In the version of the tale, the children are orphaned in the first few pages; in the heavily revised and simplified revision, they have evidently been orphaned for some time. When a baker and his wife learn that the children are orphans, they make plans the children don't like. In the edition, they plan to send the children, who live in a house next door to the bakery, to live with their grandfather, but the children have been brought up to fear their grandfather, whom they have never met, because he did not like their parents' marriage.
In the version, the children are already homeless and wandering around at the start of the story. The baker and his wife plan to take the three elder children, who are old enough to be helpful in the bakery, but to send the youngest, Benny to an orphanage. Finding an abandoned boxcar, the children start a new life of work. Henry ends up working in a nearby town called Silver City for a young doctor called Dr.
Moore in order to earn money for food and other things they need. He also does gardening for the doctor's mother.
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The children's lives are nice and full of hard work until Violet becomes ill and they go to the doctor for help. Unbeknownst to the children, by that time the doctor knows very well who they are and where they are living; indeed, he has been keeping a discreet eye on them for weeks. Their grandfather, who lives nearby, has been advertising in the papers, offering a reward for news of them, but the doctor hasn't wanted to spoil the children's fun by informing on them.
When Violet becomes ill, however, he feels it is time to do so. Their grandfather, James Henry Alden, is a steel baron who comes at once to see them. The doctor suggests that he get to know them first before telling them who he is, so he is simply introduced to them as a friend of the doctor's. The children warm to his kindness and are surprised but delighted when they eventually learn that he is their much-feared grandfather. They go to live with him after all, and he has the boxcar transferred to his backyard for their enjoyment.
The characters are named here as they are in the revised edition of the original book, and its sequels. The family name in the original edition is Cordyce rather than Alden. Henry James Alden: is the oldest of the Alden children; in most books of the series, Henry is 14 years old 13 in the edition. He's shown to be calm, hardworking, rational, humble and very protective of his younger siblings.
The Boxcar Children
Henry also shows a knack for repairing things and is a natural athlete. Jessica "Jessie" Alden: Jess in the original edition is usually 12 years old and is the older sister. She often acts motherly towards Benny and Violet and even Henry.
She is often responsible for cooking. Jessie is described as being very tidy and organized. She is sometimes called Jess, but is mostly referred to as Jessie. She is not afraid of anything, adores the color blue, and is very strong.
The Amusement Park Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner - FictionDB
Violet Alden: is 10 years old in most of the books. She is the most sensitive of the children and is skillful at painting and sewing. She can frequently win over grouchy characters and is good with animals.
Violet is often very shy and loves playing the violin. Her favorite color is violet or purple and she often wears one of those colors. She is the shyest of all the children, and sometimes helps Jessie take care of Benny. Benjamin "Benny" Alden: is the youngest child at 6 years old 5 in the original edition. He celebrates his seventh birthday in Surprise Island and continues to age throughout the original series, until he is old enough for a department store job in the last original book, "Benny Uncovers a Mystery.
His endearingly childish qualities and comments make him a favorite among young readers. He is very enthusiastic. Watch: is the dog of the Boxcar children. He acted as a "watchdog" when they lived in the boxcar and protected them. Watch was originally owned by a wealthy lady but ran away and was adopted by the Alden children.
The lady was so charmed by the children that she permitted them to keep him. Watch is a Wire Fox Terrier , and the children found him while Henry was away at work. He had a thorn in his paw, and Jessie removed it. Because of this, he became known as her dog. In subsequent books, Watch's bed is in Jessie's bedroom. James Henry Alden: is the wealthy and kind grandfather of the Alden children, allowing them a lot of freedom and always offering them advice.
He takes care of the kids after the death of their parents. Moore: Dr. McAllister in the original edition is the man who gave Henry a job and checked Violet when she was ill. McGregor: The Aldens' housekeeper. Her husband was first seen in the third book of the series.
Called both, but mostly cousins Joe was first seen in the second book of the series, Surprise Island. They moved to a new house in the Mystery of the Singing Ghost. They adopted Soo Lee from Korea. Aunt Jane was once unkind, but was changed in Mystery Ranch, the fourth book of the series. John Carter: An employee of the children's grandfather. After the Aldens had unpacked and hung up their clothes, they came back to the main house and drank apple cider with Joe.
Benny held out his chipped cup for more.
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Joe nodded solemnly, pouring the cold juice into Benny's cup. Your grandfather told me that you lived there because you were afraid of him. The back door opened and footsteps were heard coming across the kitchen and dining room. Welcome, Aldens! She wore jeans and a cotton shirt. They each spoke to their grandfather, telling him they were happily settled in, and promising to call him later in the week. Re-entering the kitchen, the Aldens were each given a task.
Benny set the table, Henry poured milk and water, Violet folded napkins, and Jessie made the salad. Then the children sat down to eat. They were pleased with the hot delicious dinner that Joe and Alice had prepared—steak, baked potatoes, spinach, tossed salad, and banana-cream pie.
After dinner Benny leaned back and rubbed his stomach. Alice sipped her coffee. The horses are not only very old but also very valuable. On Tuesday morning, in their cabin, the Alden children prepared a big breakfast of orange juice, pancakes, maple syrup, sausage, and milk. Alice had stocked the refrigerator and cupboards with enough groceries to last two days. Jessie scraped her plate at the sink. She wore jeans and a white T-shirt. Her thick hair bounced up and down when she walked.
Henry stood up from the table and stacked the rest of the plates.