The Railway Children

The Railway Children follows the adventures of Roberta, Peter and Phyllis, who move with their mother from London to a house near a railway station in the countryside.

Their father has been put in prison for spying, but the children know he is not guilty. When they become friends with a man who regularly takes the 9:15 train, they ask for help to prove that their father is innocent.

Besides trying to get their father back, the children have a whole lot of other adventures. They help a Russian man who comes to England looking for his family and take care of a boy who breaks his leg in a tunnel.

Written by Edith Nesbit, The Railway Children was originally published as a serial in The London Magazine before being published as a book in 1906. A popular film version of the book was made in 1970.


You can buy this story as a graded reader book (with an audio CD). It is suitable for B1 (Intermediate) level students of English (the book comes with an audio CD so you can listen to the story as you read along). Get this book here.


railway station, noun [C], a place where trains stop for passengers to get on and off
prison, noun, [C, U], a building where people are kept as a punishment for a crime
spy, verb, to secretly collect information about an enemy country
guilty (of a crime), adjective, having done something that is a crime
prove, verb, to show that something is true by providing facts
innocent, adjective, not guilty of a crime
take care of, phrasal verb, to protect or care for someone
tunnel, noun [C], a passage that has been dug under the ground for cars or trains to go through
serial, noun [C], a story that is shown or printed in several separate parts on television or in a magazine

Picture: Andrew via Flickr, CC-BY-SA 2.0

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