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10 thoughts on “The Lighthouse Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #8)

  1. says:

    Lighthouse Mystery begins with the end of the Woodshed Mystery, because that s how synched up Gertrude is Aunt Jane is relieved that no one calls her Mrs Bean after her marriage, because even she knows that is a stupid sounding name We are not even one full page into the book before bread and milk come up Henry has decided to take the scenic route home, never missing a chance to enjoy the power steering and smooth ride of their STATION WAGON and Grandfather knows of a beautiful lighthouse that they will drive past I feel a mystery coming on.I am not even a little bit surprised when the lighthouse is for sale, and even less surprised that the family feels like this is something they NEED TO BUY Like now However, imagine my shock when the group discovers that the lighthouse has ALREADY been sold The grocer, Mr Hall, offers to rent it to them for the summer, and I m amazed that Grandfather agrees to this, instead of insisting that he WILL buy it, ONE way or the OTHER that lighthouse shall be mine That s kind of how the scenario went in my head Grandfather does make the children wait in the car however while he negotiates the rent, whatever that means, probably a pistol whipping.When the family returns to the lighthouse, the girls went into the kitchen at once This is a direct quote Dear God After inspecting the stove and dishes, and how cold the water is, and if there is sufficient storage for the enormous amount of milk and bread that Benny requires they go to bed At 8 o clock.Mystery Alert At the stroke of midnight, Watch begins barking and Benny smells food no one else smells food, but we know that Benny has a keen sixth sense for anything edible After a few minutes, Watch goes back to sleep, but Grandfather feels that they should still alert the police due to the highly suspicious activities that I will reiterate consist of a dog barking, and Benny, a food obsessed halfwit, maybe smelling some potatoes This combination of Benny and Watch and food just made me think of Scooby Doo Henry, Jessie, and Violet Fred, Daphne, Velma Are we discovering the adult iteration of the Boxcar Children Just think about it.The next day, the group discovers that they don t have any food and maybe should go to the grocery store Facepalm The same grocery store they were at the night before, while renting the lighthouse NO ONE thought to buy food while they were already there Not housekeeping maven Jessie Not epicurean Benny Wow This may be the first time that they ve passed up an opportunity to purchase, discuss, and cook food.But if they hadn t been forced to traipse back to the grocery store we might not have met angry, black eyed man If his dark eyes weren t enough to let you know he s a bad seed, let me tell you how he ALMOST bumps into Jessie on the sidewalk Yes, to clarify, he doesn t actually bump into her, but he almost does, which sets the whole group off into hysterics I assume that they are used to their own town, where the citizens kowtow respectfully, and know to clear the streets at their approach, perhaps strewing palm fronds beneath their feet Just a hunch.As if this incident wasn t traumatizing enough, inside the grocery store, Henry tries to chat up a boy his own age, and is REBUFFED Mr Hall, sensei of the town of Conley, tells the family that this boy wants to go to college and his cruel father, Mr Angry Dark Eyes, won t let him All the children are predictably aghast at this information Mr Hall tells them nothing can be done about this, many have tried and failed, and all the children immediately think of Grandfather, and how he can force anyone to do anything, no matter how much they dislike it It s worded slightly differently, but that s the gist of it.Back home at the lighthouse, Jessie makes lunch and the family goes out onto the beach to enjoy it There are some rocks conveniently arranged like a chair for Grandfather to sit on, and Benny has the bright idea to build everyone rock chairs, and then cement them together so that no one can ever remove them Everyone thinks this is a great idea, because why wouldn t Mr Hall want a bunch of huge concrete lumps sitting in the middle of his beachfront property, emblazoned with the shaky scratched names of all the Aldens So there s no point in asking him, right They d rather just pay him off when he raises a fuss.After that adventure, the children are ready to go to bed again, and of course Watch wakes up at midnight barking, and THEN Jessie and Violet see a mysterious woman walking past the lighthouse all sneaky like.The next morning at breakfast, Violet and Jessie tell their tale, and the whole crew goes next door to the abandoned, boarded up house to snoop around Trespassing rules don t apply to them since they re just trying to help Henry finds a piece of paper with squares and strange letters on it, and immediately intuits that it must be proof of someone really smart doing science experiments, mainly because he doesn t understand any of it He tells anyone that will listen that he recognizes it as college level science work, but I like to think that he just found a piece of paper with the periodic table printed on it Looking at the abandoned building gets boring really fast I guess, as the afternoon devolves into looking at shells and seaweed You would think that after about three other mysteries revolving around shells and seaweed, that this family would be tired of looking at them, or at least knowledgeable, but nope.Henry suggests swimming, but Jessie dismisses it, seeing as how they didn t bring suits, and buying them would be too expensive After buying a blue suit for Jessie, a red one for Benny, etc etc color coded obsession, who do they spot outside but TOM COOK, or MR DARK SCARY EYES The lady at the bathing suit store gives them the rundown 1 Tom Cook is rich2 Tom Cook is stingy3 Tom Cook has a boatFurther, Tom Cook doesn t let his son angry wants to go to college boy use the boat, even though everyone even the woman at the bathing suit shop, but not Tom Cook apparently knows that Angry Boy takes the boat out at night, returning with mysterious jars and barrels of who knows what We ll have to do something about that, Grandfather says, a dangerous gleam in his eye.That night, Benny sits in his PJs staring at the stars from the top of the lighthouse, and sees a boat come in from sea, and then turn around again With an intelligence that belies all we know of Benny, he guesses that the captain of the ship must have seen him sitting in the lighthouse, so he turns off his lights, and sure enough, the boat comes in A man jumps out with a bucket and walks up the street Our omnipresent narrator lets us know that exciting things happen, but Benny misses them because he falls asleep Natch Benny loves to sleep ALMOST as much as he loves a canned ham.Watch continues to bark every night at midnight, but everyone just ignores it now The fact that something is going on that they are not meddling in is eating Henry up inside, so he organizes another snoop fest at the abandoned house Lifting Benny onto his shoulders, they discover the kitchen inside has cooking pans, seaweed, a microscope, and plankton in it All VERY SUSPICIOUS Unauthorized cooking And sciencing.I ll just summarize the about ten pages it takes for the Alden kids to put their clues together to hypothesize that the angry Cook boy is trying to cook seaweed in the abandoned kitchen and some woman is helping him Even though they ve literally only seen Angry Boy one time, they immediately know this most be his nefarious work He was rude to Henry No decent, law abiding citizen would dare This case against Angry Boy is only further strengthened when Watch barks at him downtown the next day Just like Watch barks at night And as Henry points out, everyone in this town is borderline stupid if this boy could get into college, he s the only one that could possibly be writing strange letters on pieces of paper However, Henry is also in college, even though he can t decipher the alien symbols on the papers, so I m not sure what that says about the student population.The next chapter is dominated solely by the Aldens cookout on the beach, in which I believe Gertrude uses the word frankfurter, approximately 32 times Then Henry goes back to the grocery store, only to run into Angry Boy again I m starting to believe there are only twelve people in this town This is a momentous occasion, because even though they don t speak, Mr Hall tells Henry that the boys name is Larry So we can finally start referring to him as that Anyway, Larry always cooks for the town s village supper to help raise money for the town but this year his helpers can t come Who knew Larry had a heart of gold Seeing an opportunity to weasel their way into his life and improve it for him, the family immediately volunteers to help him cook Without much of a choice, Larry acquiesces.The day of the cookout, Henry tries to draw Larry out with ridiculously transparent comments Like, too bad we can t get food from the sea, eh Larry Maybe some seaweed would really make this frankfurter pop But Larry doesn t cave to Henry s suave questioning tactics.A mysterious man at the cookout questions Larry about his secret baked bean recipe, which Larry refuses to answer After learning that Larry just loves to cook, the man asks the next logical question Do you go to college , since, as we all know, all master chefs first matriculate at their local state university Or at least at the community college down the street This predictably cheeses Larry off, and he stomps away.For a change of pace, the next day Grandfather takes them all to look at a boat, the Tahiti, which he is thinking of buying since that wily Mr Hall beat him to the lighthouse The captain, Snow, is than glad to show the obscenely rich man who will be his future boss and his family around his boat Just because he s a nice guy, of course In the walk in freezer, the family notice some large white bags Jumping to a conclusion with almost zero evidence as usual, they decide that the large white bags are full of plankton, and that Captain Snow must be providing Larry with plankton for his experiments They decide this before they learn that Captain Snow is Larry s uncle which feels less like detective work, and like blindly guessing.Back in town, who does the family run into, but Captain Snow They have a nice chat about Larry so smart , his father so mean , and how they will befriend Larry and get his father to pay for his college tuition, no matter the personal freedoms they have to squelch.The next morning, Violet wakes up with her face horribly swollen from mosquito bites Now the children have the perfect way to befriend Larry by guilt tripping him into building them screen windows There s no better way to make a friend than to force them to do manual labor for you.The Aldens Friendship Plan isn t moving fast enough for their liking, so Grandfather calls up a dangerous storm, trapping Larry out at sea on his night time boating run Well, it doesn t exactly happen that way, but pretty close Anyway, Mr Dark Angry Eyes Tom Cook shows up looking for his son, and since the phone lines are out, he and Henry drive to the next town to alert the Coast Guard Just about everyone in the whole town shows up to the lighthouse, and watches the Coast Guard tow in the boat with Larry Grandfather snidely remarks that he s surprised that a town without any policeman would have a doctor, but everyone pretends not to notice Larry is rescued, warmed up by heated blankets, and starts shouting ridiculous things, like, FEED THE WHOLE WORLD in a fever fueled delirium While he s unconscious, his good friends the Aldens, show his father and anyone else that happens to wander by Larry s secret lab Henry explains that Larry is trying to make seaweed into food But don t the Japanese already do that Like, for hundreds of years the doctor wants to know Well, good point, Henry concedes I didn t think of that But no one likes that slop except for the Japanese This is AMERICA Gawd Let s figure out how to fry this stuff or turn it into hamburgers The doctor is suitably chastened.Larry wakes up, and there is a big, tearful reunion with his distraught father who promises he can go to school now that he almost died I ll pay for it, Grandfather volunteers, always happy to have someone indebted to him No, that s cool, Dark Eyes waves away his offer, I have plenty of money, I totes can afford it I just didn t feel like letting him go for some reason, can t remember know Oh well, no harm no foul right I mean, like, except for my son almost dying Then Mrs Cook invites them all for dinner, which they only accept after thinly insinuating that she couldn t afford to cook for them all The dinner is full of meaningless conversation and food descriptions, until Jessie s secret lover, Mr Carter shows up with a new microscope for Larry Grandfather found a way to pay for something expensive after all Hooray Larry sincere I could never thank you enough, is followed by Mr Carter s I know, don t even try You will pay us back in other ways, hapless fool Or something like that.Then the family returns home, where Henry prepares to leave for college where he ll surprise his new BFF Larry by introducing him to a professor who is the SAME GUY WHO WANTED THE BAKED BEANS RECIPE Poor thing Little does he know that only a few short years of adulthood remain before he becomes 14 forever from my blog, Rampant Reads see at rampantreads.wordpress.com


  2. says:

    For the first time, I thought the children though it s hard to call Henry a child since he is now in college came across as spoiled The family drives by a lighthouse for sale, and the kids ask Grandfather to buy it as if it s no big deal It s weird, too, because later on, when the kids want to go swimming but don t have any bathing suits, Jessie is hesitant to ask for new ones because four new suits would cost too much Their money sense just seems to be out of whack While many of the books include some thing or other that dates the writing e.g., a reference to long distance phone calls , or illustrations of the kids boating without life jackets this one included something that seemed a bit much even for the old days The family wants to have a place to eat outdoors, so they move around the rocks to form chairs and a table, and then they cement the rocks in place This activity just doesn t sit well with me in today s heightened environmental consciousness, and there really isn t even any sense of nostalgia to redeem it It seemed like an arrogant and entitled thing to do I was also kind of bummed that the author seems to have made up the names of the towns in this book We know the Boxcar Children live some place in New England, but are they in MA Or CT This book mentions two towns Conley and Ashland There is an Ashland in MA, but it s not a seaside community, and I can t find any Conley anywhere in New England Oh, well Finally, I don t know if I m just getting tired of the Boxcar Children s we ll fix the world adventures, but for the first time, their interest in other people s activities seemed to border on meddling Sure, this Cook boy was gruff and seemingly unhappy, but was it really any of the Aldens business I can understand their interest in any goings on at the house next to the lighthouse, but beyond that, why are they so interested in other people s affairs


  3. says:

    fun and it makes you feel like you re in a swimming pool the last part at least, I think


  4. says:

    I read the eighth book in the Boxcar Children series, called The Lighthouse Mystery I enjoyed it when I read it at the age of 11 Although this is well written, it seems to be written for a younger age I was a little displeased in the setting and characterization in this book because it was never really there The characters felt as though they were flat, along with the setting The mystery was good and I enjoyed that part of the book The Lighthouse Mystery starts with Grandfather Alden and the children on an adventure at a local lighthouse After finding out that the lighthouse was for sale, the group begged Grandfather Alden into buying it Grandfather Alden decides to rent it instead of buy it After moving in, strange things begin to happen almost overnight During the night, around 12 a.m every night, the group s dog Watch barked for about ten minutes For some time they tried to figure out what Watch was barking at The group soon determined the house is the source of Watch s distress The house is really old and boarded up, and was used for the summer kitchen During the following night, the group spotted a woman walking away from the house In the following weeks, the group ran into an angry young man This guy was carrying books, and looked quite distraught They soon found out that the boy s dad will not let him go to college He graduated High School at the age of 16 and loves science During the night, the boy practices science experiments in the boarded up house attached to the lighthouse His mother sneaked in supplies for him, and sometimes used the father s boat One day a terrible storm rolls through, while the mother and boy were out to sea to gather supplies Almost losing their lives to such storm, they are saved by the children The boy is able to go to college, and the kids return to the lighthouse The characterization in this book was a little flat I feel the first Boxcar Children book would set a template for the main characters This book jumps right into the mystery I found it hard to determine which character was which Most of the time the book was focused on Larry, the boy who could not go to college Larry was still a flat character though, and that was one of my downgrades for the book The setting took place near the bay in an undisclosed location The Lighthouse was for sale along with the attached house The attached house is boarded up and is only used for Larry s experiments The setting was very bland in my opinion and was never expanded on I would recommend this book for grades eight and under and ages 11 to 14 I recommend this because it appeals to the middle school age group The way the book is written exemplifies this I would also recommend reading the rest of the books before this one.


  5. says:

    I am in the process of re reading the original 19 in order This book takes place immediately following book 7, The Woodshed Mystery It is the same summer and as the family is driving home from a visit to nearby Aunt Jane s new home, they decide to stop at the beach where they find a lighthouse for sale They end up renting instead of buying and this is where they stay for the next couple of weeks While the last book had one of the finest mysteries to date in the series, this one is hard pressed to even find a mystery within its pages A truly charming story which I thoroughly enjoyed but the mystery consisted of wondering what the boy next door was up to and figuring it out all very quickly Of course, they didn t tell the boy they knew what he was up to but that s not exactly mysterious This one contains quite a bit of interesting information on sea life and seafood and Warner actually makes a political statement on her thoughts on the space race She thinks that time and money would be better spent on exploring the sea for the purposes of feeding the world than on exploring outer space A new character is introduced and ends up going to Henry s college so I expect we ll see him in future books A perfectly enjoyable story about the family, has the family very gently roughing it in an old lighthouse but not exactly a mystery.


  6. says:

    Another fun read of the Boxcar Children This one did lean a bit towards mystery than the others, which was nice I enjoy these books for the nostalgia than the actual story or writing quality.


  7. says:

    I love lighthouses Add a mystery and a six year old s crush on Benny and you ve got the makings for an enjoyable easy read.


  8. says:

    These children are spoilt as anything Driving home from Aunt Jane s, they spot a lighthouse for sale, and immediately beg grandfather to buy it for them so that they can spend a few weeks of their summer there Grandfather, who is a poor example of decent behaviour at the best of times, does not tell this grabby foursome to shut their traps and stop being such gimme pigs, but he should Hence the mystery in the lighthouse, because when you ve been trained to be just this entitled and what a contrast to how attractive these kids were in the first volume of this series, when they made the best of very little without complaint it s only a matter of time before you start poking your noses into other people s business.On the plus side, there actually is a nice kid in this Larry, the subject of said mystery, is a marine biology nerd of the highest order He spends his time running experiments on seaweed and plankton having done this myself I am predisposed to like him and being disinterestedly focused on the welfare of others instead of merely interfering out of boredom.


  9. says:

    It s been a long time since I ve read a Boxcar Children book, and I read this one with my son in the waiting room for various Dr s appointments after he broke his arm I am thankful for the Boxcar Children books as they ve helped both of my sons gain confidence as readers and transition from easy readers to chapter books From a literary standpoint, there s not much to them, and this one in particular had a very simple, contrived plotline However, the children are kind and respectful and consistently look for ways to help others I certainly wouldn t want my children to stop here permanently, but Boxcar Children books make an excellent stepping stone on the road to a lifelong love of reading.


  10. says:

    This was all kinds of horrible I remember reading a few of these as a kid and enjoying them, but either they didn t stand the test of time or I was a dumb kid Didn t these kids use to be pathetic waifs A couple years later they ve developed an overgrown sense of entitlement Oh goody, Grampa, buy us a lighthouse but perhaps swimsuits are too expensive The oldest is in college but still has the cognitive abilities of an eight year old Yes, I know it s written for kids, but I ve read a ton of other stuff written for the same age level that manages to catch and hold my interest and my kids without dumbing down everything.