Sunday, March 18, 2018

MMGM Non-Fiction Feature - Boxcar Children: Guide to Advenure

~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY NON-FICTION FEATURE ~
-- 'The Boxcar Children Guide to Adventure:
A How-To for Mystery Solving, Make-It-Yourself
Projects and More' --
Created by Author Gertrude Chandler Warner
LEARN MORE ON GOODREADS



ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads Book Blurb}:
The Boxcar Children have long been known for being creative and resourceful. This hardcover book is filled with fun how-to guides for everyday adventures. It includes tips and tricks for mystery solving (how to make invisible ink and create secret codes), travel (how to pack a suitcase; how to take great snapshots), and enjoying the great outdoors. Each of the four Boxcar Children has his or her own section—practical advice from Jessie, a “roughing it” guide from Henry, crafts and art projects from Violet, and recipes from Benny! A great gift for Boxcar fans.
  
ABOUT THE AUTHOR {from Goodreads}:
 Gertrude Chandler Warner was born in Putnam, Connecticut, on April 16, 1890, to Edgar and Jane Warner. Her family included a sister, Frances, and a brother, John. From the age of five, she dreamed of becoming an author. She wrote stories for her Grandfather Carpenter, and each Christmas she gave him one of these stories as a gift. Today, Ms. Warner is best remembered as the author of THE BOXCAR CHILDREN MYSTERIES.
 

As a child, Gertrude enjoyed many of the things that girls enjoy today. She loved furnishing a dollhouse with handmade furniture and she liked to read. Her favorite book was ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Often on Sundays after church, Gertrude enjoyed trips to visit her grandparents' farm. Along the way, she and Frances would stop to pick the wildflowers they both loved. Gertrude's favorite flower was the violet.

Due to ill health, Ms. Warner never finished high school. She left in the middle of her second year and studied with a tutor. Then, in 1918, when teachers were called to serve in World War I, the school board asked her to teach first grade. She had forty children in the morning and forty more in the afternoon . . . Eventually, Ms. Warner attended Yale, where she took several teacher training courses.


Once when she was sick and had to stay home from teaching, she thought up the story about the Boxcar Children. It was inspired by her childhood dreams. As a child, she had spent hours watching the trains go by near her family's home. Sometimes she could look through the window of a caboose and see a small stove, a little table, cracked cups with no saucers, and a tin coffee pot boiling away on the stove. The sight had fascinated her and made her dream about how much fun it would be to live and keep house in a boxcar or caboose. 


She read the story to her classes and rewrote it many times so the words were easy to understand. Some of her pupils spoke other languages at home and were just learning English. THE BOXCAR CHILDREN gave them a fun story that was easy to read.

MY REVIEW:  My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Binkley, liked to read aloud to our class each day after lunch. I'm assuming she liked to read to us because of her pleasant voice and smile, but I loved when she read to us! I can vividly remember her reading 'The Boxcar Children', 'My Side of the Mountain', and 'Little House in the Big Woods' to us. When I saw this 'Guide to Adventure' from 2014 in the local library's online catalog, I knew I wanted to read it.

The book is organized into eight chapters, each covering a different topic for adventure. Readers learn some simple detective skills in the first chapter; they learn ways to keep occupied on road trips in Chapter Three. Some simple recipes are included in the fifth chapter, while 'Violet's Workbag' shares stepped-out instructions for several craft, art, and gardening projects. 

The 'A Friend in Need' chapter covers various ways children can 'pitch in to help' the community. Suggested jobs for readers include pet sitter and dog walking, babysitting and parent helper, volunteering, and yard work. This chapter stresses having fun and working together to get things done.

One chapter I especially appreciated was the final chapter, 'Unplugged Games'. The chapter starts off with tips for how to play fairly and how to show good sportsmanship. Lists of outdoor games and indoor card games are included. Did you know there are at least thirteen different versions of Tag? {Oh, how I wish I had known this when I was teaching primary grades.}

Another attractive feature of the book is that most of the chapters include a sidebar listing books from the Boxcar Children series that apply to the theme of the chapter. For instance, the chapter entitled 'Outdoor Adventures' lists seven mysteries in the series where the characters used their detective skills to solve a mystery. 'Violet's Workbag' lists three 'Great DIY Boxcar Children Moments' referring to crafts the children made in the stories and in which book they appear. 

Highly recommended! This book was written for children but it is a great resource for teachers, librarians, parents/grandparents, youth group/scout/4H/church school leaders/camp counselors, and anyone who spends time with or works with middle-grade aged children. 

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CURRENT GIVEAWAYS:  Don't forget to check out my Current Giveaways Page to enter for a chance to win in three different Rafflecopter giveaways going on right now.
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COMING UP SOON ON 'READING, WRITING & STITCH-METIC':
-- Tuesday, March 20th - Friday, March 23rd: 'SPRING MULTI-AUTHOR GIVEAWAY' organized by Singing Librarian Book Tours will feature my two inspirational romance novels--'ROBIN'S REWARD' & 'A HOLIDAY MIRACLE IN APPLE BLOSSOM'. I will post a different feature about my books each day, so stop by for new content each day next week.

Enter to win an e-copy of 'Robin's Reward' {giveaway sponsored by me} and a hardcover copy of my Christmas book {giveaway sponsored by my publisher, Cedar Fort, Inc.} There are several other authors participating, so stop back in on Tuesday morning to learn more details and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway
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14 comments:

  1. I loved the Boxcar Kids when I was a kid. This sounds like a cool companion read that maybe I should read as an adult. Thanks!

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    1. Greetings, Natalie ~ You're welcome. I had a blast reading this book as a somewhat 'older' middle-grader! Ha! Thanks for visiting 'Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic'. Best wishes, June

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  2. What a gem of a find! This sounds like it would be perfect for kids, teachers, and parents. Thanks for the recommendation.

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    1. Hello, Greg ~ One thing I appreciated about the variety of activities in this book was that they were geared toward boys and girls. Thanks for stopping by. Sincerely, June

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  3. I adored the Boxcar Children books as a child. Thank you for the bio of Gertrude C. Warner -- I didn't know much about her. I just gobbled up her books. The guide would make a great resource for parents and teachers.

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    1. Hi, Patricia ~ I thought the author's life was fascinating, too! Thanks for sharing your comments here. Best, June

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  4. This was a wonderful trip back in time. Thank you for reviewing a book that has brought such great reading adventures to children for so long. I never anything about the author until now.

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  5. Hello, there ~ You are very welcome for the review. I agree with you about the wonderful trip back in time. I'm a big history buff and a fan of historial fiction for middle-graders and adults. Thanks for stopping by. Sincerely, June

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  6. I'm embarrassed to say that I have never read any Boxcar Children books. Never even saw them as a child. How did I miss them? This looks like a great read and I hope our library system has copies.

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  7. No need to be embarrassed, Iron Guy Carl! :0} Hope you get a chance to read some of these fun books soon. Thanks so much for stopping by 'Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic'. Sincerely, June

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  8. I'm running a little late, but glad I saw this! I loved the Boxcar children as a kid, and this sounds delightful!

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    1. Hi, Suzanne ~ I'm glad you stopped by to see this post. As I always say, it's never too late to read a good book {or a good blog post}! Thanks, June

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  9. I had never heard of this. It sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for telling me about it.

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    1. You're welcome, Rosi. I'm fortunate that my local public library buys a lot of MG and children's books or I'd go broke! Hope you get a chance to read it soon. Best, June

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