Book Review- The Railway Children

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Written by E. Nesbit Armanda, 1988. Book Originally Published In 1906. 207 pages.

Boy, was i glad to get a glimpse into the life of these three lovable, courageous, characters that lived in this book a hundred years back! Yes, that’s when this book was written. And as I was reading it – page after page, I was yearning to experience a life like theirs – living near the railways, house set in the middle of country fields, where flowers bloom, where they can meet people of all ages, talk with them without fearing. And as i read it, i have started experiencing what these characters did, too.

The story felt so realistic and alive that I felt like I was with them! And, i’d love to be a part of those adventures these children have done. There enthusiasm is catching, they’re funny! And many times, they mean to do something else, and get stuck in a marvelous adventure! Going into tunnels, saving a boy with a broken leg, saving a baby from fire!

I also adore the culture and how things were – more than a hundred years back, and i wish our world would be still like that, so i could go wherever i’d like, roaming around wherever i’d like, take my lunch and eat it in the wild, have picnics, talk to the station master (the story is set around the railways), not thinking he’d kidnap me, or play foul with me.

In the story: When their father had mysteriously disappeared from the children, one night after meeting two men.  He does not come back, and things get stranger and stranger. The children and the mother, shift to a house in the country as the- Three Chimneys. They first get friends with the Station Master and Perks the Porter, the railways play a important part in their life’s. They, save many people from land side disasters, and have many adventures.

The characters: Bobbie/Roberta the eldest)-12/13 years., (Phyllis is the youngest)-7/8 years. And Peter is in the middle- Probably, 10/12 years old.

Me and mamma had started this book many times, but somehow we never went on. This time though, the moment we started we couldn’t stop reading it! It was so fun and adventurous. You are always excited to know what happened next with the children. And the way the author (E. Nesbit) has shaped and formed the characters, makes me want to read it more and more. Each person is his or her own way. Peter is adventurous, courageous, straight forward. And the sense of humor that the author has applied to give shape to the characters is admirable.

The children first used to live in London, with their mother and father, they live a very beautiful and rich life there, with heaps of toys, a mother goose wall paper, and every modern thing they need. But when they shift to the house in the country, they become poor, and have no more modern things, and their mother writes stories and publishes  them so they can earn some money. And when she sells one, that’s the only time they have buns for tea! Even after being poor, and having nothing much for themselves, not even their father, the children slowly start forgetting the sadness, and enjoy going around in the wilderness and having marvelous adventures. But things turn a bit stranger slowly about the missing father.

I think this is a very heart touching story. Must read.

I bought this book from Delhi Book Fair. A used book. And this is not the original print, so here’s another print of the book, showing one of the adventures they experiened.

Other Book Print Of Railway Children

Reading about the Railways reminded mamma about an adventure of hers from her own childhood: placing a coin on the railway tracks, just before the train goes over it, and once it does, you will see the coin becomes totally flat, with all it’s carvings gone, and that time it’s very hot to hold on to. I asked her how it is to hold it after the train going over it, and she said it’s very thrilling! She also said that the coins becomes thin and shiny. And guess what? My Papa has done it too! After hearing the story of both my Mamma and Papa, i was very excited to do one myself!

A secret wish….

And hey! Don’t you mind if I share a secret with you. I do have Sufiana, who is one of the cutest sisters I could possibly get! But, I sometimes wonder if I had a brother or sister between me and Sufi, just like the characters (Bobby, Peter and Phyllis) in the book, so we’d go around wherever we’d like, have lunch in the wild, just as i have dreamed. A group of three is so much fun, isn’t it? What do you think?

( I am also going to share this book which you can buy from later, in one of my book recommendations in my side bar).


I just completed this book, and continued my review. Once we were done, I could see my Mamma’s eyes filling up with emotions. The end is very heart touching. The love Bobbie/Roberta and the other children have for their father melted our hearts. Especially Bobbie. I hope you read this:) I finish it here.

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  1. Obaid Malik says:

    Indeed very well writ! Its a pleasure to read your thoughts, as always.
    Maybe in your next review, you could put in a few words about the author, his/her other works, and also maybe a quick summary of other reviews/critics.
    Keep writing… You’re already a great writer!!!

    • Parinita Jaju Shiralige says:

      Thank you Obaid! I am very glad you checked out my blog. Yes, i am happy you gave me some feedback, i will write about the author in my next review. And somethings i do not like about the book.
      My Papa just told me your his friend! Thank you for visiting:) Keep reading…


  2. Prema says:

    You are indeed a great writer! Reading your review felt like almost reading the book.

    I wish your secret wish comes True and I do have a secret wish too…I hope to read a book written by you someday.

  3. Parinita Jaju Shiralige says:

    Thank you Prema! I have actually written type of a book on Google docs, i hope to share it on my blog once i complete it. Thanks for coming and sharing your thoughts with me:)

    I hope you read the book. I will do more book reviews soon.

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