Our featured author for April is Gertrude Chandler Warner. She was born on April 16, 1890 in Putnam, Connecticut. As a girl, Gertrude dreamed of becoming an author. She often wrote stories and gave them to her grandfather for Christmas.

Ms. Warner didn’t finish high school due to poor health, but the local school board asked her to teacher first grade during WWI. She taught 80 students—40 in the morning and 40 in the afternoon. She eventually attended Yale and took some teacher training courses.

Gertrude Chandler Warner is best known for “The Boxcar Children Mysteries.” She got the idea for the first book when she was home sick one day. She had lived near a railroad as a child, and became fascinated with a caboose that had a small stove, table, cups, and coffeepot inside. She thought it would have been fun to live in a boxcar or caboose, and so wrote a story about four children who lived in a boxcar. The Boxcar Children was published in 1942. Ms. Warner went on to write 18 more adventures for the series.

Gertrude Chandler Warner died in 1979. After her death, the publisher continued to receive letters asking for more “Boxcar Children” adventures. New writers began adding books to the series in 1991. There are now over 120 titles in the series. For more information about Gertrude Chandler Warner, or to check out one of her books, please see the “Happy Birthday” display in the LMC.