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Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Boxcar Children Mysteries: The Clue in the Recycling Bin #126 - Gertrude Chandler Warner

Released March 2011

Gertrude Chandler Warner
Open Road Media

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Though Gertrude Chandler Warner passed away in 1979, her Boxcar Children mystery series keeps going strong thanks to the hard work of other authors. I never read her original books until recently, and the introduction to the Boxcar Children intrigued me. The children's traits shone through and made each of them likable.

With The Clue in the Recycling Bin, I think they lose a little of that determination and grit that made them so fascinating in the original book. Not only that, but the original book dates back to the 1940s, so to throw the kids into a recycling plant didn't make a lot of sense to me because recycling didn't really kick into gear until I was in middle school which is the 1980s. Having so much time pass without the children aging seemed off to me. However, that's an adult interpretation, children are likely to miss this aspect. For kids ages 8 to 10, I think the mystery is going to thrill them.

In The Clue in the Recycling Bin, the Alden kids volunteer in a local recycling plant where recyclables and items that others might reuse are separated into their correct space. Someone keeps vandalizing the recycling center and the owner is frustrated. Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny decide to do some investigating and uncover the culprit.

There's enough information provided that children should have an easy time unraveling the clues and uncovering the culprit before the Boxcar Children do. It's a fun read that will delight advancing readers.

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