Friday, February 13, 2009

Boxcar Children, Traingle Shirtwaist Factory, Etc.

Got distracted from reading Otherworldlies, which I am liking even though the cover is not indicative of the contents. When trying to find a nice anniversary edition of The Boxcar Children, I came across Mary Ellen Ellsworth's Gertrude Chandler Warner and The Boxcar Children, which was nicely done, and written at a level that fans could read. If you are a fan, definitely read this. It really does show a different world-- Chandler taught first grade for 32 years, even though she never graduated from high school. Even after her retirement, children from the school visited her house to hear stories. Chandler died in 1979, having lived all of her life in Putnam, Connecticut, where there is now a museum in her honor.

Elder daughter has a project on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, so the book by Donna Getzinger was helpful for that. It is brief and concise, but full of interesting information about this horrific occurence. The only problem is that this book, from Morgan Reynolds Publishing, costs over $32! For a book that would circulate maybe twice a year, this is an awful lot.

And finally, Anita Silvey's 100 Best Books for Children was very
good. While it covers books for younger students, the lists for middle grades and higher were good ones, and there was interesting background information. This would be particularly good if you hadn't read the books, because the overview would be helpful. Silvey estimates that she has read 125,000 children's books. I imagine that this includes picture books. I have documented almost 3,000 books that I have read just in the last 7 years, so I think it's safe to say that I have read about 7,000 children's books, not counting picture books. My children would make me read about 20 a day when they were small.
Amd, just because it made me happy, this from


  1. I liked that Silvey book too. I found it in my public library last summer and it gives a good overview of the high-water marks in children's books. She knows her stuff. I especially liked all the gossipy bits on how writer's and illustrators got started or stories about the editor's and such.

  2. Anonymous8:46 PM EST

    Major nostalgia! "Boxcar Children" was one of the books my Fourth Grade teacher read to us. Mrs. Harriman (God rest her) always started the day by reading a chapter. Usually they were adventures like the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew (Oh, does that ever date me!) but I was more impressed by these kids managing by themselves against all odds. Thanks, Ms. Yingling! You made my day!