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Gertrude Chandler Warner

Biography

Gertrude Chandler Warner

Gertrude Chandler Warner was born in Putnam, Connecticut, on April 16, 1890, to Edgar and Jane Warner. Her family included a sister, Frances, and a brother, John. From the age of five, she dreamed of becoming an author. She wrote stories for her Grandfather Carpenter, and each Christmas she gave him one of these stories as a gift. Today, Ms. Warner is best remembered as the author of THE BOXCAR CHILDREN MYSTERIES.

As a child, Gertrude enjoyed many of the things that girls enjoy today. She loved furnishing a dollhouse with handmade furniture and she liked to read. Her favorite book was ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Often on Sundays after church, Gertrude enjoyed trips to visit her grandparents' farm. Along the way, she and Frances would stop to pick the wildflowers they both loved. Gertrude's favorite flower was the violet.

Her family was a very musical one. They were able to have a family orchestra, and Gertrude enjoyed playing the cello. Her father had brought her one from New York ---a cello, a bow, a case and an instruction book. All together, he paid $14. Later, as an adult, she began playing the pipe organ and sometimes substituted for the church organist.

Due to ill health, Ms. Warner never finished high school. She left in the middle of her second year and studied with a tutor. Then, in 1918, when teachers were called to serve in World War I, the school board asked her to teach first grade. She had forty children in the morning and forty more in the afternoon. Ms. Warner wrote, "I was asked or begged to take this job because I taught Sunday School. But believe me, day school is nothing like Sunday School, and I sure learned by doing --- I taught in that same room for 32 years, retiring at 60 to have more time to write." Eventually, Ms. Warner attended Yale, where she took several teacher training courses.

Once when she was sick and had to stay home from teaching, she thought up the story about the Boxcar Children. It was inspired by her childhood dreams. As a child, she had spent hours watching the trains go by near her family's home. Sometimes she could look through the window of a caboose and see a small stove, a little table, cracked cups with no saucers, and a tin coffee pot boiling away on the stove. The sight had fascinated her and made her dream about how much fun it would be to live and keep house in a boxcar or caboose. She read the story to her classes and rewrote it many times so the words were easy to understand. Some of her pupils spoke other languages at home and were just learning English. THE BOXCAR CHILDREN gave them a fun story that was easy to read.

Ms. Warner once wrote for her fans, "Perhaps you know that the original BOXCAR CHILDREN. . . raised a storm of protest from librarians who thought the children were having too good a time without any parental control! That is exactly why children like it! Most of my own childhood exploits, such as living in a freight car, received very little cooperation from my parents."

Though the story of THE BOXCAR CHILDREN went through some changes after it was first written, the version that we are familiar with today was originally published in 1942 by Scott Foresman. Today, Albert Whitman & Company publishes this first classic story as well as the next eighteen Alden children adventures that were written by Ms. Warner.

Gertrude Chandler Warner died in 1979 at the age of 89 after a full life as a teacher, author, and volunteer for the American Red Cross and other charitable organizations. After her death, Albert Whitman & Company continued to receive mail from children across the country asking for more adventures about Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny Alden. In 1991, Albert Whitman added to THE BOXCAR CHILDREN MYSTERIES so that today's children can enjoy many more adventures about this independent and caring group of children. 

Gertrude Chandler Warner

Books by Gertrude Chandler Warner

by Gertrude Chandler Warner - Adventure, Children's 7-10, Family Life, Fiction, Mystery

The Boxcar Children stumble across a 100-year-old time capsule with a mysterious journal inside. It contains clues that lead the children around Greenfield and through the history books in search of a lost treasure. But questions remain. Who wrote the journal? And after 100 years, will there be enough evidence to find the hidden treasure?

by Gertrude Chandler Warner - Children's, Children's 7-10, Family, Family Life, Fiction, Mystery, Youth Fiction

The Aldens are visiting friends for a big Dia de los Muertos celebration. The kids love learning about the holiday and helping out --- that is until mysterious events threaten to ruin everyone's preparations. Can the Aldens figure out what’s going on and help their friends save the celebration?

by Gertrude Chandler Warner - Adventure, Children's, Children's 7-10, Fiction, Friendship, Mystery

The Aldens are visiting a small town known for its harvest festival. The town is beautiful in the fall, but rumors of the harvest moon and a werewolf are keeping people away. Can the Aldens get to the bottom of who --- or what --- is causing such a stir?

by Gertrude Chandler Warner - Children's, Children's 7-10, Fiction, Mystery

Henry and Jessie’s middle school robotics team is going to the regional competition! But it seems like someone doesn’t want their team to compete. Can the Aldens use their sleuthing skills and what they’ve learned about robotics to find the culprit and save the day?

by Gertrude Chandler Warner - Children's, Children's 7-10, Fiction, Mystery

A hip new doughnut shop known for its bizarre recipes is opening up in Greenfield. At first, the owners of the other doughnut shop in town, Delilah’s, aren’t worried. But when the new shop starts making doughnuts that look just like some of Delilah’s greatest hits, the Boxcar Children must figure out if it’s just a coincidence or if someone from the new shop is stealing Delilah’s recipes.

Written by Gertrude Chandler Warner with illustrations by Anne Yvonne Gilbert and Gretchen Ellen Powers - Children's 7-10, Classics, Fiction, Mystery

The classic story of four orphaned siblings, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, who find an abandoned boxcar in the forest and decide to make it their home. Since its initial publication in 1942, The Boxcar Children has captivated many generations of readers. This fully illustrated edition commemorates the 75th anniversary of Gertrude Chandler Warner’s timeless novel. Featuring all-new full-color artwork as well as an afterword about the author, the history of the book, and the Boxcar Children legacy, this volume will be treasured by first-time readers and longtime fans alike.

Written by Gertrude Chandler Warner with illustrations by Anthony VanArsdale - Adventure, Children's 7-10, Fiction, Mystery

In this all-new very special miniseries, the Aldens have been recruited by a secret society to return lost artifacts and treasures to their rightful locations --- all around the world! The final leg of the Aldens' journey brings them to South America and to the Salt Flats in northern Argentina. But when they hit a dead end, they realize someone has tricked them in order to delay their plans! Returning to Buenos Aires, the Aldens connect with the Silvertons and are able to get back on track. But it is clear their rivals are closer than ever. 

by Gertrude Chandler Warner and Anthony VanArsdale - Adventure, Children's 7-10, Fiction, Mystery

The Aldens chart a course for Sydney, Australia, and as the children tour the famed Sydney Opera House, their next puzzle falls right into their laps. They need to find the rightful owner of a rare Australian coin. The Aldens find the coin's owner, but a saboteur is hot on their heels. Next up the Aldens travel to frigid Antarctica, where they need to return an artifact to the hut Shackleton used on his expeditions to the South Pole. The trip is a success, but when the Aldens return, they learn the identity of the person who has been trying to ruin their plans. Will the saboteur keep them from returning the seventh and final artifact?

Created by Gertrude Chandler Warner with illustrations by Anthony VanArsdale - Adventure, Children's 7-10, Fiction, Mystery

In this all-new very special miniseries, the Aldens have been recruited by a secret society to return lost artifacts and treasures to their rightful locations --- all around the world! The Aldens follow a clue to Beijing, China, where they uncover their next mission --- to return a mysterious clay artifact to its rightful owner. Their journey leads them to a scenic section of the Great Wall, but a thief threatens to ruin their trip and endanger their precious cargo. 

Written by Gertrude Chandler Warner with illustrations by Anthony VanArsdale - Adventure, Children's 7-10, Fiction, Mystery

The Aldens have been recruited by a secret society to return lost artifacts and treasures to their rightful locations --- all around the world! The Aldens arrive in Egypt but the agent they’re supposed to meet has gone missing! With the help of a puzzle in a papyrus scroll, they figure out their next mission --- to deliver a tiny ancient pharaoh statue to an archaelogist at the Pyramids! Along the way they outwit a thief who tries to steal all the treasures.

by Gertrude Chandler Warner and Anthony VanArsdale - Children's 7-10, Family, Family Life, Fiction

After finding a painted turtle figurine, the Aldens are introduced to the Silverton family and Reddimus Society, a secret guild whose mission is to return lost artifacts and treasures to the sites they were taken from. The Aldens board a private train to New Mexico to return the turtle to its original home, and they encounter enemies of Reddimus along the way! The trip is a success...but instead of returning home, there’s a last-minute change in plans.

by Gertrude Chandler Warner - Adventure, Children's 8-12, Mystery
Cousin Alice is running for mayor in her town, and the Aldens are helping with her campaign! But Alice’s campaign posters are torn down and painted over --- and the same thing happens to her opponent! Then posters for a third candidate appear around town, but nobody has ever seen him in person. Will the town elect a mystery man for mayor? The Aldens are on the case!
by Gertrude Chandler Warner - Adventure, Children's 8-12, Mystery

The old abandoned school in Silver City is being fixed up as an art center and the Boxcar Children volunteer to help clean up the place. But the other volunteers are scared by the spooky goings-on in the school --- doors lock by themselves, and chalkboard messages appear out of nowhere! Will the Aldens find out the secret of the haunted school?

by Gertrude Chandler Warner - Adventure, Animals , Children's 8-12, Mystery

The Aldens are excited to meet their favorite celebrity --- Walter the Cat, who makes the funniest videos on the Internet! And when this celebrity cat inherits a million dollars from his owner, he becomes even more famous! But someone seems to be angry about the will and is stealing things from Walter's house. Is this cat too famous for his own good?

by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Alden kids explore a mysterious old yellow house on their grandfather's property. People say a man disappeared from there years ago. What will the Aldens discover?