Throwback Book Review: Boxcar Children #72

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.

What We Missed: The kids search for a missing park ranger in the Everglades, find a missing sword, play basketball, solve a mystery involving a movie star hanging out in town, search for buried treasure, and visit a ghost town.

#72 The Mystery in the Mall: Grandfather Alden is visiting a friend so they can go to their high school reunion together, and thinks the kids will have fun visiting the mall his friend owns. Being the Aldens, they’re ready to be put to work. They’re given a job in Penny’s Emporium, a shop that sells a bunch of souvenirs. The owner loves them, but her manager isn’t as crazy about having a bunch of kids hanging around.

Janet is always disappearing and reappearing at random, always with excuses about why the Aldens shouldn’t do their jobs. Is it because she doesn’t like working with kids, or is she hiding something? A mysterious man keeps appearing too where he shouldn’t, like the back door of the store. He seems to be working with Janet as well.

Benny’s coconut painted to look like a monkey keeps disappearing. The first time was an accident, but when Henry replaces it, it goes missing from the store. It eventually turns up on the doorstep of the house they’re staying in, but it’s not the same one. What does it have to do with the mysterious stuff going on with the store?

The mysterious man turns out to be Janet’s brother, who ended up on a smuggler’s ship, and enlisted his sister’s help to return some stolen goods to their rightful home. The store gets a shipment of coconut monkeys, and some of the valuable stones were hidden inside. Janet had been trying to be alone with some of the shipments to find the stones and didn’t want anyone finding out.

I think this book was trying to sound cooler than it is with a smuggling plotline, but it ended up just kind of confusing. I didn’t really like this one as much.

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