The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

The Railway Children

Written by E. Nesbit

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This is one of the best-loved family stories of all the classics. When Roberta, Peter and Phyillis’s father is arrested their life is turned upside down. The children move to the country and the railway that runs nearby becomes their greatest source of adventure. One day, they come up with a brilliant plan to make use of the friends they’ve made through the train to prove their father’s innocence and bring him back safely. Will it work? (9+)

This edition is part of the Vintage Children's Classics series which is aimed at and shaped by 8-12 year olds, and the adults in their lives. It is a broad, affordable selection of books that will inspire a life-long love of reading; these stories that have secured a place in the hearts of thousands. They are all unabridged. To view all the Vintage Children's Classics titles click here. They are books to be given as gifts, and passed down the generations.

In addition, story hungry children often don't want the adventure to end, so why not take a look at the fully interactive website - World of Stories - which contains lots of extra material - the backstory: with quizzes, activities and fascinating facts about the books and their authors.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Three middle-class children, whose father is wrongfully in jail, try to help their mother solve the family's financial problems. Homely Victorian style illustrations.


The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

Stand firm' said Peter, and wave like mad! ' They were not railway children to begin with. When their Father mysteriously leaves home Roberta (everyone calls her Bobbie), Phyllis and Peter must move to a small cottage in the countryside with Mother. It is a bitter blow to leave their London home, but soon they discover the hills and valleys, the canal and of course, the railway. But with the thrilling rush and rattle and roar of the trains comes danger too. Will the brave trio come to the rescue? And most importantly, can they solve the disappearance of their Father?

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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 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 *

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


320 pages
Interest Age: From 9 to 11 years


E. Nesbit
More books by E. Nesbit


Vintage Classics an imprint of Vintage

Publication date

2nd August 2012




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