The Boxcar Children tells the story of four orphaned children, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny. They create a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar in the forest. They eventually meet their grandfather, who is a wealthy and kind man (although the children had believed him to be cruel). The children decide to live with the grandfather, who moves the beloved boxcar to his backyard so the children can use it as a playhouse.
At age fourteen, Henry is the oldest in the Alden family. He likes to figure out how things work, which makes him good at repairing and building stuff. While he’ll never brag, he’s a great runner, too! It’s not always easy being the oldest and having so much responsibility, but there’s nothing that Henry can’t handle.
Jessie is twelve. She can always be counted on to take charge in a situation. She’s good at being organized—she makes lists in her notebook and always keeps track of facts when there’s a mystery to be solved. When her younger siblings need help, Jessie’s there. She loves planning adventures and taking care of Watch.
Everyone knows ten-year-old Violet is creative—she loves to draw, take photos, and play the violin. She’s a little on the shy side, but because she’s quiet, she’s a careful observer. With her artist’s eye, Violet picks up on important details that her brothers and sister sometimes overlook. Can you guess her favorite color?
Benny’s only six, but just because he’s the youngest Alden, it doesn’t mean he can’t help solve mysteries. He’s always curious and full of questions. In fact, one of his favorite questions is “When’s lunch?” because he’s usually hungry! Benny loves playing with Watch and visiting new places.
Watch is the family dog, a friendly wirehaired fox terrier. Back when the children lived in an old boxcar in the woods, they found him as a stray. Since then, he has been loyal to the Aldens, especially Jessie, who once removed a thorn from his paw. Watch also has a special bond with Benny, who gives him treats.