Item description for The Railway Children (Junior Classics) by Edith Nesbit...
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.
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E. Nesbit 1858-1924, was an English author and poet, who wrote or collaborated on more than 60 works of fiction for children, several of which have been adapted for film and television and are still popular today, such as The Treasure Seekers and Five Children and It.
English author Edith Nesbit's impressive body of work includes poems, plays, novels, and even ghost stories, however, she is best known for her beloved children's adventure stories, published under the name E. Nesbit. Among Nesbit's best-known works are The Story of the Treasure-Seekers, The Railway Children, The Wouldbegoods and Five Children and It. Nesbit's novels departed from the children's literary tradition of fantasy-worlds popularized by Lewis Carroll and Kenneth Grahame, and instead focused on the adventures to be had from real-life experiences. Nesbit's work inspired other writers like C. S. Lewis, P. L Travers, and J. K. Rowling, and many of her stories have been adapted for film and television. In addition to writing, Nesbit was an activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a socialist group that provided the foundation for the modern British Labour Party. Nesbit died in 1924.
Edith Nesbit was born in 1858 and died in 1924.
Edith Nesbit has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Railway Children (Junior Classics)?
One of the best children's classics! Mar 9, 2008
I'm just finished reading the Railway Children to my 10-year-old, and it is such a great read!
I loved it as a child, and this is my second time reading it aloud. I can't recommend it enough.
It's just a nice story. Set at the turn of the century, three children are forced to leave their comfortable life in London and go live in a smaller house near a railway when their father is mysteriously taken away from them. They don't know why; we don't find out until the end of the book. In the meantime, their mother is very brave, earning money by writing, and they try not to bother her by getting to know the railway and getting involved in everybody's lives all around them.
The children are very sweet, and there's a thread of definite morality throughout the book.
Don't miss it with your kids!
If you liked Railway Children, you may also want to try Little Women (Unabridged Classics) or Island of the Blue Dolphins. My children loved those ones as well!
Read It!!! Dec 29, 2007
This is not simply a children's book. It is an extremely touching story of three children whose father is suddenly taken away from them and how they cope with the changed circumstances, how they adjust to "play at being poor" as their mother says. It is a book that is bound to enthrall you.
Lovely Edwardian Charmer Feb 2, 2007
Utterly delightful. Loved it, ate it up. Need more Nesbit, soon as poss.
Three kids are taken to live in the English countryside when their father, well, disappears. While their mother suffers silently, and sells short fiction to help pay the bills (those were the days!), the children make a fantasy land out of their little village, especially the local railroad depot with all its fascinations. Imagine being fascinated with the steam train when it was cutting edge technology, not nostalgia! Communicating with the passengers via signs, befriending engineers, porters and station masters, even preventing a nasty rail accident, the kids end up both having fun and relieving the hardships of poor, careworn mother.
Beautiful book both remembers what its like to be a child and peeks into a childhood none of us ever knew. If you love the world of late Victorian/Edwardian Britain, read it. If you love the early parts of the Narnia books, before the kids enter the wardrobe, read it. It's precious.
Pretty good Oct 16, 2006
I think it is kind of cool how the kids think of how to stop someone from wrecking a train. Also how they got someone un-fainted from when they were fainted. It was also pretty funny how their mother made a mistake when one of the kids said they revived a hound with a red shirt, but it was really a person.
I didn't give it 5 stars because there isn't very much action. But I still liked it a lot.
Still Fresh at 100 Years Old May 1, 2006
The Railway Children was originally published in 1906. It's different from many of Edith Nesbit's books, in that it doesn't feature any magic. The Railway Children is the story of three children, Roberta, Peter, and Phyllis. At the start of the story, the children live with their loving parents in a nice, modern house in London. Their lives change drastically, however, when their Father is called away unexpectedly and mysteriously. Their Mother takes them to live in an older house in the country, with only a single part-time servant, where they quickly realize that they are now poor. Mother spends all her time writing stories and poems, to submit them for publication, instead of playing games with them and teaching them, as she had done previously. The children are left largely to their own devices, with no lessons to distract them.
The house that they live in, Three Chimney's, is located near to a railway line and a small railway station. The railway quickly becomes a source of friends. The Stationmaster and the Porter (most especially the Porter, Perks) become major figures in the children's lives, as does a friendly "Old Gentleman" who waves to them every morning from the 9:15 train.
And the adventures begin. Through bravery and ingenuity (and through the coincidence of always being in the right place at the right time), the children avert not one, not two, but three separate disasters. They also get into trouble through their innocent attempts to help their Mother, and through their own sibling rivalries, and eventually help a Russian stranger newly escaped to England. Through it all, they miss their Father, and wonder what's happened to him, and why their Mother is so sad.
The constant adventures in this book make it a lot of fun. It does feel a little bit dated in places. There's a scene in which the local doctor tells Peter to be kinder to his sisters, for example, because they are "so much softer and weaker" than he is. But overall, I think that Edith Nesbit did a wonderful job of making the girls strong characters, too.
This book has lots of messages about bravery and right and wrong, and what makes up charity vs. friendship. And how to be good without being priggish. Some modern-day children might find it a little bit preachy in this area, though it is generally lightened with humor. But hopefully the adventures, and the realistic imperfections of the children, will win new readers over anyway. I know that I love this book (despite having a slight problem with the number of coincidences) and that the end brings tears to my eyes. If you haven't read it, The Railway Children is well worth checking out.
This review was originally published on my blog, Jen Robinson's Book Page, on April 30, 2006.