Throwback Book Review: Boxcar Children #8 and 9

Welcome to my weekly throwback book review! Each week I’ll be rereading and reviewing one or two books from my childhood. I was a huge reader as a child and these books shaped my life. I couldn’t possibly get rid of them, so I still have a large collection that I am sharing with all of you in the form of reviews.

I am missing #7 and I’m not sure if I ever read it. What We Missed: The Woodshed Mystery in which the kids’ grandfather buys his old childhood home in New England to fix up for his sister to live in (the one who lives on Mystery Ranch) and the kids find a mystery dating back to the Revolutionary War. Their Aunt Jane apparently also gets married in #7 to a guy named Andy.

Book #8 The Lighthouse Mystery: They are driving home from visiting their aunt in the previous book, which is why I was confused that they were driving on the beach, since I thought she lived in “The West”. They see a lighthouse for sale and the kids want it, so their grandfather inquires about buying it for them (what?). Unfortunately it’s already sold, but they can stay in it for a little while. The lighthouse is part of a little town, where there is a father son duo that the kids get to know. The father doesn’t want the son to go to college, so the son decides to work on his own in the small house next to the lighthouse. The kids figure this out after their dog Watch keeps barking in the middle of the night. The son is trying to figure out how to cook plankton and seaweed so it can feed a lot of people. He nearly drowns going out to sea in a storm trying to get seaweed and his father is so relieved he lets him go to college to study this food thing. Conveniently, Henry goes to college where a professor is trying to do the same thing.

I didn’t remember much of this book, I wasn’t a fan of a lot of these earlier books. Nothing particularly stands out to me.

Book #9 Mountain Top Mystery: The kids decide one day that they want to climb a mountain, and by the end of the first chapter they’re on top of a mountain. As they start to climb back down, some of the rocks break away and they become trapped on top, but the rocks reveal a secret cave. One thing leads to another and they find out there’s an old Native American woman living nearby and she thinks the cave is where her ancestor hid some treasure. When the media hears about a cave, a young Native American boy shows up and he also has a claim to the possible treasure. A geologist explores the cave with the kids and they find the treasure, some old French antiques and a letter in French claiming that the treasures were given to the man who hid them there (of course, Henry and Jessie can read French perfectly). The young boy turns out to be the great nephew of the old woman and he comes to live with her and they live off the money from the sale of the old antiques.

I remember this one a bit more. It’s kind of weird that the geologist features so much in the book, and when he explores the cave, he finds some fossils that indicate the mountain was once underwater. But nothing ever comes of that unless it pops up in a future book, and he really didn’t do anything besides build the scaffolding that got the kids into the cave to look around.

Also, I think the kids are supposed to be aging, but don’t really seem to be. Henry goes from 14 in the first book to college in book 8, but the ages of the other kids never come up. Benny seems really young still, and Violet doesn’t really seem to be at least 14 as she should be.

Did you read The Boxcar Children? What was your favorite series growing up? Let me know in the comments below.

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