Orphan Train

Orphan Train

Large Print - 2019
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"Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by luck and chance. This is the story of one such child. As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are reminders of a turbulent past. Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship."--Back cover.
Publisher: New York : HarperLuxe, [2019]
Edition: Large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780062887870
Branch Call Number: LPF KLINE, CHRISTINA
Characteristics: 424 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print,rda


From the critics

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Sep 19, 2020

Wow!! I just finished this wonderful book. Found it very hard to put down but I guess it was necessary to sleep and eat so I managed to break away. The story is very engrossing and is also very moving. I've tried to recommend the book to all my friends but it turns out that everyone I know has already read it. Guess I'm just a late bloomer but I'll be looking into her other books now.

Jul 26, 2020

Very good read of history of orphans in American history

May 16, 2020

Excellent quick read! Captivating too

Mar 20, 2020

At first I did not like the jumping back and forth from the past to the present. However, the author did an excellent job of blending the stories together. Life as an orphan from Ireland and yet as a nine year old child is heart wrenching. Thought of as a street urchin, thief, dirty and worthless is heart breaking. Like any child who wants love and approval from family she was welling to become a slave to those who never returned that love. So many questions to be answered and thankfully the author answers many of them as the story progresses.

Mar 19, 2020

This book was the topic of a lot of book clubs and I picked it up to see what all the talk was about. I was not disappointed. I knew nothing about the history of the "orphan trains" in the United States. The story flows simultaneously with Molly, a 17 year old modern day orphan in the system and 91 year old Vivian, an elderly widow with a story of her own. The reader follows their stories and the more you find out about the past, the more you love them both. If you love historical fiction and a book that makes you want to learn more, then this book is for you. I loved it and spent time afterwards researching the orphan train history.

Jan 27, 2020

I'm glad that what happened to orphans during this period gains increasing attention and remembrance through historical novels. I enjoyed this one, and how it wove the parallel stories together.

Dec 05, 2019

I really liked the one story line, but the other (modern) one felt trite. I wanted to skip the chapters about Molly and go straight to the Vivian goodness. I'm sure their stories eventually overlap and intertwine better (I imagine through them getting to know each other and telling their stories) but I got bored of/annoyed with the flat Molly story too quickly to get to that point. Wish I could just skip over her chapters and still read a complete book! Ultimately didn't finish it because the book was due to be returned and it didn't grab me, but if you put it in front of me with no time limit I would probably keep going.

Nov 01, 2019

Good for CASA volunteers

Sep 20, 2019

Returning for long wait list - will try later.

Aug 06, 2019

I knew very little about these orphan trains which brought thousands of children from New York to the American mid-west in the late 1920s. The author’s research on the topic was excellent and the way she brought together a 91 year-old train rider (Vivian) and a 17 year-old « rebel ». (Molly) who is a ward of the children’s aid society of Maine. As Molly helps Vivian sort through decades of boxes in her attic, she discovers how love, resilience, heartbreak and rejection do not necessarily equal a bad life. The reader becomes very attached to these two characters. There is an interesting twist near the end of the novel. Well worth reading.

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Jul 24, 2015

Magicworld thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

May 12, 2015

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Jun 11, 2014

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Jun 22, 2013

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Feb 02, 2019

Favorite quotes from the book:
“I've come to think that's what heaven is- a place in the memory of others where our best selves live on.”
“You got to learn to take what people are willing to give.”

Jul 24, 2015

“I feel a joy so strong it’s almost painful—a knife’s edge of joy.”


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