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Journey on a Runaway Train Review by Erica Beyea

The Boxcar Children, Book 1
Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Boxcar Children Journal
Albert Whitman & Company
(800) 255-7675
250 South Northwest Highway, Suite 320
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

Following many years of successful mysteries for young readers, the Boxcar Children are embarking on an exciting new adventure series. Not drifting too far from their mystery roots, this new series mixes in non-stop adventures and exotic travels to distant lands. In this 138-page paperback, the four Alden children—Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Bennie, along with their dog Watch—find themselves wrapped up in an action-packed adventure to return several lost artifacts to their rightful owner.

Journey on a Runaway Train, the first book in this new series, introduces the four spunky siblings, who with the supportive assistance of their grandfather, unravel mysterious neighborhood events and join forces with a secret society to travel far from the comforts of their New England home. Along the way, readers are thrilled to learn interesting facts alongside the children as they research and gather clues to unlock the next steps of their journey, taking them on a luxurious train ride across the United States all the way to New Mexico. Of course, there is an element of danger and suspense mixed in, as opposing forces try to thwart their efforts and take possession of the valuable artifacts.

The companion Boxcar Children Journal is an attractive hardcover book that gives a nod to the Boxcar children with the inclusion of a map of their neighborhood adventures. Its empty, lined pages allow the reader to record their own thoughts, mysteries, and adventures.

This book was a welcome addition to our personal library. My 11-year-old daughter has always been a fan of the Boxcar Children mysteries and was thrilled to read of their continuing adventures. The adventure series has been modernized to include the Alden children’s research via the Internet along with their library books. Though the advanced technology has been included, I’m glad the books don’t stray too far from the original research methods of reading and good, old-fashioned detective work.

We greatly enjoyed this book and are looking forward to this new series. I’m sure they will become new favorites in our household and will be read repeatedly. Journey on a Runaway Train has non-stop action and a few surprises. The intriguing story holds the reader’s interest from beginning to end, and I found that once they started the book, my children carried it everywhere with them and couldn’t put it down until they finished. I highly recommend this book and this new series to young readers who are just starting out on chapter books, or older readers who still enjoy reading a fun adventure.

Journey on a Runaway Train is currently selling for $12.99 on the publisher’s website. More books in the series are coming soon.

-Product review by Erica Beyea, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2017