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The Yellow House Mystery

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The spooky old house on Surprise Island intrigues Benny.


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The spooky old house on Surprise Island intrigues Benny.

30 review for The Yellow House Mystery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin Moore

    I want to start a new series and call it “Boxcar Therapy” where the Boxcar children are in their 30s and Violet confronts her crippling anxiety, Henry deals with his bisexual tendencies, Benny is married and expects his wife to treat him like his family did and they’re in therapy cause he’s a spoiled little jerk, and Jessie deals with the depression she’s carrying from always having to be the responsible one. I can see them sitting on the couch, Violet with a cigarette in her hand, blowing out th I want to start a new series and call it “Boxcar Therapy” where the Boxcar children are in their 30s and Violet confronts her crippling anxiety, Henry deals with his bisexual tendencies, Benny is married and expects his wife to treat him like his family did and they’re in therapy cause he’s a spoiled little jerk, and Jessie deals with the depression she’s carrying from always having to be the responsible one. I can see them sitting on the couch, Violet with a cigarette in her hand, blowing out the smoke and saying “every time I look at pine needles. I can’t handle it. Who sleeps on pine needles? Why does that make the ground more comfortable?” I too find that very confusing, Violet I’m also not sure why everything said is “cried” or “shouted”. Can’t we just reply, ask or wonder? It leads me to envision these four kids constantly screaming at each other, which can’t help Violets anxiety. It’s also probably more a reflection on me that I expected the dude they found to be a serial killer and he either died while “sleeping” in the back of Joes car or wakes up and runs them off the road. Harsh critique aside. These are childhood classics and I’m so pleased they exist. There’s a simplicity to the rhythm that’s charming and while the kids are sacrine and one demintilnual it’s actually quite nice to escape into that world.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Took all of 45 min to read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bailey Marissa

    The children go on a trip with the surprise man from Surprise Island and his wife and find ANOTHER person from their grandfather's past, which also is a surprise for another person in the Boxcar series. The children go on a trip with the surprise man from Surprise Island and his wife and find ANOTHER person from their grandfather's past, which also is a surprise for another person in the Boxcar series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    3.5 stars This was a bit more satisfying than book 2, but I wanted a bit more mystery.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Devann

    Continuing my slow reread of this series and although it's definitely a super simplistic read as an adult, it's unintentionally hilarious enough to make up for it. In this third volume the kids find YET ANOTHER estranged person associated with their family [I guess points because it's not actually a relative this time]. Honestly they've gotta knock this off soon because even their mansion can only hold so many people ;) I did find this a bit more interesting than the first two books, although it Continuing my slow reread of this series and although it's definitely a super simplistic read as an adult, it's unintentionally hilarious enough to make up for it. In this third volume the kids find YET ANOTHER estranged person associated with their family [I guess points because it's not actually a relative this time]. Honestly they've gotta knock this off soon because even their mansion can only hold so many people ;) I did find this a bit more interesting than the first two books, although it does follow the same basic premise for the most part. There is actually a lot less focus on food in this one, although it's definitely still an ongoing theme. At least they eat 'normal' food for the most part here, although there was a part where they got super excited over an ENTIRE CHICKEN IN A CAN [gross???] and the many mentions of 'dried eggs' made me shudder a bit because I don't know exactly how that works but again ...sounds really gross. It's interesting I guess from a historical perspective because it just keeps leaving me wondering if kids in the 50s were super obsessed with food or if maybe this is a personal after-effect of hers from living through the depression etc? Another thing that is kind of a disconnect between how people probably read this in the past and how it comes across today is the family's money situation. I mean there's this kind of weird disconnect where it's like they're always trying to portray them as like 'oh we're gonna go camping and we're roughing it and we're making blanket rolls to carry our clothes but also we're going to go buy literally all new camping supplies even though we surely have some old stuff because we've been camping before'. Definitely a weird series to read as an adult but as a kid I didn't notice any of this stuff so it's an interesting thing to revisit.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    How do they just keep picking up strays in every book? Introducing more and more characters. Also - that mans house is going to run out of room to keep housing everyone. Going from living alone to suddenly having 8 roommates and a dog? No thank you.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    Good story...but weird illustrations.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    Meh, or as Benny said so often in this book, Ho-hum. Though he misused what in my experience has always been an indicator of boredom. It was okay, but odd. 1. I don't know too many six-year-old boys who can't wait for a wedding, unless it's for the cake. Particularly Benny, particularly in the 1950s. They would see it as torture, having to bathe and dress up and be on best behaviour. 2. How many newlyweds rush off to spend two weeks in a barn? Particularly a barn whose only sleeping arrangements a Meh, or as Benny said so often in this book, Ho-hum. Though he misused what in my experience has always been an indicator of boredom. It was okay, but odd. 1. I don't know too many six-year-old boys who can't wait for a wedding, unless it's for the cake. Particularly Benny, particularly in the 1950s. They would see it as torture, having to bathe and dress up and be on best behaviour. 2. How many newlyweds rush off to spend two weeks in a barn? Particularly a barn whose only sleeping arrangements are piles of scratchy straw. 3. Violet reminds Benny that the newlyweds aren't necessarily going to want the kids around all the time, even though they all live in the same house. Benny blithely replies that the kids should make up a list of activities and get the new couple to come along with them, then! Grandpa laughs and says it's a good idea. I'm sure. 4. The couple comes back with a bran-spankin-new stationwagon (1950s status symbol par excellence) and it is taken as read that they bought it so they can haul their little cousins around everywhere they go. 5. The family is so wealthy they don't bother to take camping stuff and supplies along; oh no, they just buy it all at the overpriced camping store on the lake, and the bride's reaction to having to buy it all a second time is, "What fun!" However they do sew up the kids' blankets into bedrolls because, you know, Violet mustn't be uncomfortable! Sod little Benny, it's okay if he and the others get pneumonia, but we must look after our shrinking Violet. This doesn't stop them making beds of pine boughs this time--can you imagine anything more uncomfortable to sleep on?--and living on diluted canned milk and potatoes for a couple of days. In the end of course it all comes out right and they continue to throw money and houses around like it's nothing. A weird bunch.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Seongkyul

    Are YA books & memory lane my new guilty escape? Meh. This time an escape into a canoe and cabin in Maine. Though the setting felt more woods in current New Hampshire. I was imagining Lonesome Lake. Love the sketches in this one. Wish I could find the first book in the series. Are YA books & memory lane my new guilty escape? Meh. This time an escape into a canoe and cabin in Maine. Though the setting felt more woods in current New Hampshire. I was imagining Lonesome Lake. Love the sketches in this one. Wish I could find the first book in the series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Abney

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What the eff, Bill? Bill is possibly one of the dumbest characters ever to have been written and let me tell you why. 1. He lends his sketchy brother his boss's money without any explanation about what will be done with it. Then he fails to make clear arrangements for how he will get the money back, so when his brother dies unexpectedly, he doesn't know where to find the money. 2. In an attempt to get the money from Bill, the sketchy brother's equally sketchy friends tell him that his wife has die What the eff, Bill? Bill is possibly one of the dumbest characters ever to have been written and let me tell you why. 1. He lends his sketchy brother his boss's money without any explanation about what will be done with it. Then he fails to make clear arrangements for how he will get the money back, so when his brother dies unexpectedly, he doesn't know where to find the money. 2. In an attempt to get the money from Bill, the sketchy brother's equally sketchy friends tell him that his wife has died in a fire. Instead of investigating whether it's true, he just blindly accepts that she's dead. **Spoiler Alert: She's not.** 3. Instead of going back to his kind boss/family friend and explaining the situation and, I don't know, confirming if his wife is alive, BIll decides to become a hermit and mourn his not-actually-dead wife. What a tool.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sam Kuntz

    The Yellow House Mystery is about how the Boxcar Children find out how a man named Bill Macgregor vanishes in the summer. They find a note that says to go to Bare Trail to find 'THE MONEY ' as the book said. They go to Bare Trail and they find a man who lives in the woods. He is called Dave Hunter. They have to find 'THE MONEY' and Bill. Maybe Dave Hunter is Bill Macgregor. You have to read the book to find out what happens.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristine Hansen

    The Boxcar Children are trying to solve a 40 year old mystery that takes them from Surprise Island all the way up to Maine on a rugged and amazing camping trip. I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved the descriptions of camping. And thought that the book as a whole came to a really satisfying conclusion. Great series!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christine Hwang

    The Yellow House Mystery is the first book in the Boxcar Mystery series to have a real mystery and is one my favorites. Readers will enjoy this fun quick read with a wonderful canoeing/camping adventure mixed in with the mystery. It is a great introduction to the mystery genre for young readers.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    This takes place in the summer on Connecticut and Maine. It begins where the previous book left off. The children and their cousin and his wife spend a week in Maine looking for a missing person. They camp, fish, canoe, and cook.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cadence

    "I like the that Mrs. McGregor and Bill found each other again." -Cadee, age 6

  16. 4 out of 5

    Enos

    great

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jesman Alwis

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. confusing story. why did the man hide the money

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Wilcox

    This was my favorite Boxcar Children book as a kid because of the mystery and the journey in canoes. It’s much better than the second one, and my kids enjoyed listening to it in the car.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Octavia Cade

    What the hell. Poor kind old Mrs. MacGregor, the housekeeper to all these children, used to be married to a thief, who ran off to do thieving things and left her alone for 40 odd years, never knowing if he were dead or alive. It turns out hubby has been living as a hermit, having stupidly swallowed a cock and bull story that his wife was dead (and even more stupidly failing to check, because the source of his info was criminal and vicious and oh, so trustworthy!). Four meddling children reunite What the hell. Poor kind old Mrs. MacGregor, the housekeeper to all these children, used to be married to a thief, who ran off to do thieving things and left her alone for 40 odd years, never knowing if he were dead or alive. It turns out hubby has been living as a hermit, having stupidly swallowed a cock and bull story that his wife was dead (and even more stupidly failing to check, because the source of his info was criminal and vicious and oh, so trustworthy!). Four meddling children reunite them, and this is supposed to be a happy ending?! All I can think is Mrs. MacGregor, who has missed out on her life and any potential family, has been screwed over but good.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    I reread this book as an adult and I can see what my friend was saying about classism in the books. There definitely is some sense that non-wealthy people don't count in Ms. Warner's world. But the world is fun and the struggles and independence of the kids feel believable. There is some sexual division of labor, but it reads like Ms. Warner was a feminist for her time period - she believed that girls could do just as much and contribute just as much as boys, even if she acknowledged they were p I reread this book as an adult and I can see what my friend was saying about classism in the books. There definitely is some sense that non-wealthy people don't count in Ms. Warner's world. But the world is fun and the struggles and independence of the kids feel believable. There is some sexual division of labor, but it reads like Ms. Warner was a feminist for her time period - she believed that girls could do just as much and contribute just as much as boys, even if she acknowledged they were physically weaker and might do more cooking and caring rather than physical labor. I think these books would still very much be good for kids today and perhaps might help encourage them to engage in physical activities and be outside.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nevada Libert

    i love reading box car to my brothers. me and my brothers love the mysterys in the box car sires.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shemaiah Gonzalez

    The boys really enjoyed this mystery and couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Me? I think I'm done reading Boxcar Children books

  23. 4 out of 5

    Niharikaa

    it was exciting and u could also at the end of the story guess who was the person they were looking for.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ronan Drew

    Book 3 of the Boxcar Children

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    Really liked this book, even though Benny was kind of a little brat. I did still like his character. I do wish Violet played more of a part in the books, but I am only on number 3.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    2.5* So, unlike Surprise Island, this book has a seemingly better mystery element. And it does bring back some characteristics of the first book, The Boxcar Children, in regards to survival. This book wasn't what I thought it was going to be (which I'll get to later), and I don't think it holds up to other children's mystery books. However, I liked it for nostalgic purposes and the fact that it was a quick and easy read. In this summer adventure, the children uncover the mystery of The Yellow Hous 2.5* So, unlike Surprise Island, this book has a seemingly better mystery element. And it does bring back some characteristics of the first book, The Boxcar Children, in regards to survival. This book wasn't what I thought it was going to be (which I'll get to later), and I don't think it holds up to other children's mystery books. However, I liked it for nostalgic purposes and the fact that it was a quick and easy read. In this summer adventure, the children uncover the mystery of The Yellow House. Going into this one, I thought a majority of the story would take place inside this yellow house, yet a lot of it took place on this trip down a lake. The trip was really reminiscent of the first book, when the children (plus Alice and Joe) try to figure out their meals and survival tasks. I've stated this before about Surprise Island, but I'll mention it again because it's relevant to this one too. The kids just don't seem that interested in the mystery. They seem more interested when it came to food (and: weird note, they made me crave cornbread) rather than unraveling the mystery. Benny seemed the most interested in solving the mystery (view spoiler)[ especially when he runs off from the group (hide spoiler)] . Benny is the best character, honestly, not only because he's the apparent one that's interested in the mystery, but because he gets the best lines (although sometimes childish). Benny seems more his age in this one than in Surprise Island. I will say, also, there's way too many named characters in this book for such a short story. They keep using the word "queer" in replacement for "funny" (or any other synonym) and I know it's an older novel, but it's quite annoying (hence a reason for why I think it doesn't hold up). I believe that this novel is the most complicated of the Boxcar Children series so far in terms of the uncovered mystery. Bill's background and his explanation was a little confusing and not that straight-forward, so I'm not sure if kid's will understand it completely.

  27. 4 out of 5

    JP

    Remember Surprise Island? Remember Then Henry said, “Grandfather, that’s one thing we can’t understand. Why didn’t we ever get to go into that little yellow house? Doesn’t it belong to you?” Mr. Alden looked at his grandchildren. Then he said quietly, “That’s another story.” Well here you go: The Yellow House Mystery. Herein, we actually go into said Yellow House on Surprise Island to investigate yet another mystery of yet another long lost family member (of sorts). At some point, they're going to Remember Surprise Island? Remember Then Henry said, “Grandfather, that’s one thing we can’t understand. Why didn’t we ever get to go into that little yellow house? Doesn’t it belong to you?” Mr. Alden looked at his grandchildren. Then he said quietly, “That’s another story.” Well here you go: The Yellow House Mystery. Herein, we actually go into said Yellow House on Surprise Island to investigate yet another mystery of yet another long lost family member (of sorts). At some point, they're going to run out of house. Plotwise, the 'mystery' doesn't make a lick of sense, (view spoiler)[trusting untrustyworthy sorts ratehr than double checking that, I don't know, your wife is actually dead? come one (hide spoiler)] . And yay for reunions, but that's going to be hard after 40 years... I can't imagine. But it's a fun enough adventure and kids pretty much overlook the questionable bits and focus on the adventures in the great outdoors. So that's cool. I much preferred the first two, but still good enough.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Taryn

    I would like to preface this review by saying that I rated it from the perspective of its intended audience.. minus one star from my actual perspective. If I were a child, I would have thought this book was the bee’s knees. As an adult, I do appreciate the adventure and the way my children’s eyes light up at the telling, but I am also horrified and bewildered at this chain of events. Without giving spoilers, I have a few questions. 1- Why don’t these children have more adult supervision? 2- Why I would like to preface this review by saying that I rated it from the perspective of its intended audience.. minus one star from my actual perspective. If I were a child, I would have thought this book was the bee’s knees. As an adult, I do appreciate the adventure and the way my children’s eyes light up at the telling, but I am also horrified and bewildered at this chain of events. Without giving spoilers, I have a few questions. 1- Why don’t these children have more adult supervision? 2- Why does Benny get to make all the decisions? 3- Who the heck takes the word of a bad guy as truth without checking? AND 4- Why would you not look there!!!? Alas, I get it. If those questions had real life answers, the book would not exist. My kids wanted to read it again as soon as we finished, so it’s definitely a hit.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    The best word I have to describe this book would be “quaint”. Written in the 1950’s, it gives off a very Pleasantville vibe. Everything in the Boxcar children’s lives is just swell, even when they run into setbacks. Of course, this was written for children, therefore I’m sure the characters were intended to model ideal behavior. As to the mystery - it was fairly straightforward. No major twists or turns. Again, very much intended for children. I’d be very curious if kids today would find these sto The best word I have to describe this book would be “quaint”. Written in the 1950’s, it gives off a very Pleasantville vibe. Everything in the Boxcar children’s lives is just swell, even when they run into setbacks. Of course, this was written for children, therefore I’m sure the characters were intended to model ideal behavior. As to the mystery - it was fairly straightforward. No major twists or turns. Again, very much intended for children. I’d be very curious if kids today would find these stories interesting or if they would just be confused/blown away by the old-fashioned technology. Read for the 2018 Reading Challenge prompt, “A book with your favorite color in the title”.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Challenges: May 2020 - 17/31 books read; Middle Grade May (7th book); Steeped in Books/2020 TBR Jar - Stack Fourteen/Book 4. Benny often gets in trouble, but is the finder of many things. A forty-year old mystery is solved and the lives of two people restored. Debts are paid and many animals are seen in the wild by the Alden children as they share the chores and burdens of camping in the woods. Of the time, Native Americans are referred to as Indians and the cave excavation is never referred to Challenges: May 2020 - 17/31 books read; Middle Grade May (7th book); Steeped in Books/2020 TBR Jar - Stack Fourteen/Book 4. Benny often gets in trouble, but is the finder of many things. A forty-year old mystery is solved and the lives of two people restored. Debts are paid and many animals are seen in the wild by the Alden children as they share the chores and burdens of camping in the woods. Of the time, Native Americans are referred to as Indians and the cave excavation is never referred to in an archaeological sense. Will we hear more of the cave? The yellow house repaired? Who will occupy the house and when?

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