Throwback Book Review: Boxcar Children Special #2

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 rest of the series. The last one in the series I own is #78, and there are 145 regular books total. Also Special #1, Mystery on the Ice, in which the kids solve a mystery involving a figure skating troupe.

Special #2 The Mystery in Washington, DC: Grandfather is off on another business trip and decides to take the kids with him. Except his trip is in Virginia, so he drops the kids off at a bed and breakfast owned by a friend of his in Washington. The Aldens are all ready to go sightseeing by themselves when they meet Amira, a girl Henry’s age, also staying there alone, so they bring her along.

The kids see many sights like the Capitol, the Washington Monument, and the Smithsonian but what’s far more interesting to them is the fact that things keep going missing at their bed and breakfast, and two men in sunglasses keep following them around.

They suspect everyone staying at the bed and breakfast, including Amira, who acts strangely. She knows so much about a lot of things in Washington but doesn’t seem to know what fish sticks are. Other suspects include the photographer couple who don’t seem to know much about cameras and the artist who doesn’t know about art. And of course the owner’s assistant who has access to everything in the house. The kids sightsee by day and by night try to solve the mystery.

Of course, in the end the thief turns out to be the assistant, who was having trouble coming up with tuition for school. The kind-hearted B&B owner lets him off the hook if he makes everything right, and even loans him the money for school. As for Amira’s secret, she’s the Egyptian ambassador’s daughter but didn’t want anyone to know, so she was pretending to be a normal girl, even though she was being followed by two security guards.

The Aldens spend another vacation solving a mystery. They also spend it alone. Why do the authors of these books keep sending their grandfather away? I don’t care how responsible the kids are, I was barely going to the mall by myself at 14. My parents would have never dropped me off in another state to go sightseeing, let alone with three younger children to take care of.

I don’t have much else to say on this one, other than what is Jessie wearing on that cover? Also, this book being a special, it has a bunch of interesting activities in the back that I never did apparently. It has connect the dots, a maze, recipes and craft projects. I hope our son will be interested in those kinds of things when he gets old enough, they seem like fun.

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