The Original Boxcar Children {Free eBook}

The Boxcar Children

The Boxcar ChildrenThe Boxcar Children series has been a favorite in our family and among the first books we read aloud so many, many years ago.  And now this homeschool family favorite is in the public domain!

Originally copyrighted in 1924, The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner went through several changes before being republished as the version most of us are familiar with.  In other words, this is NOT the same as the version copyrighted in 1942, although the storyline is the same.

The Original Boxcar Children {Free eBook}Some notable differences:

  • The reading level is more advanced.
  • In the 1942 version no mention is really made of the father.  In the 1924 version we learn he was a drunkard.
  • The later version is almost like an outline of the earlier version.  Therefore the earlier version contains all of the detail to make this a rich living book.
  • The original was illustrated by Dorothy Lake Gregory in the familiar style of the 1920s.

While the current version is aimed at young readers, this older version makes a great family read-aloud…and it’s free!

Free eBook



Boxcar in the Classroom
Free downloads from the publisher with simple activities.

The Boxcar Children
Review and summary from Focus on the Family.  Scroll down for Discussion Topics.



The Boxcar ChildrenThe Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
If you are ready to dive into the complete newer series, you might enjoy this boxcar full of the first 12 books in the series.  The first 19 are written by Gertrude Chandler Warner.

The Boxcar Children CookbookThe Boxcar Children Cookbook by Diane Blain
This cookbook goes with the books in the series.  You can make Boxcar Brown Bread or Beef Stew With Little Vegetables!


Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

Boxcar Children in the Classroom
Great resource! 42-page student book featuring many different ways to interact with the book including timelines, math exercises, science experiments, and critical thinking challenges. (Handy-mom tip: use the multiple-choice-type exercises for narrations.)

Boxcar Lesson Plan
Sequencing and writing prompts from


Printables & Notebooking Pages

The Box-Car Children Notebooking Pages
Simple pages that go with the original book that can be used for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.