Review: The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set

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.

Sharing a new book with your children is always exciting, especially if it is from your childhood. We were recently introduced to The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set, published by Albert Whitman & Company. This set features familiar tales adapted from the books written by Gertrude Chandler Warner but written for children in Kindergarten through Second Grade.

Product Description:
The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set includes the first four stories from Warner’s original Boxcar Children series. We received hardcover books but this set is also available in paperback. These stories differ from the original because they were specifically written for younger children. Each book has easy to read, large text that children ages 5-8 can easily understand. The books in our collection are Level 2 readers which encourage those reading with help to move from picture books to chapter books. This set features The Boxcar Children, Surprise Island, The Yellow House Mystery, and Mystery Ranch and is available for purchase from the publisher, Albert Whitman & Company.

Book Summaries:The Boxcar Children was a nice introduction to the series and the Alden children. We enjoyed listening as Bam Bam read about how the children cared for each other, kept themselves safe, and created a home. Our favorite part was when Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny finally met their grandfather.

Surprise Island began with the anticipation of Grandfather’s surprise summer vacation announcement. The siblings and their dog were able to spend the sunny season by staying on their private family island. Aside from collecting unique items for their homemade museum, the children also learned to fish, play the violin, dig for artifacts. Our favorite part was finding out a local helper was actually their cousin.

The Yellow House Mystery story solves the tales of what happened to Grandfather’s friend, Bill. After finding a letter from the long island friend, the children head out on a hiking and camping adventure to Bear Trail. After overcoming several obstacles, the children find Bill and eventually he is reunited with his friend.

Mystery Ranch continues the adventures of the Alden children as they meet their Aunt Jane for the first time. We liked how they rode a train, helped with the ranch chores, and found a way to save the ranch from being sold. It was also sweet to see the children cure their Aunt Jane’s loneliness with a new puppy.

Our Routine & Final Thoughts:
Upon receipt, I read through each of the books and checked our local library to find movies that coordinated with the stories. Once I reserved and picked those up, I had Bam Bam read each book out loud to his siblings at bedtime. He read through approximately six to ten pages each night. It took at least three to five days for him to read through a book. This allowed him to practice reading out loud, storytelling/speech, and even reading comprehension. After reading two books, we watched a movie and compared it to the book.

These stories were fun to read and the perfect introductions to Gertrude Chandler Warner’s brand. Adding the movies made the series come alive for my all cool kids. The illustrations in each book were captivating and paired well with the text. Bam Bam was able to read through each story with assistance and by the last book he didn’t need much help at all. We definitely recommend The Boxcar Children Early Reader Set for families with children ages 5-8 or those ready to read with assistance. This would also be a good gift for grandparents to read aloud to your children.

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Happy homeschooling,
Ta’Neisha K.