The Railway Children (with an introduction by Jacqueline Wilson) by E. Nesbit

The Railway Children (with an introduction by Jacqueline Wilson)

Written by E. Nesbit
Part of the Puffin Classics Series

9+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

January 2010 Guest Editor Sophie Mckenzie on The Railway Children by Edith Nesbitt

'I loved reading as a child and remember getting totally absorbed in this book. I identified strongly with the main character - responsible, sensitive eldest child Roberta - and, ever since, have tried to create that sense of identification with the main characters in my own writing.'


The Railway Children (with an introduction by Jacqueline Wilson) by E. Nesbit

When Father is taken away unexpectedly, Roberta, Peter, Phyllis and their mother have to leave their comfortable life in London to go and live in a small cottage in the country. The children seek solace in the nearby railway station, and make friends with Perks the Porter and the Station Master himself. Each day, Roberta, Peter and Phyllis run down the field to the railway track and wave at the passing London train, sending their love to Father. Little do they know that the kindly old gentleman passenger who waves back holds the key to their father's disappearance. This is one of the best-loved classics of all time, with a wonderful introduction by Jacqueline Wilson.

About the Author

E. Nesbit

Edith Nesbit (1858 – 1924) was a mischievous, tomboyish child who grew up to be an unconventional adult. She and her husband were founder members of the socialist Fabian Society and their home became a centre for socialist and literary discussion. Their friends included some of the time’s greatest writers and thinkers, including George Bernard Shaw and H G Wells.

Everything about Edith showed her as a woman trying to break out of the mould demanded by English society at the time – she expressed her individuality through her clothes, hairstyle, lifestyle and her habit of speaking forcefully on almost any subject. She lived her socialism and late in life her charitable deeds brought her close to bankrupcy.

E Nesbit – she always used the plain initial for her writing and was sometimes thought to be a man – started to write for children after years of successful writing for adult magazines. She was asked to write about her childhood but instead of facts chose to describe her happy girlhood in fiction. The result was books still read today, firm bestsellers for decades. She was brilliant at combining real-life situations with elements of fantasy and humour. Films – such as The Railway Children - have kept her stories in the public eye and her magical fantasies, including Five Children and It, continue to delight each new generation of children.

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Book Info


304 pages
Interest Age: From 9


E. Nesbit
More books by E. Nesbit


Puffin Classics an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

4th February 2010




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