#867 Mystery Behind the Wall by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Mystery Behind the Wall by Gertrude Chandler WarnerMystery Behind the Wall by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Aldens have a Canadian friend coming to stay awhile. There’s a room that hasn’t been used in a while that he can stay in. The kids help clean it up. When the kid gets there, they decide to make a communication device, a tin can telephone. They figure they can pass a string through the closet, but there’s something strange about the closet. It kind of sounds hollow behind it. They soon find a note and some clues.

It turns out grandfather bought the house from someone else and a little girl used to live in the room. She didn’t play with dolls, like a lot of other young girls; she liked to collect coins. She wanted to leave a scavenger hunt. The Aldens start following her clues. Their progress is hindered by the fact that Grandfather added rooms onto the house at one point, so some of the original parts of the house are covered up. The Aldens figure it out, like usual, but they have a great time.

What I liked

Sometimes I really like the idea of having a really old house. There’s no telling what mementos of the past you may find in crawl spaces and attics. The Aldens finding something from a girl who used to live in their house is actually pretty neat. All I found when I moved into my last house, that I used to have, were some x-rays. Part of me doesn’t like the idea of having an old house because it’s probably haunted. I’ve recently read a whole lot of true ghost stories in an online article, and let me tell you, I wouldn’t want a lot of those experiences happening to me. Some of them I would be fine with, but the rest of it–no way. So I imagine that if, for some reason ,I bought an old Victorian houseĀ  it would probably be haunted and not like fun haunted, like awful, nightmare-inducing haunted. I’d have to call a priest and a bishop, one of them could exorcise the ghost and the other could fight it, hopefully, I’d end up ghost free in the end.

What I didn’t like

The little girl’s story seems a little sad.

Oh, and there the Aldens go, being spoiled again. Oh, we just happen to have this extra bedroom lying around. There are five people in the house and they have an extra bedroom. Unheard of, seriously. There were six people in my house growing up and we only had four bedrooms and one bathroom. The Aldens probably have like six bathrooms.


Maybe there’s a cool scavenger hunt in your house, but as luck might have it, it’s probably just a scavenger hunt to the previous tenant’s toenail collection.

Weigh In

If you found a scavenger hunt in your house, would you do it?

Do you think the Aldens are spoiled?

#867 Mystery Behind the Wall by Gertrude Chandler Warner was originally published on One-elevenbooks


#865 Bicycle Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Bicycle Mystery by Gertrude Chandler WarnerBicycle Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Aldens decide they’re going to go a bicycle trip by themselves. They camp out along the way. They also pick up a strange dog. The dog is grey and looks fancy, but the Aldens have no idea where the dog came from. He obeys very well. People start asking about the dog. They eventually get to a town with a dog show to find out that the dog is some type of show dog, but they still don’t know where he came from. They found him in an abandoned house.

They keep asking around and eventually hear about someone who lost their dog, but it seems really far away. Could these people really be the dog’s owners?

What I liked

Dogs are fun. I don’t know so much about dog shows, as it does seem somewhat pretentious, but dogs themselves are pretty nice. I’ve had my share of dogs over the years and my current dog is a pug. They’re noisy little dogs.

What I didn’t like

Who would let kids go off on a long bike ride like this alone? I get it if you’re an adult and you want to go cross-country biking, but children going cross-country biking seems dangerous. First of all, people driving are crazy and there are some places bikes just don’t belong on the road. Twisty and turny roads with no shoulder are no place for bikers. Do the kids know this? Do the kids know what to do if someone forces them off of a road? What about if they crash? What if someone steals their bikes? There are a whole lot of questions involved in this cross-country biking thing that are difficult to answer even if there are adults doing the biking.


Let’s go ride bikes, but not on the road.

Weigh In

Would you let your kids go on a cross-country bike ride?

Would you have been responsible enough as a teenager to handle a bike trip like the Aldens’ bike trip?

#865 Bicycle Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner was originally published on One-elevenbooks

#862 Blue Bay Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Blue Bay Mystery by Gertrude Chandler WarnerBlue Bay Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Grandfather has a surprise for the Alden children, which is a relief because they were wondering what all the whispering was about. It turns out Grandfather has planned a trip for them all to the South Pacific. Their bags are already packed and on the boat. The Aldens only have to get on it, because Grandfather is made of money and he can do things like this.

The boat trip is delightful and the Aldens find a small island to live on for a time. There’s no one else there, or so they think. When things start going missing from their camp, they start wondering. There’s a Myna bird that can talk and it keeps talking about Peter. Who in the world is Peter and why does a bird know his name?

What I liked

I used to live in the Pacific, not the South Pacific, more like the north Pacific. I lived in Okinawa for three years; it’s a subtropical island. It’s a nice place to live for a while, or just visit. I would definitely like to see more of the Pacific one day.

What I didn’t like

Seriously, what the heck–where does Grandfather get all this money? Maybe, he’s selling some of that Uranium to the Russians. Grandfather has a Uranium mine, if you didn’t know. Do you know how expensive it is to go to the pacific islands if you live in the States? Try around $1300, at the least, for plane tickets. Renting a boat, to sail on, to the south Pacific–lots of money. Hardly anybody has this kind of money. It’s certainly not a normal occurrence for children. Children’s books should aim to parallel a child’s life to some degree. Imagination is nice, but a child needs to be able to relate to that character, in that book, in order to take any lessons to heart.


Sure, everyone can just get on a boat and go to the South Pacific.

Weigh In

Would you drop everything and go to the South Pacific?

Would you live on a small island?

#862 Blue Bay Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner was originally published on One-elevenbooks

#860 The Lighthouse Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Lighthouse Mystery by Gertrude Chandler WarnerThe Lighthouse Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Aldens have just visited their aunt and are on their way back home. They find a lighthouse and decide to rent it. They stay there two weeks. There are some strange goings on, as usual. There’s a little boy who doesn’t go to school, but he wants to. His dad won’t let him go. The Aldens poke their noses in that.

What I liked

Staying in a lighthouse could be cool for a while.

What I didn’t like

Honestly, this book and the ghost ship book ran together. I had to actually look up what this book was about after I read it, because it was unremarkable compared to the previous Boxcar Children book I read. Sure, lighthouses are cool, but what family has the money to just randomly go stay somewhere two weeks?


It’s probably haunted, oh wait, Grandfather doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Weigh In

Would you stay in a lighthouse?

Do you know anyone who can up and decide to randomly go on vacation for two weeks?

#860 The Lighthouse Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner was originally published on One-elevenbooks

#859 The Ghost Ship Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

 The Ghost Ship Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler Warner The Ghost Ship Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Aldens are vacationing on the coast. They get to stay in a special suite at the hotel called the Crow’s Nest. The name of the place is The Black Dog Inn, and there’s actually a black dog. In the night, the Aldens see lights out over the water and wonder what they are. They are told about the ghost ship, or legend says anyway. A local boat was lost at sea, the grandfather of someone still living in the village. No one knows what happened to him, but there are rumors that there was a mutiny aboard the ship and one person betrayed another. Because of this there are hard feelings between some of the descendants. The Aldens start poking around to see what treasures they can find.

What I liked

I bet there are a lot of good stories about the ocean, if you live in a small ocean town. I am not an ocean person, but sometimes it’s neat to feel that mystery. It’s neat to imagine that the sea is to one side of you, the land is to the other side, and there’s all kinds of mystery out on the water that you can’t see.

I also really like ghost stories. They’re interesting first of all, but they tend to tell a lot about the history and culture of an area and maybe an era.

What I didn’t like

Again, this story involves people who are mad at each other without a lot of evidence. It’s one thing if you know someone did something awful to someone in your family, but if you only have guesses and whispers, it’s unfair to everybody involved to be harboring bad feelings towards someone. What did they ever do to you? Nothing, apparently.


If you see a strange light on the ocean, it’s probably a ghost ship.

Weigh In

Do you have a favorite ocean ghost story?

Have you ever been mad at someone without having any evidence of a reason to be mad at them?

#859 The Ghost Ship Mystery created by Gertrude Chandler Warner was originally published on One-elevenbooks