own out in a giant ranch house somewhere or the other. She keeps running off the help, so of course Jessie and Violet (being the girls) go to help her –and miraculously have no trouble doing so. It’s kind of hard to believe, but it’s nice to have another change of scenery. And hey, I always love reading aloud books in my ‘creaky old woman voice’. :D


The Yellow House Mystery

Remember Surprise Island ? Remember

Then Henry said, “Grandfather, that’s one thing we can’t understand. Why didn’t we ever get to go into that little yellow house? Doesn’t it belong to you?”

Mr. Alden looked at his grandchildren. Then he said quietly, “That’s another story.”


Surprise Island

The second Boxcar Children book and the first of the formula that would come to define the series. It’s summer and the children are off to an adventure to an island Grandfather owns , more or less by themselves (although two other adults live on the island). They make a house, explore, find mysteries, and generally have an idyllic time.

“Now, tell us, Grandfather,” cried Henry. “We ran all the way home from school.”


The Boxcar Children

Many years ago, my mother would read aloud the Boxcar Children books to my brother and I. We read many many books together for many years, but the Boxcar Children are perhaps the ones I remember most. Now, perhaps it’s time to start passing that along to my own children.

From a child’s perspective, it’s a wonderful little book. The children are on a grand adventure, escapism idealized. They work together to not only survive but thrive without any adults telling them what to do. They get to make their own house in the woods and have a dog and everything ends up all right in the end.