30. The Yellow House Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Yellow House Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Illustrated by Mary Gehr. (Canada) - (US) - Kindle)

The Alden Family Mysteries, #3
Pages: 191
Ages: 7+
Finished: Jan. 28, 2012
First Published: 1953
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: children, mystery
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

Four lively children lived with their grandfather Alden in a big house.

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

Reason for Reading:  This is part of my Random Bookshelf Reading project.  I'm also working on re-reading this series and collecting the first 19.

Publisher's Summary: "In this third book from the series, Grandpa Alden tells Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny of the curious circumstances in which the yellow house became vacant over forty years ago. Determined to solve the mystery, the children uncover a trail of clues that leads them to memories of their boxcar days."

Yellow House follows the established pattern of the first two books and yet also branches out a bit.  The children go back to Surprise Island and end up on an adventure that has them roughing it and living outdoors, camping, canoeing and taking care of themselves, as usual.  The children are a bit older this time with both Henry and Jessie in high school, Violet 12 and Benny 7, making the book suitable for a wide range of ages at the time it was written.  The new character picked up in the last book joins in as an important member of the cast of characters.  Yellow House is the first time the series really brings us a mystery, as the first two really only dealt with mysterious people, whose identities the children figured out by the end of the book, though others knew the secret.  This time somewhat in the same vein but still different we have a missing persons case and the children find clues and search out the long lost person.  For an adult the mystery is weak and unbelievable but as a first introduction to the genre it is a fun romp and I have to admit to thoroughly enjoying myself with the read.  The amiable, well-mannered children of yester-year who love to play outside are a breath of fresh air themselves.  Both my boys enjoyed these books so I know they are still appealing to today's kids and I think it's because of the freedom the Alden children have to wander far and wide in the outdoors with minimum adult supervision; something virtually unknown to this generation in today's modern world.  This book also brings about the first time the children refer to themselves as the "Boxcar Children".  The book concludes with another addition to the Alden family household and I think we probably have our full cast of regular characters set for further novels.  A strong book in the series.


  1. I LOVED this series as a child. Thanks to your review, I just requested the ebook version of the first book from the library.


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