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Orphan Train

Kline, Christina Baker (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Orphan Train


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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 pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude? As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, 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, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges 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.
Authors: Kline, Christina Baker, 1964-
Title: Orphan train
Publisher: New York :, William Morrow,, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: 278, 16 p. :,ill. ;,21 cm.
Local Note: 1 6 15 16 17 18 29 33 53 57 60 61 71 74 76 79 80 97 109 110 113 118 133 138 143 148 149 151 152 153 167 172 173 182 188 193 198 203 210 211 216 222 226 228 231 242 243 244 250 262 263 268 278 280
ISBN: 9780061950728
0061950726
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Report This Mar 19, 2014
  • LaughingOne rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This story grabbed me. I loved seeing the similarities between two almost orphans: 90+-year-old Vivian and 17-year-old Molly. When I first saw the title, I thought this would be about the orphan trains of war-torn Europe. I had no idea there were orphan trains in the US. The research Christina Baker Kline did helped her create totally believable characters in unbelievably harsh conditions. I even enjoyed the jumps between the 1920s/1930s and 2011. Each jump filled in parts of the story. I appreciated the resourcefulness of Molly and Vivian as they managed to survive and even to flourish against the odds. This is going on my "Favourite Reads" list.

Report This Feb 10, 2014
  • Crheneghan rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Orphan train by Christina Baker Kline I enjoyed this fairly straight forward work of historical fiction about two young women born almost 75 years apart, on opposing ends of the twentieth century. Vivian an immigrant from Kinvara, County Galway, Ireland survives the fire that kills most of her family in a tenement in New York and ends up an 8 year old on the orphan train. Molly, part Penobscot Indian is placed in the Foster care system when her father is killed in a car accident. Both have mother's incapable of caring for them. A community service stint brings them together. Each is somewhat outspoken but non judgmental. As they work through the boxes in Vivian's attic, she shares her story which resonates with Molly's own experience, and forms the basis for a school project on portaging and the theme of what one takes with when the life you know is lost and another must begin.

Report This Feb 09, 2014
  • madison382 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book, and liked the way that the author was able to contrast between two orphans, one 91 and the other 17.

Report This Feb 04, 2014
  • rosenyny rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I thought the underlying premise of the story is very interesting and worthy of telling--how abandoned children living on the streets of NYC were shipped to the mid-west in an attempt to have them placed with at least minimum shelter and provision. However, I found the writing to be more of Young Adult fiction level. The characters are fairly one dimensional and stereotyped. There are very contrived plot twists that are somewhat annoying and at times seemingly completely out of character. I was hoping for a much more serious read given the subject matter. It's quick read and not terrible but just not deeply satisfying.

Report This Jan 15, 2014
  • FRANCYNE PELCHAR rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Marvelous novel. One of its themes in another period in USA history in which there was commoditization of human beings. (1854-1929) Children from orphanages in NYC were delivered to towns in the midwest to be taken in by families. Some were wanted/ loved. Others were treated like unpaid servants, ill-fed, ill-clad. Another theme of the book is friendship across the generations, the relationship between a 90 year old woman who was an orphan train child and a teenage girl in foster care with a family that while not treating her as badly as some of the orphan train kids were treated, clearly does not love and cherish her.

Report This Jan 06, 2014
  • pattyloucor67 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Addicting story of two people whose lives are affected by being orphans in a system not very unchanged from the early 1900's. Vivian survived the Orphan Train, had brief stays with cruel and unsympathetic Midwestern families. Molly survives foster homes and stumbles upon Vivian as penance for stealing a copy of Jane Eyre from the library. As Molly interview Vivian for a history class research project, both women come to terms with their past experiences. I loved this book more than I expected to!

I really enjoyed this book. Looked forward to reading it every day. Loved the storyline between Viv and Molly. Am going to look into other books to learn more about the orphan trains.

I loved it. Wonderful. Couldn't put it down.

Report This Dec 08, 2013
  • Jane60201 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

It was an ok read. As a social worker, it seemed to me to be too lightweight and sentimental. Kind of a "chick read" such as you would find in a womens magazine.

Report This Nov 24, 2013
  • becker rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The story was enjoyable but I found the writing a bit juvenille.

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Report This Jun 22, 2013
  • suzee5454 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

suzee5454 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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