165. Surprise Island by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Surprise Island by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Ilustrated by Mary Gehr (Canada) - (US)
The Alden Family Mysteries, #2

Pages: 178
Ages: 7+
Finished: Jul. 24, 2011
First Published: 1949
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: Children, mystery
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:
"Now, tell us, Grandfather," cried Henry.  "We ran all the way home from school."

Acquired: Purchased a used copy from a book/garage sale of thrift shop.

Reason for Reading: This is another book from the Random Bookshelf that I am reading from this year.The Boxcar Children have played a big part in my and my children's lives. I intend to acquire a complete set of the first 19 books (the others hold no interest to me) and keep them as keepers on my juvenile shelves for my future grandchildren.

Book 2 is very similar to that of the first in the series.  First of all, there is no real mystery except for the hidden identity of a man on the island known only to them as "Joe".  However, the fisherman who lives on the island knows who he really is and tells the Dr., though swears him to secrecy.  The children continuously suspect Joe of being more than just a handyman and wonder who he really is.  The story itself is adorable and brings back the children surviving on their own as Grandfather owns a small island where he has decided to let the children stay for the duration of the summer holidays.  They, of course, are excited as it brings back their boxcar days and they get right to fixing up the barn as a summer home and cooking, mending and fixing for themselves.  A quaint story with no antagonists but simply an innocent tale of childhood from the days of yesteryear.  Kids today will get a big kick out of the children being able to live on an island all by themselves for the summer.  The resolution is fun and should add another character to the series in the following volumes.  Mary Gehr's line & ink drawings are typical of the era and lovingly match the text.  An enjoyable, wholesome story for both boys and girls.


  1. I still have a bunch of these books from when I was younger. Rereading is always a fun trip down memory lane. :)


Post a Comment

Popular Posts