Norma Charles is the author of the bestselling picture book, See You Later, Alligator, and 11 previous children's novels, including the Sophie Alias Star Girl adventures with Dundurn, The Accomplish (nominated for a Sheila A. Egoff Award), and All the Way to Mexico (winner of the Chocolate Lily Award). She lives in Vancouver.
Runner-up for the 2009 Chocolate Lily Book Award and commended for the 2009 Best Books for Kids & Teens
In 1909, 13-year-old Luc Godin arrive in British Columbia from Quebec only to discover that the house they thought theyâ€™d move into hasnâ€™t been built. So the Godins have to make due with living in a railway boxcar with three other families.
Lucâ€™s father and the many other newcomers to the Fraser Valley have come to work in the lumber industry. Their new home still has vestiges of the wilderness, and Luc and his family find find pioneering life difficult, especially as French speakers in a world of English. Lucâ€™s father, who becomes a teamster in one of the many lumber mills, is old-fashioned. Horses are what he knows, while Luc has an eye for the modern, particularly the new-fangled bicycles and occasional automobiles.
However an accident with a bicycle has profound consequences for Luc and highlights the clash between the old and the new, the settled East and the brash frontier.
Boxcar Kid is a quick read that puts young readers in a historical setting with lots of action ... The book's key appeal for libraries will be the male protagonist in an historical setting.
Boxcar Kid had a definite beginning, middle and ending that flowed perfectly. You should read this book because it shows the path a young gentleman takes ... Even though this book is more for boys, I think, some girls would also enjoy the story Charles shares with us.
I'll give Boxcar Kid 5 railway-style stars.