Throwback Book Review: Boxcar Children #54

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.

#54 The Hurricane Mystery: The kids are going on another working trip, this time to visit a friend of the family in Charleston who is repairing her home after a hurricane. When they get there, they immediately set to work on a mystery: where is Mrs. Ashleigh’s old gate, made by her ancestor? They assume it was blown away in the storm, but the kids locate it just a few minutes later in the yard of a neighbor and have it returned.

The story doesn’t end there, with constant problems with the gate. It’s unique but doesn’t seem particularly valuable, just being a wrought iron gate with a ship in the middle of it. They send it off to be repaired but they soon realize someone else is interested in it, going as far as damaging the remaining hinges one night and trying to break into the repair shop.

Some old plans the kids find while working on the house shed some light on the situation: the gate is hollow and was filled with gold. The kids hang it back up on the fence and lie in wait for the would-be thieves to strike again, but not before another hurricane blows through.

In the aftermath of the hurricane, they catch the thieves trying to make off with the gate again, as if the hurricane took it. It was the neighbor who originally found it after the first hurricane, who figured out the gold secret and wanted to sell it for cash. The gate ends up in a museum to keep it safe and Mrs. Ashleigh has a replica made to hang on her fence.

As far as plots go, this one was okay. There were a couple of interesting tidbits in the book though. In the beginning, as they’re bringing their dog Watch with them to the house, he is described as a black and white terrier. All throughout the series so far and in all illustrations, he seems to be pure black, kind of like this (photo borrowed from the internet, not mine):


It’s an interesting change. Also, the kids state that their Grandfather found them after their parents died and they ran away to the boxcar. I can’t remember if it is ever explicitly mentioned that their parents died before, I know I’ve commented on this plot point before.

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