Orphan Train Rider

Overview

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.

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.

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Overview

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.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
By the middle of the 1800's, there were thousands of orphans and abandoned children in most major cities of the East. A minister named Charles Loring Brace came up with the idea of placing the kids in homes in the West among families who wanted kids and who could provide them with a wholesome place to grow up. It wasn't perfect, but for many children like Lee Nailling, it was salvation. He rode an orphan train for days out to Texas where a loving family took him in. It is a true story, and as such is compelling in its revelation of Lee's emotions and the well-researched details of this American social experiment.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
From 1854 to 1930, in the biggest children's migration in America's history, more than 200,000 orphaned or abandoned boys and girls were given new clothes, placed on "orphan trains" and brought to towns in the midwest and south in the hope that they would be adopted and well cared for. Andrea Warren writes about this movement to "farm" out unwanted children in chapters that alternate with the moving story of Lee Nailling, one orphan who found a warm and loving home. For almost sixty years, Mr. Nailling was separated from his siblings who had been "trained" to different parts of the country. Their reunion in 1984 nicely ends Ms. Warren's look at a well-meaning, but not always successful movement to help the homeless.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8Between 1854 and 1930, more than 200,000 orphaned and abandoned children from the cities of the eastern seaboard were "placed out" to new homes and families in the midwest and western states. Warren's account of the "orphan-train" phenomena, and of one man's story of how it affected his life, is an excellent introduction to researching or discussing children-at-risk in an earlier generation. The book is clearly written and illustrated with numerous black-and-white photographs and reproductions. The chapters alternate information about the largest agency, the Children's Aid Society, and its history, with the story of Lee Nailling, from whom the author has gathered the facts of his own childhood journey to Texas and his eventual reunion, late in life, with some of his long-lost siblings. Human interest is skillfully interspersed with factual information to create a fascinating book about a social movement that predated today's foster homes, adoption agencies, and homeless shelters. Annette R. Fry's The Orphan Trains (New Discovery, 1994) is written for the same age group and efficiently provides detailed information for research and reports. Eve Bunting's Train to Somewhere (Clarion, 1996), a picture book, tells the story for younger children. Together these books offer opportunities for discussion about the sometimes happy and sometimes misguided efforts to care for the orphaned and abandoned in our country's past. But if only one book can be acquired, Warren's title offers a wealth of information and is rich in human interest. It should be the primary purchase.Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Carolyn Phelan
From 1854 to 1930, the orphan trains took homeless children from cities in the East to new homes in the West, the Midwest, and the South. In Warren's book, one man's memories of his childhood abandonment and adoption give a personal slant on the subject. Chapters telling the story of Lee Nailing, who took an orphan train west in 1926, alternate with chapters filling in background information about the trains and the experiences of other children who rode them to their destinies. Throughout the book, black-and-white photos show both the people and places in Nailing's story and the broader topic of the orphan train experience. Children will find this a good resource on an intriguing subject.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780780792005
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/1/1999
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 1,480,519
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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