Best 1906 Adventures (10)

By: Joshua Glenn
November 1, 2016

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1906 adventure novels. Happy 110th anniversary!



Edith Nesbit’s YA adventure The Railway Children.

I’m a huge fan of Nesbit’s fantasy novels for young readers — the Psammead series, the House of Arden series, The Enchanted Castle, The Magic City — but I like her non-fantasy yarns, too. This one concerns three well-to-do children who are whisked out of their comfortable London life and into a life of relative penury in the country; their father, we discover, is in prison for a crime he did not commit. Roberta, Peter, and Phyllis — the girls prefer to be called Bobbie and Phil — wander the countryside, particularly along the railroad tracks, without the slightest bit of adult supervision, getting themselves into scrapes. They save a baby from a burning houseboat, aid a Russian immigrant who has lost his money and family, and — when a “landslip” covers the railroad tracks, risk their lives to stop the passenger train. Nesbit’s protagonists, as always, are imperfect, quarrelsome, muddle-headed… and terrific.

Fun fact: The Railway Children was adapted for screen several times. The 7-episode 1968 BBC series is considered one of the 100 best British TV programs ever made.


Let me know if I’ve missed any 1906 adventures that you particularly admire.


Adventure, Lit Lists