Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Boxcar Children, Graphic Novel by Shannon Eric Denton

I’m a huge fan of graphic novels!  I loved all the comic books that I used to read as a kid, but over the years I’ve gotten away from the worlds of Batman and Superman.  Graphic novels are kind of like comic books, but each book usually tells a self-contained story instead of being one part in an ongoing series.  Also, unlike comic books, it’s socially acceptable for a grown man to read a graphic novel in public!

I had never actually read any of the “Boxcar Children” mysteries by Gertrude Chandler Warner, so I was really excited to find this graphic novel at my library.  The Boxcar Children are two boys and two girls who become orphans after their parents die.  Afraid that they might get split up by their foster parents, the children decide to run off together.  They end up building a camp in the woods, and taking shelter inside of an abandoned railroad boxcar.  The Boxcar Children impressed me with their resourcefulness, and they did a pretty good job of running a house by themselves.

One thing I noticed about this book was that there was much more of an emphasis on pictures rather than words.  Some pages only had one or two sentences.  The illustrations did a great job of telling the story so I don’t feel like I missed out on anything, but I’ll definitely have to go back and get the original book for comparison!  Most of the sequels that follow in this series are mystery chapter books, and that’s definitely something that I’d be interested in reading.

From time to time, most kids come to wonder what would happen if they were suddenly alone in the world.  I think that the Boxcar Children were lucky to have had each other to rely on when their parents died, and that was a big reason why they were so successful in the woods.  Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live on your own?  Would you feel lonely, or scared?  Or maybe you might enjoy the time to yourself?

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