Customer Reviews for

Orphan Train

Average Rating 4.5
( 783 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(451)

4 Star

(232)

3 Star

(64)

2 Star

(26)

1 Star

(10)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

47 out of 51 people found this review helpful.

Christina Bake Kline writes exquisitely about two unlikely frien

Christina Bake Kline writes exquisitely about two unlikely friends—one, a 91-year-old survivor of the grinding poverty of rural Ireland, immigrant New York and the hardscrabble Midwest; and the other, a casualty of a string of foster homes. As each struggles to transcen...
Christina Bake Kline writes exquisitely about two unlikely friends—one, a 91-year-old survivor of the grinding poverty of rural Ireland, immigrant New York and the hardscrabble Midwest; and the other, a casualty of a string of foster homes. As each struggles to transcend a past of isolation and hardship, Orphan Train will hold you spellbound.

posted by Cathy__Marie on April 5, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

44 out of 87 people found this review helpful.

Plot spoilers and kids playing

I really wish bn would put a stop to plot spoilers who ruin books by revealing everything in their reviews. It is so rude. And these kids who use the book review site to chat, and roleplay their stupid cat games. Please bn, cant they be fined and banned?

posted by 8888649 on December 29, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 232 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 12
  • Posted April 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Molly is a troubled teen. She's been in and out of foster homes

    Molly is a troubled teen. She's been in and out of foster homes for years, and has learned if you don't depend on anyone, then you won't be let down. After getting herself in a little trouble, she is ordered to perform community service, and finds herself helping an elderly woman sort through boxes of memories in her attic.

    Molly is troubled, but likable. And there is something special there. It's just that no one has taken the time to see her for who she really is. When she is given the opportunity to perform her community service assisting an elderly woman clean out her attic, she figures she'll just bide her time and get it over with as quickly and painlessly as possible. What she doesn't expect is to find a friend.

    91-year-old Vivian knows that she has reached the end of her life, and it is the perfect time to sort through old boxes that hold old memories. As she sorts through boxes, we are led through Vivian's troubled past as an orphan, shipped cross-country by train from New York to Minnesota in hopes of finding her a home.

    I was more fond of the scenes from the 30s than the current moments between Vivian and Molly. I often found the present-day scenes to be somehow unrealistic-- particularly the scenes between Molly and her foster parents.

    The moments between Vivian and Dutchy were touching. The heartbreaks that this little girl endured were devastating and hard to read. You keep hoping she will catch a break and find some happiness and security.

    You can see the parallels between Vivian and Molly, and as you hoped for the best for the young and vulnerable Vivian, you also find yourself hoping that Molly will find happiness and a place to call home.

    My final word: I thought the scenes from Vivian's youth were fabulous! The scenes from Molly's interactions with her foster family seemed to lack...credibility. I liked the relationship that develops between Molly and Vivian, even though near the end some of their interactions seem a little hokey and overdone. Overall I really enjoyed this story, but mostly for the glimpses of the young hapless Vivian. The jumps to present day actually continually pulled me out of the story that I was immersed in, and the move felt somewhat awkward. They felt too much like two different stories. An "A" for the flashback scenes, a "C" for the present day scenes, giving it a "B" overall.

    28 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I received this book from She Reads in exchange for a fair and h

    I received this book from She Reads in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

    Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline was a book that took me by surprise.

    Did you know that between 1854 and 1929 there was an actual orphan train?  The train transported orphans to towns in the US, stopping to try to adopt out the kids.  Adopting out became, in many cases, indentured servitude.

    Orphan Train tells two intermingled stories.  One story is of Molly, who is struggling in foster care, rebelling, and not able to fit in.  When Molly gets in trouble for stealing Jane Eyre from the local library, she has to complete community service hours.  Molly’s hours can be completed by helping Vivian, an older woman who needs to clean out her attic.

    As Molly helps Vivian clean out the attic, Vivian’s story comes into light.  Vivian was an orphan on an orphan train and bounced around from “home” (if you can call indentured servitude “home”) to home, experiencing some troubling situations.

    Orphan Train was a captivating book and made me immediately want to research the real orphan trains.  Thankfully, Christina Baker Kline included some information and pictures in the back of the book, so I had a little bit of a head start on my research.

    I greatly enjoyed Orphan Train and love that it made me aware of a time in history that I had no idea existed.  I would definitely pick up another book by Christina Baker Kline.

    Have you ever heard of the real orphan train???

    Thanks for reading,

    Rebecca @ Love at First Book

    26 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    Awesome!!!

    I loved this book. Amazing storyline and really kept me wanting more. I HATE that I am done with it. I will definatly look into more titles from this author because of this one.

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    very good read

    This was a very good book. It was the kind of book I didn't want to put down. I was unaware that their were orphan trains and thought the author did a great job of bring this historical event to life. It was very interesting. I thought the characters were very vivid and realistic. This is definitely a book I will recommend to friends.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    I loved this book but felt Vivian's story  skipped too much once

    I loved this book but felt Vivian's story  skipped too much once she reached 20 years old. It's not saying I didn't enjoy reading, just that I felt disappointed that we didn't experience more of her life. Molly's story was interesting as well, though it's clear the main focus is Vivian's experience of being a child of the orphan train. The one thing I did not like was the last chapter or two. Without spoiling it, I felt the author modernized Vivian too much in too short of time. Most people I know who are not computer savvy  would not utilize technology the way Vivian does near the end of the story. All in all it's a great historical fiction story. I gave it four stars because I thought the computer stuff thrown in at the end was a little far fetched.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Highly Recommended.

    I wanted to read this book because I had been told there is a possibility that my grandmother traveled to Utah on one of these trains. I had never read and of this history, nor had we learned about it in school. Christina Baker Kline did extensive research on the history of those children, from the time they entered America at Ellis Island, through their journeys on the trains. She has written an amazing story about the hardships of the time, and what happened to many of the children - the losses they endured, and their adaptability. For anyone interested in American history, this is a "must read".

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2014

    Great book!!

    I really loved this story! I couldn't put it down. Lost sleep but it was worth it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    Good story

    I had never heard of orphan trains before. This novel gave a vivid picture of what it would have been like to be uprooted and planted in a family not of your choosing. The author made this story come alive and come together. I have read this with my book club and would encourage others to read it as well

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2013

    Enjoyed how it all worked out

    I picked this story because our local library suggested it and i was happy i did. I may now look for other books adout thiis sudject.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 25, 2013

    Christina Baker Kline's "Orphan Train" intrigued me. D

    Christina Baker Kline's "Orphan Train" intrigued me. Do you have a grandparent that tells you old stories about themselves when they were little? 91-year old Vivian filled her attic with her old stories. Vivian is a survivor of an old Orphan train. Way back to the 1800's, there were millions of orphan children living on the streets of New York City. That was when the orphan trains were introduced to the world. The trains would be filled with orphans, and taken all over the United States, trying to give the kids new lives, and families. It all sounds nice, but in reality, these orphan train events were close to in comparison with Slave Trades. The conditions of he train cars were poor, and when the train arrived to a town, the children would be lined up, and examined to see if they were good enough for labor. Vivian survived this horrible event, and when Molly, a teenage delinquent, is sent to Vivian's house for her community service punishment, she gets introduced to Vivian's past. She learns of Vivian's old friend Dutchy. She discovers that Vivian and herself aren't very different. She gains all of this knowledge, and the taste of ones disastrous history, only by helping an elderly woman clean out her attic full of secrets, and painful memories. I advise you read this book if you're interested in history, or any drama filled book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    I'm a fan of historical fiction and this is one of my absolute f

    I'm a fan of historical fiction and this is one of my absolute favorites.  I felt I received a real education about the orphan trains through an incredible, well thought out story.  I'm nervous that the next book I read won't even come loose to this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 5, 2015

    Easy read

    This was an easy read...interesting but not memorable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2015

    Highly Recommended

    Enjoyed The Orphan Train nice story!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2014

    Great quick read!

    Easy read and interesting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2014

    Thoroughly enjoyable.

    Delightful! I love the history of it and never had heard of the orphan trains. Living in Minnesota, it was fun to read about familiar places. It was sad but full of hope.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2014

    I liked Orphan Train but not as much as My Notorious Life which

    I liked Orphan Train but not as much as My Notorious Life which I read first.  They had similarities which may have tainted my opinion of Orphan Train.  I kept it by my bed and wanted to get up there to read.  The unfolding of Vivian's story was the best part.  I thought the ending was sort of anti-climatic.Both books are selections of  my book club.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2014

    spell bounding

    I really got into this story!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 9, 2014

    Orphan Train - a good ride, a good read

    ORPHAN TRAIN - a very good read & a good book group book. The story is gripping & oh so predictable, but in fact that does not detract from the reading pleasure. Or, it certainly did not detract from mine or my group's. The discussion was lively & enthused. Almost every plot twist can be seen coming from a comfy difference - almost every one - but such is life with its daily keep-on-keeping-on & sudden lifts to joy or slides to tragedy. The story's framework is the meeting of 2 seemingly very different women, one young, one old, who nevertheless (surprise surprise) turn out to have a lot in common, become friends & help each other to be brave as each faces a new & promising challenge. Both women are believable & also lovable; the reader wishes them well as s/he hears their stories. The historical Orphan Trains we had not heard of & author Christina Baker Kline has clearly done her homework, telling the stories of big city orphans in Depression America with heartrending clarity, as well as presenting pictures & small statements from several train riders at the end of the book.
    I recommend Orphan Train, a touching & life affirming read for winter days to come.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2014

    Terrific historical novel

    ...that reminds us that no matter our contemporary struggles and victories, those who are our wise elders have probably already experienced at least as much as we. Wouldnt we be clever to integrate theim and their wisdom more, not less, into our live!s?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 22, 2014

    Nice story and worth the read. 

    Nice story and worth the read. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 232 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 12