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Schoolhouse Mystery

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Benny's curiosity, while staying in a fishing village, leads to capturing a swindler.


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Benny's curiosity, while staying in a fishing village, leads to capturing a swindler.

30 review for Schoolhouse Mystery

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    The Schoolhouse Mystery is about 4 children named Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny. One summer evening, while they and there grandfather were all sitting on the porch Benny, the youngest blurts out that his friend dared him and his family to go to the most boring fishing town ever. He dared them to go because he knew that everywhere they went they always found and solved a mystery but he thought that they wouldn't find one in this little, tiny, boring, fishing town. But boy was he wrong......... The Schoolhouse Mystery is about 4 children named Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny. One summer evening, while they and there grandfather were all sitting on the porch Benny, the youngest blurts out that his friend dared him and his family to go to the most boring fishing town ever. He dared them to go because he knew that everywhere they went they always found and solved a mystery but he thought that they wouldn't find one in this little, tiny, boring, fishing town. But boy was he wrong..........

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amparbs

    Read this book to my SIPPS class after our phonics lessons each day. We enjoyed adventuring with The Alden kids as they figured out the mystery regarding “The Money Man”. The language and some of of the references were not understood by my kiddos because of when this book was written but still enjoyed it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Sotir

    I chose to read an oldie, but goodie this time! It has been a long time since I have read The Boxcar Children. This was one I had not read yet. The Schoolhouse Mystery was just that, it kept me interested and intrigued right up until the end.

  4. 4 out of 5

    C-shaw

    I just love these Boxcar Children stories about sweet kids and generally nice people in a kinder, better time than now.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    A really good children's series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    This takes place in the summer on an island. The story involves a schoolhouse, a library, old coins, and a conman. The children teach the island children art, reading, and math while they are there. The mystery was interesting, but I liked the rest of the story more.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    I enjoyed the school teaching and I felt the poor people in this story were treated with a bit more respect than in previous stories, although there are still definitely paternalistic themes, with the rich Aldens and Miss Gray taking care of the poor people. As I've said before, the Boxcar Children books generally aren't really about mystery but more about adventure. There are twists, but they're generally pretty carefully guided and the story is more about the kids taking care of themselves and I enjoyed the school teaching and I felt the poor people in this story were treated with a bit more respect than in previous stories, although there are still definitely paternalistic themes, with the rich Aldens and Miss Gray taking care of the poor people. As I've said before, the Boxcar Children books generally aren't really about mystery but more about adventure. There are twists, but they're generally pretty carefully guided and the story is more about the kids taking care of themselves and showing New England grit than about any secrets.

  8. 4 out of 5

    JP

    All right. Another instance of getting sidetracked from Grandfather's plan by something random, stumbling into a mystery--that may or may not be one--, another old woman that just wants to be left alone--but not from these children--and more of showing off just how rich they are without realizing it. Oh these books. Basically, they go to a very poor little island, end up buying supplies and teaching the local kids (since the Aldens know everything, much more than those poor islands), and mess up All right. Another instance of getting sidetracked from Grandfather's plan by something random, stumbling into a mystery--that may or may not be one--, another old woman that just wants to be left alone--but not from these children--and more of showing off just how rich they are without realizing it. Oh these books. Basically, they go to a very poor little island, end up buying supplies and teaching the local kids (since the Aldens know everything, much more than those poor islands), and mess up a man that everyone loved because he was buying local coins and old things for crazy rates. Let's talk about that for a minute: Henry said, "Freddy is clever. So far he hasn't done anything that is against the law. The people here think he pays enough. They are delighted to trade. That's ... actually a really good point. Ignoring the library books and things he did outside of the story (convenient that) for the moment, what he was doing was ethically perfect, but ... was it even that wrong? If he had told them, I bet many of the islands would have gone for his trades anyways. Where else are they going to find people to buy their stuff? And what kid wouldn't rather a new shiny doll to a broken old one. But no, to the Aldens, it really is all about the monetary value of things. Oy. "Yes. The Alden kids did this. They did their duty as American citizens." Just oy. Also, Mr. Carter. Shows up in disguise for some reason? As if anyone would know him. And his disguise. The most hilarious fake English this side of Mary Poppins... "Right," said Mr. Wilder-Smith. "I have important letters. Maybe you can help. But I must toddle along. Cheerio! Top-hole to meet you." Oh... come one. A few other random notes: "Oh, boy!" shouted Benny. "We could sleep in the car! That's what this station wagon is made for." I find this hard to imagine for four children and their grandfather. Fun, maybe something I'd do, but man that wouldn't be a good night's sleep. And at the end: "We won't say goodbye," said Benny. "We hate to say goodbye. We never do, we just go." Since... just the Mountain Top Mystery, no? And now I bet that's how they end every book. Gertrude Chandler Warner is really getting into a formula here. I guess that's how they made hundreds of the things. Overall, it's a vaguely interesting idea, but cringey execution. Let's see what they do next...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Mccann

    THE SCHOOlHOUSE MYSTERY (THE BOXCARCHILDREN #10) by Gertrude Chandler Warner, brings back memories. In the 1990's, this was a "Battle of the Books" choices and one of the favorites in my classroom of first, second and third graders. I kept my copy and reread it. This is the story of well-to-do Grandfather Alden and his four grandchildren, Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny. They find and solve mysteries where ever they go. Benny's friend, Max, challenges them to vacation in a small remote New Engl THE SCHOOlHOUSE MYSTERY (THE BOXCARCHILDREN #10) by Gertrude Chandler Warner, brings back memories. In the 1990's, this was a "Battle of the Books" choices and one of the favorites in my classroom of first, second and third graders. I kept my copy and reread it. This is the story of well-to-do Grandfather Alden and his four grandchildren, Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny. They find and solve mysteries where ever they go. Benny's friend, Max, challenges them to vacation in a small remote New England fishing village, Port Elizabeth, where nothing exciting happens. They take the challenge and off they go. A strange man, Mr. Fred Willet, an antique dealer, is due to arrive in the village for a second summer. This for them, this is a red flag when they listen to the poor villagers happily relate how Mr. Willet gives them money and beautiful things in exchange for old worn out keepsakes. Upon befriending several village children with little schooling, the Alden children walk to the top of the hill to ask rich, old Miss Gray for the schoolhouse keys so they can teach the children in the mornings. The sardine factory calls them to work in the afternoons. Acting as detectives, the Aldens discover that Mr. Willet is taking precious books from the Gray Library and hiding them, as well as the villagers' old coins and antique goods behind the library's bookshelves. Upon being caught the villain faces jail time and the Alden children are the village saviors. This is an intriguing story that holds the reader's interest. The colorful cover and black and white drawings throughout the book, add to the storyline for young readers (ages 6-9). For me, the story shows its age--a 1965 copyright. I'm not sure the depiction of the poor, uneducated village people who are at the mercy of a swindler and saved by the rich, would work today. All in all, though, it is a well written children's mystery and I did enjoy rereading it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Camille

    My favorite book is The Boxcar Children The Schoolhouse Mystery ,written by Chandler Gertrude Warner. The book all started when a boy named Benny ( one of the 4 characters) was being very quiet ( which is really not normal) he said that one of his friends said that the boxcar children always go on an adventure ,but that they would never find a mystery in the town that Benny’s friends dad live in. so they go any way and do find a mystery. They end up in a town where there was only a store ,church My favorite book is The Boxcar Children The Schoolhouse Mystery ,written by Chandler Gertrude Warner. The book all started when a boy named Benny ( one of the 4 characters) was being very quiet ( which is really not normal) he said that one of his friends said that the boxcar children always go on an adventure ,but that they would never find a mystery in the town that Benny’s friends dad live in. so they go any way and do find a mystery. They end up in a town where there was only a store ,church ,hotel ,a sardine factory ,and a very lonely SCHOOLHOUSE!!! They go to the hotel and after a few days find out that there is no mystery anyways, they began to start to want to leave but they had spoken to early ,the boxcar children had found a mystery in the schoolhouse ,something odd in the town ,nobody around seems to want to talk to them , and they might end up in trouble. I like the mysteries in the series and I like that the book is in the olden days. The book itself made me want to start my own mysteries. It inspired me to go out in my own neighborhood and start looking for a mystery ,I even went out with my mom and look down the road for a mystery. Of course I never found a mystery at home but I did at school! ( which I’m not going to share) But if you are a mystery lover ,you like old timey things ,and your willing to give it a shot ,then this is the book for you!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Octavia Cade

    You know, I handwave a lot of stuff away about these books. (Well, not really, but I've come to accept that Benny will always be obnoxious, that these kids are nosy and spoilt, and that Grandfather is really quite a disturbing figure.) But why, why, why does everyone around them have to be so stupid? Apart from Carter, of course, but he's on retainer so he doesn't count. It's like the whole world is full of incompetents and they barely muddle along with life until the Aldens come along to set th You know, I handwave a lot of stuff away about these books. (Well, not really, but I've come to accept that Benny will always be obnoxious, that these kids are nosy and spoilt, and that Grandfather is really quite a disturbing figure.) But why, why, why does everyone around them have to be so stupid? Apart from Carter, of course, but he's on retainer so he doesn't count. It's like the whole world is full of incompetents and they barely muddle along with life until the Aldens come along to set them straight. And yeah, this is a function of juvenile mysteries - I grew up on Trixie Belden - but still. Anyway, in this volume the family go off on a whim to a small fishing village, with the stated intention of poking round until they find something to investigate. And, quite coincidentally, the village is full of people being cheated by a smuggler and children being deprived of education... despite the fact that a rich old writer owns the schoolhouse and has donated a town library and helps schools all over the country. But that writer is a woman, and in this series that means situational incompetence, so the kids of the village can't read, and their parents aren't lifting a finger to teach them. The stupid, it burns.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Makenna

    This book is awesome. I love the boxcar children series. Benny's friend challenges him that on an island he will be bored. Benny takes the challenge and his family stays on the island for a week. I recommend this book to people who love mysteries. Enjoy! ...Everyone finds something to do and enjoys themselves. They prove Benny's friend wrong and find a mystery. In the mystery, this guy is buying antiques cheap and then turning around and selling them for a lot of money. The boxcar children save t This book is awesome. I love the boxcar children series. Benny's friend challenges him that on an island he will be bored. Benny takes the challenge and his family stays on the island for a week. I recommend this book to people who love mysteries. Enjoy! ...Everyone finds something to do and enjoys themselves. They prove Benny's friend wrong and find a mystery. In the mystery, this guy is buying antiques cheap and then turning around and selling them for a lot of money. The boxcar children save the day by catching the thief and proving Benny's friend wrong!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    So I love the Boxcar Children and I will always treasure it. That said, its been a while since I actually read one of the books (like twelve years) so this gave me a new perspective. The Aldens are awesome and very independent. The storyline had two main plots that were actually pretty ingenious-- Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny teach school and try to catch a swindler of antiques at the same time. Plus, this one is one of the original twelve by Warner, so bonus! Also, Jessie is one of the fict So I love the Boxcar Children and I will always treasure it. That said, its been a while since I actually read one of the books (like twelve years) so this gave me a new perspective. The Aldens are awesome and very independent. The storyline had two main plots that were actually pretty ingenious-- Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny teach school and try to catch a swindler of antiques at the same time. Plus, this one is one of the original twelve by Warner, so bonus! Also, Jessie is one of the fictional characters that I use to describe myself.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Showalter

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Realistic Fiction 3rd-5th grade reading level I loved this series as a child, and I still love it! This book made me remember the long hours I would spend reading as a child, and how much I loved the thrill that these books bring. I like this book because it contains humor, mystery, and adventure. I thought it was really funny how Benny’s friend said that this island that they went to for vacation was boring, but the Alden family actually found lots to do on it. I was glad at the ending when all p Realistic Fiction 3rd-5th grade reading level I loved this series as a child, and I still love it! This book made me remember the long hours I would spend reading as a child, and how much I loved the thrill that these books bring. I like this book because it contains humor, mystery, and adventure. I thought it was really funny how Benny’s friend said that this island that they went to for vacation was boring, but the Alden family actually found lots to do on it. I was glad at the ending when all problems were resolved such as the bad guy getting caught and the writer becoming a teacher.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Allyson

    I have to give these books at least 4 stars because for some reason I can’t explain my children love them. In this one the four Alden children help less fortunate children who are forced to work in a fish packing plant by condescending to teach summer school to them. They also force an introverted writer to interact with her fellow townspeople, and out a shady antiques dealer who is ripping people off by giving them money for the junk their grandfathers found on the beach.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    A classic and well acclaimed series, recommended as a great series for young readers. The Boxcar Children invoke the enjoyment for mystery-solving and having a close relationship with family. The children teach school, solve a mystery and stop a slippery cheater from scamming people out of a lot of money!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Wesley Rea

    This book was okay, but unremarkable. It had a relatively forgettable premise, and even my son had troubles keeping his attention on the audiobook. I never read this one as a kid, so maybe my opinion today is because I had no nostalgia for it?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stacie

    The kids are challenged to find a mystery in a small town. Challenge accepted! The kids catch a bad guy and teach the kids of the island.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pauline Youd

    I wish I'd read all of these as a child, but I couldn't sit still long enough. I wanted to climb trees, build playhouses and make towns in the dirt.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I used to love the boxcar children when I was little. This one was a kindle deal the other day so decided to read one again. A bit cheesy but brought a smile and lots of fond memories.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ashle Oaks

    It’s reminiscent of a Scooby-Doo mystery. I think it’s one of the better ones of the sequels.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Britt

    Adventure comes no matter where the Boxcar children go. Book 10, reread. Always a fun read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nobi Nobes

    I really enjoyed reading it!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Declan Houpt

    One of the most boring boxcar children books ever.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This popular series, The Boxcar Children, has always been one of my favorites since I was a child. In this book, Schoolhouse Mystery, the children spend the summer at a New England seaside fishing village. Henry, Violet, Benny and Jessie were all told that even they would be bored in this quiet little town. This was seen as a challenge to the children and off they go with their grandfather for the summer. Once they arrive in Port Elizabeth, they soon discover that life in this town is very diffe This popular series, The Boxcar Children, has always been one of my favorites since I was a child. In this book, Schoolhouse Mystery, the children spend the summer at a New England seaside fishing village. Henry, Violet, Benny and Jessie were all told that even they would be bored in this quiet little town. This was seen as a challenge to the children and off they go with their grandfather for the summer. Once they arrive in Port Elizabeth, they soon discover that life in this town is very different from life at home. The children are uneducated and work in sardine factories, they rarely go to school. The children decide, with some help from 2 local kids, that they will open an abandoned schoolhouse and teach the town's children themselves. Along their journey they meet a suspicous man that isn't from Port Elizabeth, the locals call him the Money Man because he trades and buys antiques from them. Since the children know that the towns people are uneducated, they feel that this man may be taking advantage of them. Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny make it their mission to find out what this strange man is really doing in Port Elizabeth. What they find is that the Money Man is actually a smuggler from Canada that is stealing rare books and selling them to various libraries and museums. In the end, the town's people are happy the Boxcar children came to town becuase they were now more educated and aware of fraud. I really enjoyed this book, it took me back to my own childhood and how I loved reading this series. There are some illustrations that are scattered throughout the book but they don't really give any more meaning to the story. This book is a great early chapter book for older readers who enjoy mysteries or have read other Boxcar children books. The message of helping strangers and doing right by others prevails in this edition.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This was a fun trip down memory lane though I never liked the later Box Car children books as much as the original. And as a much more politically and socially aware adult, I can see how this book really privileged middle class white suburbia. It was published in 1965, and oh, the horror of a town of people not owning a TV! It leaves something to be desired in the department of multi-cultural awareness (and just within white America, different races or nationalities certainly have no part in thi This was a fun trip down memory lane though I never liked the later Box Car children books as much as the original. And as a much more politically and socially aware adult, I can see how this book really privileged middle class white suburbia. It was published in 1965, and oh, the horror of a town of people not owning a TV! It leaves something to be desired in the department of multi-cultural awareness (and just within white America, different races or nationalities certainly have no part in this book). Apart from that though, if I may sound so inconstant, its message was really very sweet: enjoy what you do; pay attention to the world around you; education is of paramount importance. And it was fun to revisit some happy childhood memories.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    This is probably the only Boxcar Children I can remember without prompting, with the exception of the first book obviously, and even at that it's hazy. I recalled Miss Gray as a Mr. Gray. I also recalled a storm and a lighthouse. The storm I recalled is most likely the tides coming in and the lighthouse was from The Lighthouse Mystery. While I was reading through that book I thought I had been recalling a completely different book series and I am pleasantly surprised to have found these old memo This is probably the only Boxcar Children I can remember without prompting, with the exception of the first book obviously, and even at that it's hazy. I recalled Miss Gray as a Mr. Gray. I also recalled a storm and a lighthouse. The storm I recalled is most likely the tides coming in and the lighthouse was from The Lighthouse Mystery. While I was reading through that book I thought I had been recalling a completely different book series and I am pleasantly surprised to have found these old memories. No matter if I remembered them incorrectly. Oh and I also remembered the Gray Library.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Children's Literature Project

    Grade Level Equivalent: 3.2 Summary: The Alden family are spending their vacation in a tiny, fishing village. However, not all is what it appears to be in the small town. In this mystery, the gang works together to catch a swindler and make sure to have an exciting time on their vacation. Lesson Integration: Students can look for clues throughout the book and write them on post-its that will be kept inside the book. As the mystery is solved, the children can look back to see if the clues they sel Grade Level Equivalent: 3.2 Summary: The Alden family are spending their vacation in a tiny, fishing village. However, not all is what it appears to be in the small town. In this mystery, the gang works together to catch a swindler and make sure to have an exciting time on their vacation. Lesson Integration: Students can look for clues throughout the book and write them on post-its that will be kept inside the book. As the mystery is solved, the children can look back to see if the clues they selected were valid or just distractors incorporated by the author to add suspense to the story.

  29. 5 out of 5

    C.O. Bonham

    "If it weren't for those Alden children," says the bad guy at the end. Oh, so close. I would have geeked out big time if she had just used another word in there in there. It was after all a mystery worthy of those meddiling kids. Benny's friend Max bets him that he can't find a mystery in his father's favorite fishing village. But the Alden kids know that mystery follows them where ever they go. They find a reclusive author and they run a summer school and they find a mystery behind a painting o "If it weren't for those Alden children," says the bad guy at the end. Oh, so close. I would have geeked out big time if she had just used another word in there in there. It was after all a mystery worthy of those meddiling kids. Benny's friend Max bets him that he can't find a mystery in his father's favorite fishing village. But the Alden kids know that mystery follows them where ever they go. They find a reclusive author and they run a summer school and they find a mystery behind a painting of our first president. Needless to say, Benny wins the bet.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Hansen

    An excellent book with a very real premise - an individual cheating families out of their antiques because they don't realize the value of what they have. I loved the side story of the Alden children teaching school. I really am amazed at all the ways the author has shown readers everywhere how kids can be really self-reliant and strong and intelligent. I love this series more and more as I keep reading.

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