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Posted February 12, 2013
I initially heard of the Boxcar Children prequel many months bef
I initially heard of the Boxcar Children prequel many months before its publication. As any childhood fan should be, I was intrigued. The unknown awakened my curiosity: Where did those 4 Alden children come from before they arrived in front of the bakery that stormy night? What truly happened to their parents? Why were they so afraid to meet their grandfather? Questions that Gertrude Chandler Warner had left to the reader's imagination. Questions that Patricia MacLachlan has personally attempted to answer.
As books go, it's a good, solid story. I'm not sure if this particular story was meant for the Alden children though. My reason for the previous statement being this: one thing I enjoyed about the Boxcar Children was that the books were timeless in the way of, there are not usually historical facts that pinpoint into which era that the stories take place. The original books were written in the 1940's, and are loosely based on that time period, but this new prequel brings in too much historical information about the Great Depression, more-so than what is denoted in the original books. For that reason, I didn't find the prequel's mood to match up exactly with the series, but I realize that Mrs. MacLachlan's passion is historical fiction, so this factor is at least understandable because of the author's writing style.
Overall, I'm satisfied with this prequel. It fabricated a glimpse of the Alden children's life before we met them in the 1st book of the series---something never seen before. Had it been I to be the person to write a book like this, I would have plotted it differently, certainly. But I appreciate the effort made on Patricia MacLachlan's part to fill a void of questions in children's literature.
Please note, I only would recommend this book to readers who have already consumed several of the other Boxcar Children books, specifically the first 19 that Mrs. Warner herself penned. Enjoy!
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