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Children's LiteratureThis reintroduction of an English classic follows the adventures of three siblings at the turn of the 20th century. Roberta, Peter and Phyllis live in an upperclass English household with adoring parents and little to worry about, until one day when some men unexpectedly escort their father away. The children are never told exactly why this has happened, but their mother assures them that their father will return. Without the breadwinner, the family must move to a small cottage in the countryside where life is quite different than what they were accustomed. The story is primarily about the children's adventures during this time in the country. They live near a railway station and encounter an array of characters and occurrences that provide ongoing excitement as they anxiously await their father's return. The original illustrations and descriptions of family life and social customs in another era may need some explanation which makes this book perfect for class oral reading. The author was a favorite among young people of the day as the story captures an innocent time quite different from today. 2005 (orig. 1906), SeaStar Books, Ages 8 to 11.
—Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.