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Dark themes for the younger reader
on June 12, 2015
I was a fan of the Boxcar Children series until we finished those that were written by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Once we entered the "created by Gertrude Chandler Warner" books things took a turn. This one in particular put me over the edge and I have decided this one will be the last to enter our home. The themes in this book are not suitable for the targeted age group. I'm aware that my son is an advanced reader for age five. My challenge has been finding material that is his reading level AND age appropriate in content. That being said I would not let my 6, 7 or even 8 year old read this book.
This book is dark for the younger readers:
* An intruder breaks into the home that these four children are staying alone while they are sleeping. They wake to find an upholstered chair "ripped to shreds" with a knife. "'To think an intruder was in the house while we were sleeping!' She shivered, hating to think how near a stranger had been."
* While Jessie is out filling the water pitcher in the evening "...a cloth bag was thrown over hear head, blotting out sight and air. Her arms were pinned to her side." "She struggled for breath and air." "'Do you understand me?' the prowler growled menacingly."
* The intruder had been in the library the children were working to clean up. Phases like " stabbed the bigger books with his scissors or a knife!" "...to slash these books."
This tone is throughout the book. In addition since the Ms. Warner penned books the author always makes it a point to remind the reader that the parents of these children died, they are orphans, they lived alone in a boxcar because they didn't want their grandfather who they thought was mean to find them. Ms. Warner didn't feel the need to remind her readers of this and focused on the fun of finding adventure and solving mysteries.
All in all I'm disappointed and we have said good-bye to the series.