Gertrude Chandler Warner Boxcar Children Surprise Island
Boxcar Children Boxcar Children Yellow House Mystery

Gertrude Chandler Warner was born on April 16, 1890 in Putnam, Connecticut. She loved to read and write. Her mother bought notebooks for her and her sister so they could write down their stories. They called their publishing company “Warner & Co.”

Gertrude Warner was a teacher for 32 years. She retired at the age of 60 in order to write full time. She died on August 30, 1979. Because her books were so popular, the publishing company hired authors to write more Boxcar Children mysteries.

Gertrude lived across from a railroad station when she was growing up. One day she looked inside a caboose where a small stove, table, and dishes made her wonder what it would be like to live on a train. Later, this gave her the idea for The Boxcar Children (1924). In 1942 she re-wrote the story so that children with reading problems could easily read the story, and hopefully choose to read more. Many librarians disapproved of the book. They thought that the children were having too much fun without parents telling them what to do. This is exactly why so many children liked the book!

Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden, and their dog, Watch, end up living in an old red boxcar after their parents die. Eventually their grandfather finds them, and takes them to his home. He also moves their boxcar from the woods to his own backyard. The children become involved in many mysterious adventures as they travel all over the country.

Warner wrote 19 of the Boxcar Children mysteries, and also 15 other books for both children and adults. There even is a cookbook, The Boxcar Children Cookbook by Diane Blain. It includes secret code buns, hobo stew, and tree house chocolate pudding.


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