The Railway Children
THE RAILWAY CHILDREN
The change in their lives comes very suddenly. One minute they are all a happy family, with everything that they want. The next minute, Father has to go away – ‘on business’, Mother says. But her face is white, and the children know that it’s bad news. They have to leave their nice home in London, and go and live in a little house in the country. They are poor now, Mother says. She tries to sound happy, but her eyes are sad and worried.
Roberta, Peter, and Phyllis also worry about Father, but no one can be sad all the time. A new life is beginning, with adventures around every corner. And there, down the hill from their new house, is the railway, with its shining lines leading all the way back to London; and the black mouth of the tunnel, where trains come screaming out of the darkness like great wild animals …
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First published in Oxford Bookworms 1993
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ISBN 978 0 19479128 1
A complete recording of this Bookworms edition of The Railway Children is available on audio CD ISBN 978 0 19 479100 7
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Word count (main text): 9295 words
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e-Book ISBN 978 0 19 478664 5
e-Book first published 2012
The beginning of things
They were not railway children at the beginning. They lived with their father and mother in London. There were three of them. Roberta – she was always called Bobbie, and was the oldest. Next came Peter, who wanted to be an engineer when he grew up. And the youngest was Phyllis, who was always trying to be good.
Mother was almost always at home, ready to play with the children, or to read to them. And she wrote stories, then read them to the children after tea.
These three lucky children had everything that they needed. Pretty clothes, a warm house, and lots of toys. They also had a wonderful father who was never angry, and always ready to play a game.