From the Baby-Sitters Club prequel to the Sweet Valley High reunion, I think we can all agree that revisiting classic children's series is hot right now.

So, I wasn't at all surprised to learn that Albert Whitman & Company will release a prequel to The Boxcar Children on the series' 70th anniversary in September of 2012. However, I was surprised to learn who will be writing the prequel: none other than Patricia MacLachlan, author of Sarah, Plain and Tall.

This book will finally tell us how the Boxcar Children ended up as orphans. In a press release from Albert Whitman, MacLachlan commented:

Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are kind to one another and embody the true sense of family. They are resourceful and positive. I find them both true children and true heroes at the same time. It occurs to me that perhaps their parents were the same. I’m looking forward to exploring that idea and more.

The Boxcar Children series holds a special place in my heart because #25: The Amusement Park Mystery was the first chapter book I ever read entirely on my own, from beginning to end. (My mom had gotten sick of reading the series out loud to me and suggested I try making a go of it by myself.)

I admit that I never gave the kids' parents much thought, although I'm sure MacLachlan will come up with something interesting. BookPage most recently reviewed her middle grade novel Word After Word After Word, praising the gentle, funny story about five friends.

Are you interested in this prequel? Also: Did you most identify with Henry, Jessie, Violet, or Benny? (I wanted to be Jessie.)

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