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The Cereal Box Mystery: The Boxcar Children Mysteries #65 [NOOK Book]

Overview

While investigating a jewelry store robbery the Aldens must also figure out who's stealing their favorite cereal.

When the Alden children set out to solve a jewelry store robbery, they find they must also deal with a mysterious thief who steals their favorite cereal.

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The Cereal Box Mystery: The Boxcar Children Mysteries #65

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NOOK Book (eBook - AWC eISBN 978-0-8075-9648-7)
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Overview

While investigating a jewelry store robbery the Aldens must also figure out who's stealing their favorite cereal.

When the Alden children set out to solve a jewelry store robbery, they find they must also deal with a mysterious thief who steals their favorite cereal.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781453214091
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Series: Boxcar Children Series , #65
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: AWC eISBN 978-0-8075-9648-7
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 581,256
  • Age range: 7 - 12 Years
  • File size: 3 MB

Read an Excerpt

THE CEREAL BOX MYSTERY


By GERTRUDE CHANDLER WARNER, Charles Tang

ALBERT WHITMAN & Company

Copyright © 1998 Albert Whitman & Company
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4532-1409-1



CHAPTER 1

A Box of Silver Frosted Stars


Mrs. McGregor was making a list for the Alden children to take to the grocery store. "Anything else?" she asked.

"Cereal!" cried Benny Alden. "You didn't forget the Silver Frosted Stars, did you?"

Mrs. McGregor looked at the grocery list. "No, I didn't, Benny. Your favorite cereal is right at the top of the list."

She handed the list to fourteen-year-old Henry Alden. He folded it and put it in his pocket.

"I just need two more silver stars from inside the cereal boxes," Benny said. "Then I can send away for my very own silver star detective's badge."

Twelve-year-old Jessie Alden laughed. "We know, Benny," she said.

Violet, who was ten, smiled at her six-year-old brother. "Even if you don't find a star inside the cereal, you'll find a prize, won't you, Benny?" she asked.

Benny nodded. Then he said, "If it is a really good prize, maybe I will give it to Grandfather for his birthday."

The others laughed. Their dog, Watch, who was curled up on his dog bed near the door, stood up. He wagged his tail and barked.

"No, Watch, you can't come with us," Henry said. "We're riding our bikes and it is too hot for you to run alongside."

"But we'll bring you a present," Benny promised. He petted the dog on the head.

"Yes. A brand-new col —" Jessie began, but Benny stopped her.

Benny put his hands over Watch's ears. "Shhh! It's supposed to be a surprise! You have to keep your lips zipped!" Benny pretended he was zipping his lips shut.

"Right," said Jessie, and pretended to zip her own lips shut, too.

Saying good-bye to Mrs. McGregor and Watch, the Aldens got on their bicycles and rode through the streets of Greenfield to the grocery store downtown.

In the cereal aisle of the grocery store, Benny went straight to the Silver Frosted Stars. He studied all the boxes closely. He took each box off the shelf and gave it a gentle shake. Finally, he said, "This is a good box." He put the cereal in the shopping cart.

Henry pushed the cart a little way down the grocery aisle.

"Wait!" said Benny. He held up two more boxes. "These are good boxes, too."

He looked hopefully at his brother and two sisters. "We could get three boxes of Silver Frosted Stars," he said. "I promise to eat all three."

"Oh, Benny! Three boxes?" said Jessie.

But Violet, who always liked to be helpful, said, "I could help you eat the cereal, too, Benny."

Henry and Jessie exchanged glances. Henry said, "I guess I could eat a few bowls of Silver Frosted Stars."

"Me, too," Jessie agreed.

"Hooray!" cried Benny, and he skipped happily to the shopping cart to add two more boxes of his favorite cereal.

The moment they had left the grocery store, Benny opened one of the boxes of cereal. "Look!" he cried. "A silver star! Now I only need one more to send away for my special detective's badge."

"Good for you, Benny," Henry said as he and Jessie loaded grocery bags into the baskets of the bicycles. "But you can't open any more boxes of cereal until you finish that one." "I'll start right now," Benny said. He took a handful of cereal from the box and began to eat it.

"No milk, Benny?" asked Violet.

Benny grinned. "It tastes good this way, too!" he assured her.

They walked along Main Street, past the hardware store and the bookstore. Outside the bakery, Benny stopped and pointed. "Look at that cake," he said.

"It's a beautiful cake," said Jessie.

Benny put the box of cereal back in the bag in one of the bicycle baskets.

"It's a birthday cake," said Henry. "A cake like that would be nice for Grandfather's birthday."

Violet said, "Mrs. McGregor could make a cake like that, especially if we helped."

"With a cake like that, you need a party," said Jessie.

The four Aldens looked at one another. Then Henry said, "Is anyone else thinking what I'm thinking?"

"A party!" Benny crowed. "We can have a party for Grandfather's birthday."

"A surprise party," Jessie said. "Let's make it a big surprise."

Violet said, "We can invite Soo Lee and Cousin Alice and Cousin Joe."

Everyone began to talk at once. They were so excited that they almost forgot about Watch's surprise.

Then Jessie said, "Oh, dear. We just passed the pet supply store!"

They turned their bikes around and walked them back to the pet store. They parked their bikes outside and went in.

Benny and Violet chose a new red collar for Watch and even ordered him a new tag with his name and address and phone number on it. As they walked out of the store, Benny said, "It's too bad the tags aren't shaped like stars. Then Watch could be a detective, too."

Ahead of Benny, Jessie stopped so suddenly that Benny bumped into her.

"Ow!" said Benny.

"Look out!" Henry said.

"Police! Stop! Stop, thief!" they heard a voice cry.

CHAPTER 2

The Stolen Rubies


A police officer raced past the Aldens, almost crashing into Henry. She didn't even see him.

The police officer disappeared around the corner.

The Aldens looked back in the direction from which the officer had come. They saw a man and a woman standing outside an antiques store. The woman pointed and the man waved his arms in excitement.

"There must have been a robbery," Jessie said. "Let's go find out."

The Aldens hurried up to the two people outside the store. "What happened?" Jessie asked as they got closer.

The woman turned. She was a short woman, not much taller than Henry, with round blue eyes and long dark brown hair pulled into a French braid. Strands of hair were sticking out from the braid and one sleeve of her shirt was torn. "A robbery!" she gasped. "I tried to stop him, but he got away. He tore my shirt!"

"Did the robber wear a mask?" asked Benny.

The man shook his head. He was a small, thin man wearing thick glasses. "I'm Will Bellows. I own Antique Treasures." He pointed to the sign above the shop. "This thief was quite bold. He just grabbed something and ran out when I was helping Ms. Smitts here and another customer. Ms. Smitts was very brave. She ran after the thief and caught him right outside the door, but he pulled free."

"What did he look like?" asked Henry.

Ms. Smitts said, "I don't know ... it all happened so fast. He wasn't very tall. But he had a hat pulled low over his forehead and a scarf pulled up around the lower part of his face. He might have had a mustache. He pushed me away and ran."

Mr. Bellows couldn't remember, either. "He stayed in the darkest part of the shop," he said. "And he kept his shoulders hunched and his face turned away. He had on a tan raincoat and a brown hat, but that's all I remember. I only noticed the raincoat because it wasn't raining outside. I thought that it was odd."

"What was stolen?" Violet asked.

Mr. Bellows clapped his hand to his forehead. "The rings!" he said. "I left the tray of rings I was showing to a customer right out on the counter."

Turning, Mr. Bellows rushed back into his shop with the Aldens and Ms. Smitts behind him. Inside, they found a small room filled with all kinds of old furniture, lamps, and books. A glass case displayed jewelry. An anxious-looking young man with round wire-rimmed glasses was hovering near one end of the glass case.

"Did you catch the thief?" the man asked.

"Not yet," Mr. Bellows said.

"Who are you?" Benny asked.

The man peered at Benny through his glasses and said, "I'm David. David Darden. I'm trying to find an engagement ring." He blushed slightly. Then he said to Benny, "Who are you?"

"I'm Benny Alden," Benny said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bellows had hurried over to the blue velvet tray at David's elbow. "They're all here," he said, sounding relieved. "All the rings are still here!"

Now David Darden looked surprised and a little hurt. "Of course they are. I stayed in the shop to make sure nothing would happen to them."

"Oh," Mr. Bellows said. He looked slightly embarrassed. "Sorry. Thank you." Then he glanced toward another corner of the store and his face grew grim. "Oh, no," he said.

"What's wrong?" asked Jessie.

"The thief took the most valuable thing in the store — a necklace set — a matching necklace, bracelet, and ring." Mr. Bellows pointed toward a small case. "They were especially valuable because they were made of rubies."

The Aldens went over to the small case. "The lock isn't broken," said Henry. "Did it have a key in it?"

"No," said Mr. Bellows. "I keep the key on my key ring."

"Could the thief have picked the lock while you were helping other customers?" asked Henry.

"It's possible," said Mr. Bellows.

"Or maybe you left it open the last time you unlocked it," Violet said.

"Oh, no. You locked it," said Mr. Darden.

"Are you sure?" asked Mr. Bellows.

"Yes," said Mr. Darden. "Right after you showed the jewels to me." He smiled and shook his head. "They were beautiful, but much too expensive for me. I just want an engagement ring."

"It's true," Ms. Smitts chimed in. "I was here when you showed the jewelry to Mr. Darden. I saw you lock the case, too."

"It's amazing that anybody could pick that lock in that short a time," said Mr. Bellows. He looked very unhappy. "They were particularly fine rubies. I was delighted when their owner offered to sell them to me."

"Rubies," Violet said softly.

"Yes," said Mr. Bellows. "And these were particularly beautiful and rare, a perfectly matched set." He sat down heavily in a nearby chair. A puff of dust came up around him, but he didn't seem to notice. "Oh, dear. Oh, dear," he said. "I hope they catch the thief."

"Don't worry," said Benny. "If they don't, we will."

Ms. Smitts laughed. Benny put his hands on his hips. "We can," he said. "We've solved lots of mysteries."

Although she stopped laughing, Ms. Smitts still kept smiling. The Aldens could tell that she didn't believe Benny.

Mr. Bellows shook his head. "If someone doesn't catch the thief," he said, "I'm ruined."

"We'd better go," said Henry. "Let us know if we can do anything to help."

Fumbling in his pocket, Mr. Bellows brought out a small notebook and a pencil. He said to Ms. Smitts and Mr. Darden, "You'd better leave your names in case the police want to talk to you."

Mr. Darden said, "Are you sure that is necessary? ... I mean, I don't want my name to be in the newspaper."

Ms. Smitts gave Mr. Darden a suspicious look. "Well, I don't have anything to hide," she said. She took the notebook and pencil and wrote "Tori Smitts" and her phone number in the notebook. Reluctantly, Mr. Darden wrote in his name, address, and phone number as well.

Then Ms. Smitts and Mr. Darden walked out of the store with the Aldens. When they got outside, Benny raised his hand and pointed. "Oh, no!" he cried. "My bike. Look what happened to my bike!"

Benny's bike was no longer parked where he had left it. It was lying in the middle of the sidewalk, with groceries spilled out all around it.

Quickly the Aldens hurried toward the bicycles. Mr. Darden and Ms. Smitts went with them. They helped the Aldens pick up the scattered cans and boxes from the grocery bag.

"There," said Ms. Smitts. She looked inside the basket and shifted the open box of Silver Frosted Stars. "It looks like one of your boxes of cereal got broken open when your bike fell over. You want me to throw it away?"

She held up the box, but Benny shook his head. "No, I'd already opened it. It's okay."

He took the box from Ms. Smitts and put it back in the basket.

"Thank you for helping us," said Henry.

"Of course," said Mr. Darden. He shook his head and smiled a little. "I guess I wasn't meant to buy an engagement ring today."

"We're just lucky no one got hurt," Ms. Smitts said. She waved at the Aldens and walked briskly away.

"Maybe I'll do a little more shopping," Mr. Darden said. He smiled again and made his way slowly down the sidewalk, stopping to peer into the different windows.

"Wow," said Benny. "A robbery. With rubies! We've found another mystery to solve, haven't we?"

"Yes," Jessie said. "Maybe we can help Mr. Bellows."

Benny grinned. "Hooray," he said. "Now we have a party and a mystery!"

"Whoever took the jewels must have known they were the most valuable thing in the store," said Henry. "It had to be somebody who knew about jewelry."

"But no one even knows what he looks like," said Violet.

"The police will probably catch the thief," Henry said. But even though he said that and his brother and sisters agreed, they still talked about the mystery of the stolen rubies all the way home.

They were so busy talking that they didn't even notice the person who followed them.

CHAPTER 3

Watch Hears a Burglar


Watch pricked up his ears. He raised his head from his paws and growled softly.

"What is it, Watch?" Benny whispered, sitting up.

Watch had been sleeping at the foot of Benny's bed. It was very late. Benny could tell because the house was so quiet and dark. The only light was the night-light in Benny's bedroom.

"Grrr," growled Watch again. He hopped off the bed and ran to Benny's bedroom door. He scratched at it.

Benny got out of bed, too. Had Watch heard something?

"Shhh," he whispered to Watch.

Watch pressed his nose against the crack beneath the door and sniffed.

Benny reached down and gripped Watch's new red collar. Slowly, quietly, he pushed the door open. Very, very carefully, he walked down the hall to Henry's room next door. He pushed Henry's door open and crept inside.

"Henry," he whispered. "Henry, wake up. I think there is a burglar in our house."

Watch growled again, more loudly He pulled against his collar.

Henry sat up. "What?" he said sleepily. Then, realizing what Benny had said, he gasped, "A burglar?"

At that moment they heard a loud crash from downstairs. Watch barked and pulled free from Benny's grasp. Barking loudly, he ran out of the room.

"What is it?" Jessie cried. The door of her room banged open as Henry and Benny ran past.

"Burglar," whispered Henry.

Grandfather came out into the hall and hurried after them, followed by Violet.

They heard a hoarse shout as they ran down the stairs. Then a shadowy figure ran across the hall and out the front door, with Watch at its heels. The door slammed, almost catching Watch. He yelped and jumped back, then leaped at the door again, scratching at it and barking louder than ever.

Grandfather turned on the light. A flowerpot by the front door had been turned over.

Violet and Benny ran to calm Watch.

"Good boy," Violet crooned. "You scared the burglar away."

"You're brave, Watch," said Benny, giving Watch a big hug.

Watch wagged his tail, but he gave one more soft growl, as if warning the burglar not to come back.

Henry crouched by the overturned flowerpot. "Look," he said. "The burglar left a footprint.

A big footprint."

"So did Watch," Jessie added.

They studied the footprints. But although Watch's footprint was very clear, the burglar's footprint was smeared as if he had slipped. "The only thing you can tell from this footprint," Henry said at last, "is that the burglar had big feet and he was in a hurry!"

They went into the kitchen and stopped in amazement. Jessie threw out her arms. "What a mess!" she said.

Someone had broken a pane of glass in the back door and reached through it to unlock the door and come inside. Most of the cabinets had been opened. A bag of flour had been thrown on the floor, where it had burst open, coating everything in soft white powder. A loaf of bread had been knocked from the counter onto the floor.

"It doesn't look as if anything is missing," said Grandfather. "I'll call the police."

Jessie said, "Why would the thief break into the kitchen? What would he look for?"

"Maybe the thief was hungry," said Benny.

Grandfather said, "Whatever the burglar was up to, it's a good thing Watch barked when he did and scared him away."

Watch wagged his tail.

"We'll get up early and clean up this mess," Jessie said. She yawned suddenly. "I'm sleepy."

"Me, too," said Benny. He yawned also. "But we should stay awake in case the burglar comes back."

"I don't think he will, Benny," Grandfather said, patting Benny's shoulder. "And besides, Watch will be on guard."

"That's true," said Benny in a sleepy voice.

Violet shuddered. "That's two robberies in one day — at Antique Treasures and now at our house."

"But we don't have any jewelry for the thief to steal," said Benny. "He must not be a very smart burglar."

After Officer Weatherspoon from the Greenfield Police came and questioned Grandfather about the robbery, Grandfather taped a piece of cardboard over the broken pane of glass and the Aldens went back to bed.

Everyone got up early the next morning to clean up the mess in the kitchen.

They had the kitchen almost finished when Benny stopped. His mouth dropped open.

"Benny? What's wrong?" asked Grandfather.

Benny pointed to the top of the refrigerator, where Mrs. McGregor had put his two unopened boxes of Silver Frosted Stars. "My Silver Frosted Stars," he said. "They're gone!"

"Maybe they fell behind the refrigerator," Jessie suggested. "The burglar could have bumped into it and knocked them off."

Jessie was right, but only half right. She only found one box of Silver Frosted Stars behind the refrigerator. The other box of cereal wasn't anywhere in the kitchen, or in the whole house.

"That is very strange," Henry said. "Why would anyone take a box of cereal?"

"Do you think they were collecting silver stars, too?" asked Benny.

Henry shook his head. "It doesn't seem likely."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from THE CEREAL BOX MYSTERY by GERTRUDE CHANDLER WARNER, Charles Tang. Copyright © 1998 Albert Whitman & Company. Excerpted by permission of ALBERT WHITMAN & Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

CHAPTER,
1 A Box of Silver Frosted Stars,
2 The Stolen Rubies,
3 Watch Hears a Burglar,
4 Party Plans and a Mystery,
5 An Empty Box and a Silver Star,
6 A Spy in the Woods,
7 Too Many Rings!,
8 A Birthday Present and a Clue,
9 A Picnic Surprise,
10 A Special Badge for a Real Detective,
About the Author,

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 5, 2011

    :)

    This book is awesome!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!

    Who would want to steal cearal box prizes? Read this book to find out!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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