Sunday, February 22, 2015

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

I absolutely love history.....

I have traveled all over the place to visit historic sites and museums; ain't nothing like living history. However, I also appreciate the value of reading a great story to learn or peak my interest about different aspects of history.

This novel, Orphan Train, is about a fictitious lady named Vivian, an orphan, who was put on an orphan train in order to hopefully be selected by a loving family.

Now, I read a lot and know quite a bit, but I had never heard of orphan trains, and so I did a little research, and there really was a time in history when there were orphan trains.

According to CBS news "from 1854 to 1929, hundreds of thousands of young children boarded trains in New York City, to be shipped west where they would find new families. Known as the Orphan Train, the program to relocate orphaned and abandoned children was operated largely by The Children's Aid Society and the New York Foundling Hospital."

On a side note, I am totally convinced that many of the things that we may want to know are not taught in schools. So, my readers, I am pleading with you to read more and to encourage your children, if you have any, to read.

In this novel Orphan Train, Kline does a great job of mingling the stories of a present day orphan, Molly, with that of  Vivian, an orphan from the 20s. These two ladies meet, and the reader learns their incredible stories of perseverance.

Reading this story, I was thinking: "Both ladies ended up in pretty good situations, and isn't that what happens in novels?" However, my second mind thought: "Isn't that what happens in real life quite often as well?"

This is a well-written, thought-provoking novel that can teach the reader a lot about The Great Depression, orphan trains, human compassion, suffering, love, resilience, the value of telling our stories, and so much more.

This book was recommended to me by my sister, Dot, and I am thankful that she helped me to break my bad luck streak of reading a few books, in a row, that did not do it for me.

If you want a good story, want to feel good, and learn, I highly recommend Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.

Christina Baker Kline

Happy Sunday, and Happy Reading!

My next read is The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill.

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