[Review] The Boxcar Children, Book One by Gertrude C. Warner

Publisher and Publication Date: Originally published by Rand McNally and Company in 1924. E-book created in 2014 by South Oxford Press.
Genre: Children’s fiction. Mystery. Grades 2nd to 6th.
Pages: 160.
Format: E-Book.
Source: Kindle. Amazon purchase.
Audience: Readers of children’s stories.
Rating: Good.

My e-book copy is no longer available at Amazon.

It is available at Project Gutenberg.

Website for The Boxcar Children.

The first 19 books were written by the original creator, Gertrude C. Warner. Other writers have written the continued stories in the series but acknowledge Warner as the creator. Most of the stories are mystery. A few of the stories are considered special. As of the newest book set for publication in March of 2023, there are 161 books.


Four siblings are left as orphans. Their names are Henry, Jess, Violet, and Benny. They leave their home not knowing exactly what they should do. They find an abandoned box car and live in it. They stay together. They work together to find things to use in their new home. Henry has a little paying job. Things go well with the children until Violet becomes sick.

The time period for the story is about the time it was written, 1924.

My Thoughts:

The Boxcar Children, book one, is a first time to read for me.

I’d heard of the book and further stories written because my eldest son had read a few of them. I’d also heard reviewers remark about the books. On my Kindle there are seven children’s stories. Actually, one of them has all twelve books in that series, Five Little Peppers. So, a final total of 19 children’s stories to read. I’m determined to read all of them this year.

I am a member of a classics reading challenge that is a Facebook group. For the month of January, the classic to read is a Children’s book, but I will be reading several.

I like this story. I am not in love with it.

The Boxcar Children is a story with moral and teaching points. It is endearing. It is sweet and innocent despite the children’s circumstance and plight.

I love how the children look out for one another. I love how they work together to overcome obstacles.

There is a closure of sorts at the ending because the children now have a better hope for the future.


Quote of the Week

“There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Appareled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;-
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.”

“Ode: Intimations of Immortality, from Recollections of Early Childhood.” Stanza 1.

William Wordsworth [1770-1850]

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations” by John Bartlett.
Published by Little, Brown and Company, 1955. Page 408.

To read the full poem: Poetry Foundation.

Tea and Books

Happy New year to you!

At Christmas, I received several new teas. Most of them I’ve tried and tasted.

Teas, in order from left to right:

Tea in Texas, Loose Leaf Black Tea, Big Tex English Breakfast. This is an average tasting black tea with a slight malt presence.

The Republic of Tea, Mulled Apple Spice Tea. This may be a discontinued brand. I purchased it at a close-out sale shelf at World Market. At The Republic of Tea site there is a Hot Apple Cider tea. The Mulled Apple Spice Tea is like drinking mulled apple cider in a tea bag form. Tasty. I enjoyed this tea drink during the holidays. The ingredients in the Mulled Apple Spice Tea are cinnamon, orange peels, cloves, citric acid, apples, natural apple flavor, allspice, natural orange flavor, stevia and natural cinnamon and rum flavors. The tea drink is flavorful but not a strong-tasting drink. Sometimes a cider or spice tea can be a bit tart or strong. I feel this is a tea that should be drank alone without an additional snack.

Highfield Cottage Tea. Link to Amazon-British Amazon, as I cannot find the tea at the American Amazon site. I cannot find the website for the tea. This is a hard tea to fine online. I’m not sure where my daughter-in-law purchased the tea. I’ve enjoyed drinking the Chai, English Breakfast, and Rose teas. All of these are black teas. I’ve also tried blending a tea in a pot with another tea, Barry’s Gold blend of Tea. The Chai, English Breakfast, and Rose teas are a little above average in taste. I prefer to blend a bag with the Barry’s Gold blend of tea in a teapot rather than as stand-alone teas.

Tetley British Blends, Dutchess Balmoral, tea bags. Link to Amazon. For $22.38, 6 boxes with 20 bags in each box and comes in 1 case. Enjoyable tea that tastes like a tea dessert. It’s a black tea and vanilla blend. I love it.

Harney and Sons, Tower of London Blend, sachets/fancy tea bags. Link to Amazon. All of the Harney and Sons’ teas I’ve tasted have been wonderful, some more than others. Tower of London Blend is a black tea with bergamot oil, honey, and a taste of stone fruit. I love it.

Harney and Sons, Florence, loose leaf tea. Link to Amazon. This is my absolute favorite tea of this bunch. It is a black tea, with a chocolate and hazelnut taste. The aroma of the tea is a high point as well as the taste. Luxurious tea. Excellent.

Link to Harney and Sons to see their full line of teas.

The teas are to be made with boiling water and steeped 5 minutes.

Books-my current reads.

  1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I’ve never read this book. I’m in a book challenge, and in January it is to read a classic children’s book I’ve never read before and must be written before 1960. I searched all the e-books on my Kindle and have decided to read all of the children’s books (total of 7+.) They’ve been on my Kindle a while. This is a perfect month to read them. Did you know The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is book 1 in a series of 14 books? After I’ve read the book, I’ll re-watch the film. I don’t know that I’ll read the other 13 books in the series. The other children’s books on my Kindle are Five Little Peppers by Margaret Sidney (a total of 12 books. I will read at least the first.) Anne of Green Gables (I’ve read before) by Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Story Girl Series (2 books. I may read both) by L. M. Montgomery. The link is to book 1, The Story Girl. The Boxcar Children (book 1) by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I finished this book on December 29, 2022. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgsdon Burnett. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.
  2. Dark Night of the Soul by Saint John of the Cross. A deep read. Sometimes I have to go back and reread a page. Paperback.
  3. The Collected Poems of William Wordsworth. Paperback.
  4. In Good Time by Jen Pollock Michel. Paperback. The author is hosting Zoom meetings for those of us who signed up. She will go over some of the points in the book and lead us to create healthy timely lives.
  5. Adam Bede by George Eliot. I’ll be reading this book a while as it is the book to currently read in the chapter a day book challenge. Paperback.
  6. Light to the Hills by Bonnie Blaylock. This is an e-book. This book is 80% read.

Quote of the Week

“When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
How gracious, how benign, is Solitude.”

“The Prelude,” “Summer Vacation,” Book IV, Lines 354-357.

William Wordsworth [1770-1850]

From, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations by John Bartlett.
Published by Little, Brown and Company. 1955. Page 404.

To read the full poem: Your Daily Poem.

[Review] All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

Publisher and Publication Date: St. Martin’s Griffin. December 29, 2020. First published in 1972.
Genre: Nonfiction. Biography. Rural life of a veterinarian in England in the early to mid-20th century.
Pages: 448.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Public library.
Audience: Readers who love animals and rural English life.
Rating: Very good.

Link @ Amazon.


The year is 1937 and Dr. James Herriot is a new veterinarian surgeon. He arrives in the Yorkshire Dales to work in an established practice.

Dr. Herriot cares for farm animals: horses, cows, pigs, and dogs.

The various procedures and surgeries are the huge part of the story, including those hard-to-treat problems. For example, a pharyngeal abscess in a cow and lambing in the springtime.

The front cover of the book is from the series on PBS. I’ve watched a few episodes.

My Thoughts:

This is the first time I’ve read any of the books written about James Herriot’s veterinarian life. Although, his books have been on my to be read list a long long time.

Why do I love this story?

  1. James Herriot is a real person. I see him as a person who has positive and negative traits as all humans. I see the obstacles and conflicts he endures. I applaud his longsuffering and humility.
  2. I love animals. I’d like to have read stories about cats. I don’t remember reading in this book about a cat under his care.
  3. I love the dialogue and descriptions with the people he encounters on a daily basis. Some are nice people. Some are not. He struggles through caring for animals while the owner criticizes him.
  4. I feel he is a sensitive person. Sensitive to the animal’s welfare and to the people who own the animals. Not all, but many of the people love their animals. They see them as not merely for-profit farm animals.
  5. I see a growth in Herriot during the beginning of his time working in the practice. I see him as a person who just jumps in to care for animals, swallowing any fears he has, but has a strong amount of perseverance.