Orphan Train by Christine Baker Kline

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Orphan Train by Christine Baker Kline

Post  WRB on Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:52 pm

A solid piece of historical fiction, this story captured me from beginning to end. The past and present are beautifully woven while spinning a tale of twisting emotions. I was not at all familiar with this strange and little known episode in our nation's history.

The orphan trains existed from 1854-1929 and each child has a sad tale; they wouldn't be on the train otherwise. They are told they are lucky to be on this orphan train. They are leaving an evil place, full of ignorance and poverty, for the nobility of country life. They had simple rules to adhere to and if they didn't obey these rules they would be sent back to where they came from and discharged on the streets, left to fend for themselves.

Adoptive parents gathered at the train stations looking for a child to adopt. A child is selected for free on a ninety-day trial, at which point, if you so choose, you may send him back. But too many times the children were abused. Babies and healthy older boys were chosen first; older girls were chosen last. If a child was not chosen, they would get back on the train and try again at the next town.

The author brings richness and life to this compelling story - completely absorbing and wonderfully written. I highly recommend.

WRB

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