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The Railway Children (Children's Classics) Paperback – 5 Mar 1993


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Product details

  • Paperback: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; New edition edition (5 Mar. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853261076
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853261077
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.7 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"It's a story that was written more than 100 years ago, yet The Railway Children commands the affections of the British people like few other fictions" (Daily Telegraph)

"Guaranteed to jerk a tear from the most stony-faced child" (Observer)

"The Railway Children was one of the first children's classics I ever read. I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it. I started reading the story and was immediately gripped. E. Nesbit remembered exactly what it felt like to be a child" (Jacqueline Wilson)

"Her child characters were remarkable in her day because they are so entirely human. They are intelligent, vain, aggressive, humorous, witty, cruel, compassionate. . . in fact, they are like adults" (Gore Vidal)

"So what makes these different to any other set of classics? In a moment of inspiration Random House had the bright idea of actually asking Key stage 2 children what extra ingredients they could add to make children want to read. And does it work? Well, put it this way...my 13-year-old daughter announced that she had to read a book over the summer holiday and, without any prompting, spotted The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas...and proceeded to read it! Now, if you knew my 13-year-old daughter, you would realise that this is quite remarkable. She reads texts, blogs and tags by the thousand - but this is the first book she has read since going to high school, so all hail Vintage Classics!" (National Association for the Teaching of English) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

The story of three children unhappily wrenched from their London home, who discover a new life in the countryside and become the Railway Children --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By H. Tagg on 13 Nov. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Excellent story, which my daughter has been listening to for several years. This CD replaced the tape we had. She is nearly 13 and still listens to this story most nights. Having listened to it she then chose to read the book. It also opened her to a whole world of timeless classics, such as The Secret Garden, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables and the Famous Five. It's been great for her education too. Her English teacher commented on her use of vocabulary.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By chilloutzone on 24 Nov. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Bought this last year and my children ask for it everytime we go on a long journey. They love it!! They gaze out the window whilst listening. Better than them watching the dvd player! Also played a lot in the kitchen whilst they colour/I clear up. A brilliant buy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Digger on 11 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD
One of the better read and produced childrens' audio books. The story is still relevant today, and the kids asked to listen to it 10 times
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Bently VINE VOICE on 20 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
The railway children and their parents live a happy, middle-class life in Edwardian London until their father is hauled off to prison. The rest of the family - mother, Bobbie, Phyllis and Peter - are forced to move north to the countryside and live a (relatively) impoverished life, their mother spending long hours writing children's stories to help make ends meet.

My children's book encyclopaedia calls The Railway Children 'sentimental' which seems a little harsh. Rather Nesbit is, like Dickens, alive to the frailty and suffering of human beings but, nonetheless, levens her work with humour. She captures the tension between adults and children, town and country and between different social classes perfectly and she pours much of her own life experiences into the story, adding a depth of realism and emotion absent from many other novels of the time.

The Railway Children is Edith Nesbit writing at the height of her powers and a true masterpiece of children's literature.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By V. Carlin on 11 July 2008
Format: Paperback
The brilliance of the Railway Children is that E Nesbit refuses to talk down to her readers - she handles a variety of complicated emotions, and she does so in a way that enables us to see things we wouldn't have worked out for ourselves about the character, but that are very true and beautifully observed. Okay, a few too many things happen to these kids - even the film removed one or two sensational twists too many - but those things all bring new insights and emotional rewards. It's a great book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By book worm on 19 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
as a teenager growing up in the 21st century i couldn't love this more. this kind of feel good book is the kind of thing my mum would read and i would look straight past. i first read the secret garden which is also a puffin classic and really enjoyed it and therefore decided to read another. having seen the film every christams for as long as i can remember this came top of my list and it didn't disappoint. it contains both tense scenes and enjoyable family ones.

this book has everything and should have a space on everyones bookshelf. in this edition it has been left as was when first printed with the addition of an introduction by popular author jacqueline wilson.

though first published over 100 years ago it has not lost any of the charm that would have been enjoyed by the children of the early 1900's. well worth 5 stars and has compulsed me to invest in a few more puffin classics.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By DocMartin on 6 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
Before J.K.Rowling and Roald Dahl, there was E.E.Nesbitt; the most prolific and inventive children's author of all time, even if the inventor of Harry Potter may be close to usurping that title. Even though her books were written a century ago, such was the universal appeal of her themes and the ease with which children could identify with her characters that she has remained in print to this day and the stories are just as good now as they were then.
As with any children's classic - and "The Railway Children" is both a classic and most probably her best book - its appeal lies in a cracking plot, good character development and adult accessibility; parents are as keen to read as their children are to listen. The plot is simple: well-to-do-kids living ideal life in London suddenly have to "play at being poor" in the country after Daddy mysteriously disappears. After a series of adventures, all based around the railway that runs near their house, events coalesce into a satisfying finale.
The story centres on Roberta (Bobbie), the eldest daughter through whose eyes the story is narrated. She is one of my own favourite literature heroines and, as she suffers loss and hardship; and gains friendship and love, I would challenge even the most hard-boiled cynic not to shed the odd tear. The story is not, however, nearly as fluffy as all this may intimate. Like Rowling, Nesbitt loved to include magic and enchantment in her stories (it is, perhaps, ironic that her best tale contains none although it is certainly enchantING). Like Rowling, her stories also tend to have a dark side: many contain, and even hinge around, an absent, idealised father, reflecting the loss of the writer's own parent when she was just six. I've worn my way through two copies already!). Buy dozens! Spread them around your own children, their friends, nephews, nieces, grandchildren, neighbours ... any child who can manage joined-up writing will be enchanted by this story - and so will their parents
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trilliane on 25 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Purchased for my 4yr old son.

Since he loves books and stories in general, audio books have become a big part of our weekly lives with our daily commutes interupting book time, he loves the audio ones though, the dramatisations even more.

The Railway Children is what I consider to be a classic childrens story and this version with its cast of voice actors has really brought the story to life, taking you back to a time when life was simpler but by no means easier as the family relocate and change their way of life and the adventures they have along the way.

This is a story I do think all children should hear but with affirming corrections that it is dangerous to go on the tracks (something that is never mentioned at any point in the story).
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