The #1 New York Times Bestseller Now featuring a sneak peek at Christina's forthcoming novel The Exiles, coming September 2020. “A lovely novel about the search for family that also happens to illuminate a fascinating and forgotten chapter of America’s history. Beautiful.”—Ann Packer 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 woman clean out her home 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 novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, and unexpected friendship.
From Christina Baker Kline comes a novel about two women: one about to age out of the foster care system, the other 90 years old and carrying both a tremendous secret and a story of a life formed by a part of American history almost entirely forgotten: the Orphan Trains Molly Ayer has one last chance, and she knows it. Close to being kicked out of her foster home -- just months from turning 18 and “aging out” of the system -- Molly should be grateful that her boyfriend found her a community service project: helping an old lady clean out her home. Molly can’t help but think that the 50 hours will be tedious, but at least they’ll keep her out of juvie, and right now that’s all she cares about. Ninety-one-year-old Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine for decades. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are keys to a turbulent past. Molly is about to discover -- as she and Vivian unpack her possessions, and memories -- that Vivian’s story is a piece of America’s tumultuous history now largely forgotten: the tale of a young Irish immigrant, orphaned in New York City and put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other orphaned children whose destiny would be determined by luck and chance. As Molly digs deeper, she finds surprising parallels in her own experience as a Penobscot Indian and Vivian’s story -- and Molly realizes that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life. Rich in detail and epic in scope, THE TRAIN RIDER is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, of unexpected friendships, and of the secrets we carry with us that keep us from finding out who we are.
The true story behind Christina Baker Kline’s bestselling novel is revealed in this “engaging and thoughtful history” of the Children’s Aid Society (Los Angeles Times). A powerful blend of history, biography, and adventure, Orphan Trains fills a grievous gap in the American story. Tracing the evolution of the Children’s Aid Society, this dramatic narrative tells the fascinating tale of one of the most famous—and sometimes infamous—child welfare programs: the orphan trains, which spirited away some two hundred fifty thousand abandoned children into the homes of rural families in the Midwest. In mid-nineteenth-century New York, vagrant children, whether orphans or runaways, filled the streets. The city’s solution for years had been to sweep these children into prisons or almshouses. But a young minister named Charles Loring Brace took a different tack. With the creation of the Children’s Aid Society in 1853, he provided homeless youngsters with shelter, education, and, for many, a new family out west. The family matching process was haphazard, to say the least: at town meetings, farming families took their pick of the orphan train riders. Some children, such as James Brady, who became governor of Alaska, found loving homes, while others, such as Charley Miller, who shot two boys on a train in Wyoming, saw no end to their misery. Complete with extraordinary photographs and deeply moving stories, Orphan Trains gives invaluable insights into a creative genius whose pioneering, if controversial, efforts inform child rescue work today.
This young readers’ edition of Christina Baker Kline’s #1 New York Times bestselling novel Orphan Train follows a twelve-year-old foster girl who forms an unlikely bond with a ninety-one-year-old woman. Adapted and condensed for a young audience, Orphan Train Girl includes an author’s note and archival photos from the orphan train era. This book is especially perfect for mother/daughter reading groups. Molly Ayer has been in foster care since she was eight years old. Most of the time, Molly knows it’s her attitude that’s the problem, but after being shipped from one family to another, she’s had her fair share of adults treating her like an inconvenience. So when Molly’s forced to help an a wealthy elderly woman clean out her attic for community service, Molly is wary. But from the moment they meet, Molly realizes that Vivian isn’t like any of the adults she’s encountered before. Vivian asks Molly questions about her life and actually listens to the answers. Soon Molly sees they have more in common than she thought. Vivian was once an orphan, too—an Irish immigrant to New York City who was put on a so-called "orphan train" to the Midwest with hundreds of other children—and she can understand, better than anyone else, the emotional binds that have been making Molly’s life so hard. Together, they not only clear boxes of past mementos from Vivian’s attic, but forge a path of friendship, forgiveness, and new beginnings.
Discusses the placement of over 200,000 orphaned or abandoned children in homes throughout the Midwest from 1854 to 1929 by recounting the story of one boy and his brothers.
Learn about the homeless city children who were taken out West to have new homes in the early 1900s.
Discover the true story of seven orphans who were settled with families in the Midwest by the Children's Aid Society.
Four Wabanaki women from four centuries of tribal history recall the long, tragic history of initial European contact and subsequent disease, warfare, and displacement.
"From 1850 to 1930 America witnessed a unique emigration and resettlement of at least 200,000 children and several thousand adults, primarily from the East Coast to the West. This 'placing out,' an attempt to find homes for the urban poor, was best known by the 'orphan trains' that carried the children. Holt carefully analyzes the system, initially instituted by the New York Children's Aid Society in 1853, tracking its imitators as well as the reasons for its creation and demise. She captures the children's perspective with the judicious use of oral histories, institutional records, and newspaper accounts. This well-written volume sheds new light on the multifaceted experience of children's immigration, changing concepts of welfare, and Western expansion. It is good, scholarly social history."—Library Journal
TEN-YEAR-OLD JAMES CANNOT IMAGINE THE FATE THAT AWAITS HIM AND THE PRETTY LITTLE GIRL WHO SITS NEXT TO HIM ON THE INFAMOUS ORPHAN TRAIN. ..".a superb, coarse-grained voice that makes you want more...the Ozark's new narrator who will stand with Alan Le May, A.B. Guthrie, and of course, the above-mentioned Greg Matthews."-Reavis Z. Wortham, author of the "Red River Mystery Series." James is ten when he is taken from a New York orphanage and sent out west on one of the infamous orphan trains, meeting a pretty little girl on his journey who will one day become the core of his existence and the source of his deepest despair. "Gripping from the first sentence to the last-I could not put this book down...An outstanding debut novel from author Steve Brigman."-Diane Moody, author of "Of Windmills and War" and "A Runaway Pastor's Wife." "Brigman is an excellent writer. I could see the characters vividly in my mind as I read the story."-Rolland Love, author of "Blue Hole" and "River's Edge."
Describes the journey many orphan children took looking for families and homes to call their own.
1990 – In his upscale New York residence, Harvey is not surprised when Jim visits him. He has been expecting him for seventy years. They met on a trip of the « Orphan Train Riders ». They were among the tens of thousands kids from the streets who were sent to the American West where people were looking for children to love – as well as cheap labour force. 1920 – This is the story of their long journey, made of friendship, mutual assistance... but also betrayal. The journey of those who, despite of being well born, would do anything to be well adopted.