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1924 First Edition of The Boxcar Children

Celebrating the 95 anniversary of the first edition of the first book The Boxcar Children by Gertrude C. Warner


We titled the Chanticleer International Book Awards (CIBAs) division for middle-grade readers The Gertrude Warner Awards in honor the author of the well-loved children’s The Boxcar Children Series.

Gertrude Warner Children's Chapter Books

The black-and-white silhouette illustrations are by the artist L. Kate Deal was published in 1942.


Born on April 16, 1890, to a well educated New England family, Gertrude Chandler Warner was a sickly child who suffered from regular attacks of bronchitis which prevented her from attending high school. During one of these illnesses, she came up with the idea for The Boxcar Children. She was called to teach first grade in 1918 when the male teachers were called to serve in World War I. She returned to school in the summer to complete her education at Yale.

Her story of four orphaned children making something out of nothing has captivated readers, young and old alike, ever since 1924. Gertrude Warner published the second in the series in 1949 after retiring from teaching school. She then went on to write seventeen more stories. Other authors have since added to the series. It continues to be widely popular with today’s youngsters.



Today, visitors to the Gertrude Chandler Warner Boxcar Children Museum in Putman, Connecticut can see the very desk on which the famed author wrote her first story when she was just nine years old. It is this spirit of youthful endurance of Gertrude Warner that inspired Chanticleer Reviews to name its awards for middle-grade fiction after her.

The Gertrude Warner Book Awards for Middle-Grade Readers Hall of Fame First Place and Grand Prize winners!




2018 Gertrude Warner Book Awards for Middle-Grade Readers First in Category Winners

  • Keelic and the Pathfinders of Midgarth by Alexander Edlund
  • Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend by Cheryl Carpinello
  • The Portals of Peril by Jules Luther
  • From the Shadows by KB Shaw
  • Tallulah’s Flying Adventure by Gloria Two-Feathers
  • Vampire Boy by Aric Cushing
  • The Adventures of Rug Bug by Kay M. Bates

The 2018 Gertrude Warner Book Awards Grand Prize:

The PORTALS of PERIL (a manuscript) by Jules Luther 


2017 Gertrude Warner Book Awards for Middle-Grade Readers First in Category Winners

  • The Supernatural Pet Sitter by Diane Moat
  • Bryce Bumps His Head by Robert D. Calkins
  • Brainwashed: The Crime Travelers Series by Paul Aertker
  • The Queen and Knights of Nor by Rebekah Stelzer/R.L.Stelzer
  • Lucky Rocks by Murray Richter
  • Flowerantha by Bek Castro
  • The Strange Case of Mr. Beets by A Pharmacist on a Yak (Anand Vora)  

The 2017 Gertrude Warner Book Awards Grand Prize:



2016 Gertrude Warner Book Awards for Middle-Grade Readers First in Category Winners

  • Life On Base: Quantico Cave by Tom & Nancy Wise
  • The Train from Outer Space by Alan Sproles and Lizanne Southgate
  • The Mystery of Hollow Inn by Tara Ellis
  • Ethyr by M.P. Follin
  • I, Mary by Mike Hartner

The 2016 Gertrude Warner Book Awards Grand Prize:

THE TRAIN FROM OUTER SPACE by Alan Sproles & Lizanne Southgate



HOW DO YOU HAVE YOUR BOOKS COMPETE? Submit them to the Chanticleer International Book Awards – Click here for more information about The CIBAs! 

Gertrude Warner Children's Chapter Books

Want to be a winner next year? The deadline to submit your book for the Gertrude Warner awards is May 31, 2019. Enter here!

The deadline for 2019 submissions has been extended to June 15, 2019. Grand Prize and First Place Winners for 2019 will be announced on April 18, 2020.

Any entries received on or after June 16, 2019, will be entered into the 2020 Gertrude Warner Book Awards. The Grand Prize and First Place for 2020 CIBA winners will be held on April 17, 2021.

 As our deadline draws near, don’t miss this opportunity to earn the distinction your Middle-Grade Reader deserves!  Enter today!

The GERTRUDE WARNER Book Awards is a division of the Chanticleer International Book Awards – the CIBAs.

The 2019 winners will be announced at the CIBA  Awards Ceremony on April 18, 2020,  that will take place during the 2020 Chanticleer Authors Conference. All Semi-Finalists and First Place category winners will be recognized, the first place winners will be whisked up on stage to receive their custom ribbon and wait to see who among them will take home the Grand Prize. It’s an exciting evening of dinner, networking, and celebrations! 

Don’t delay! Enter today!