Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cover Snark

The Boxcar Children #1
by Gertrude Chandler Warner

If there's anything I love more than whining nostalgically about how awesome everything was when I was a kid, it's laughing about how lame everything actually was when viewed through adult eyes.  Anybody who has ever read the LiveJournal communities 1bruce1 or bsc_snark knows what I'm talking about.  These hilarious people recap books from the Sweet Valley and Baby-Sitters Club series.  I dare you to read them and not pee your pants.  And while I'm insanely jealous that I didn't come up with their ideas first, I'm so happy that they exist in the first place.  Now I know I'm not alone in being obsessed with these skewed versions of real teen life.

Unfortunately, I can't come up with any other young adult series to snark about that I actually kept up with during my adolescence.  I remember being vaguely interested in reading The Boxcar Children series when I came across some copies in my elementary school library.  However, as soon as I read the little synopsis on the back cover, I changed my mind.

"Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny are a family.  They’re brothers and sisters – and they’re orphans, too.  The only way they can stay together is to try and make it on their own.  But where will they live? 

One night, during a storm, the children find an old red boxcar that keeps them warm and safe.  The children decide to make it their home – and become The Boxcar Children."

Hell, no.  I had already developed a phobia about being accidentally abandoned by my parents somewhere.  I blame movies like Home Alone and Homeward Bound.  So, I never read these books.  But, that doesn't mean I can't snark the covers!  I'm going to start with the first one.  Some of the later books in the series have been circulating through the library lately, and I've seen some pretty odd covers.  I might do those ones later.

Since I have no idea what any of these are actually about, I'll give a brief summary of what I think the first one is about based on the cover.  I guess I can use the character names for the four children, since the back of the book gives me that.  Although, I'm not sure which kid is which.  I'll just make it up.

Photo found on tumblr.

I'm going to go ahead and name them based on the order of the names in the summary compared to the order the characters are placed on the cover.  

This picture must be describing the scene where they find the boxcar to live in.  Clearly, Henry is a few fries short of a Happy Meal, because he is trying to open the sliding boxcar door the wrong way.  I'm guessing that's the reason that Jessie's so pissed off.  Although, she should be giving the finger to Henry, instead of her other siblings.

I already hate Violet.  Mostly because she decided the best clothes to run away in are pastel pink jeans and a matching belt and t-shirt.  That's probably not fair, because none of these kids really dressed for the occasion.  Jessie's wearing fucking khakis and a polo.  And Henry can't be comfortable either, what with that massive wedgie.  No, I mostly hate Violet because I feel like she's being really condescending to her poor, tiny, hunchback brother, Benny.  I really feel for Benny.  It's not easy to go through life with elastic waist jeans that have checkered pockets and what I can only describe as patchless patches on the knees.

These kids are terrible at living on their own.  They've only packed two pillowcases with supplies, and the one that Violet is carrying isn't even full.  This doesn't bode well for the rest of the series.

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