What’s it all about?:
Three children, forced to alter their comfortable lifestyle when their father is taken away by strangers, move with their mother to a simple cottage near a railway station where their days are filled with excitement and adventure. First published in 1906, this beloved children’s classic has charmed generations of readers.
What did I think?:
I haven’t read this book for a while and I was slightly worried what I would think of it as an adult. I was also concerned for my sister and fellow blogger ChrissiReads as I know this was one of her favourite books ever as a child. Luckily, I had no need to fret as I loved it just the same as I did when I was younger. The story introduces us to three children, Roberta (Bobbie), Peter and Phyllis who live a charmed life with their mother and father in a large house with a few servants in England. Their world is turned upside down however when their father is taken away one night and the children are given no explanation for what has occurred or when their father will be returning – they are only told he is on “business.” Furthermore, they are forced to move to a much smaller house in the countryside with their mother and must live for a while as “a poor family,” watching every morsel of food and lump of coal to try and cut costs as much as possible. The children try to make the best of their change in situation, and discover the wonders of the railway which lies very close to their new home, and gives them many opportunities for adventure.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this story on re-reading it, was the way that the author wrote about children. It felt much more authentic than other books of the time as the characters of the children were real. That is to say they had faults, they argued, they played, they got into scrapes etc, and this made the tale more enjoyable as I felt they were incredibly relatable to any child reading it. I also loved the adventures they managed to get themselves into – from Peter’s attempts to procure a bit more coal for the family to saving a baby and dog when a fire breaks out on a barge, there was always some kind of action in the story to look forward to. There are also morals to be learned for the children (and perhaps the reader!) without them being forced down our throat, which I always appreciate. The Railway Children is definitely a classic piece of children’s literature, and I think it will continue to be treasured for years to come.
To read Chrissi’s review, please visit her blog HERE.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):
Please look out for Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit, twelve new titles for 2014!