November 6, 2012
What was life like for children and why were they known as box car kids during the Depression? The Depression occurred as a result of an economic collapse that began in 1929. Unemployment went from 3 million in 1929 to 12.5 million by 1932. This eventually led to families not being able to make ends meet. Nationwide families were becoming homeless. Multiple different families lived in one room shacks. Others that weren’t so fortunate were left to sleep in sewers. Families had to give up essentials that they once had, such as health care. Children were left starving and abandoned. Having nowhere to go, children soon began to travel in hopes of better lives. The children of the Depression soon found out that the easiest way to travel was by train. They would literally hitchhike from train to train. They were hoping to find food or job openings in upcoming towns. However, even when there were job openings, literally thousands of people would apply to the job. It was pretty much impossible for children to find a job to support them during The Great Depression. Moving from train to train, the children of the depression had to learn to grow up fast. Most middle-classed children were now borderline homeless and poor. They would sleep in abandoned box cars and somehow find ways to survive. Some would beg. Others would result to stealing and running from the cops. Children were faced with huge difficulties during this time. The children that traveled from boxcars and trains soon became known as, “Box Car Children.” There have been many books published based on boxcar children. My favorite books growing up were called “The Boxcar Children,” by Gertrude C. Warner. There were four main characters in the books and now there are over 100 books in the series. Growing up, I did not actually realize that the books were based on real events from the Great Depression. The books told the stories of the children and...
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