Recently, I introduced My Ruby Girl to the public library system. After she had checked out and returned several books on time, she was allowed free reign with her check-out privileges. Twenty-one books is the maximum you can check out at one time in our county, and I thought she was going to burst into song when the librarian told us about her extended limits.
Now, Miss Ruby is no stranger to books. She has a personal library numbering 234 titles at last count. We have Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss, Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon. The well-known Laura Numeroff titles (If you give a Mouse a Cookie, Moose a Muffin, Pig a Party, etc…) And some Australian titles that we stumbled across in our book hunts (Edward the Emu, Koala Lou…) Eric Carle is well represented with his Caterpillar, Brown Bear, Grouchy Ladybug and all of their distinctive illustrations…
But she has recently tired of the young, picture-heavy books that have entertained her for six years. And she developed an overwhelming interest in the Junie B. Jones series authored by Barbara Park. We would zip through one of these chapter books every other night until there was scarcely a title out of the 27 set series that we had not read. We tried Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle but didn’t even make it through the first book before it was apparent she was not interested. Then came The Best Christmas Pageant Ever…it was so well received that she actually hid the book from me after three chapters. I was growing tired of Junie B. and was desperately trying to remember titles from my youth. Pippi Longstocking, and Roald Dahl titles were nixed by my book worm, much to my dismay. So one night, after a solo library trip, I surprised my little one by reading from The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I loved the Boxcar series when I was young, but I wasn’t so sure my little one would be as interested in a title that was first published in 1942.
We finished book one in just two nights. As I read the last sentence and closed the book, Ruby snagged it from my hands and queried “you don’t have to return this, do you?” ”yes, it has to go back to the library” I said. ”No!” said Ruby “We will keep this book and just pay the library fine for it!” I laughed out loud and told her that would not be fair to other kids that might like to read it. And I promised her I would buy her a copy all her own. And when I received an email from The Boxcar Children Facebook Group telling me this series has over one hundred titles, I could rest assured that we’ll be busy reading for a while.
For more information about The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner, visit www.boxcarchildren.com