Orphan Train Rider: One Boy's True Story

( 18 )

Overview

Between 1854 and 1930, more than 200,000 orphaned or abandoned children were sent west on orphan trains to find new homes. Some were adopted by loving families; others were not as fortunate. In recent years, some of the riders have begun to share their stories. Andrea Warren alternates chapters about the history of the orphan trains with the story of Lee Nailling, who in 1926 rode an orphan train to Texas.

Discusses the placement of over 200,000 orphaned or abandoned...

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Orphan Train Rider: One Boy's True Story

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Overview

Between 1854 and 1930, more than 200,000 orphaned or abandoned children were sent west on orphan trains to find new homes. Some were adopted by loving families; others were not as fortunate. In recent years, some of the riders have begun to share their stories. Andrea Warren alternates chapters about the history of the orphan trains with the story of Lee Nailling, who in 1926 rode an orphan train to Texas.

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
From the Publisher

"A fascinating book about a social movement that predated today's foster homes, adoption agencies, and homeless shelters." School Library Journal, Starred
School Library Journal, Starred Review - Shirley Wilton
From School Library Journal
Grade 4 and up. Between 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.
Children's Literature
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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395913628
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 186,473
  • Age range: 9 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 960L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author


Andrea Warren's books about children are the result of her passion for history and her interest in young readers. She has been a professional writer for twenty years and works from her home office in the Kansas City area. Her first book for Houghton Mifflin, Orphan Train Rider, won the 1996 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for nonfiction.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    It's so interesting to see history through the eyes of someone w

    It's so interesting to see history through the eyes of someone who was there.  I felt as if I were on an orphan train myself.  Andrea Warren's writing is excellent.  She brings history to life.  What a fine book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2013

    Well written, meticulously researched, and totally fascinating.

    Well written, meticulously researched, and totally fascinating.  Orphan Trail Rider is a great read. I can recommend it for children, young adults and adults.   

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2013

    If you want a child in your life to love history, give him or he

    If you want a child in your life to love history, give him or her one of Andrea Warren's books. Orphan Train Rider is based on interviews with a man who remembers with poignant detail his own experience on an "orphan train." I gave this book to my mother, whose cousins were also orphan train riders. It provoked many memories of their stories. I'll never forget the description of them standing on the station platform hoping to be chosen by a family. The experiences these orphan children had were not universally good and many were exploited and mistreated. But some, like my mother's cousins, were welcomed and loved. This is a book your whole family will talk about.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2009

    A true story of fear, anger and love...

    Andrea Warren's story is about the journey on one boy and his brothers. The boys were taken to an orphanage by their father and eventually they boarded the Orphan Train heading west. Lee the oldest boy tells how angry and hurt he was by being left and his hope that someday he would be reunited with his family. Each of the boys were raised by a different family, but were allowed to see each other making this heart warming story of hope and resiliance.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 13, 2013

    An excellent book.  Beautifully written and impeccably researche

    An excellent book.  Beautifully written and impeccably researched.  Andrea Warren is a superb storyteller.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2014

    Just OK

    This is one of the shortest books ever - only a few pages long. If I would have known this I wouldn't have spent the money to get it.

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  • Posted September 11, 2013

    In years past, as today, there have always been children who fin

    In years past, as today, there have always been children who find themselves needing a home outside of their birth families.  In earlier times, families often took in orphaned, or needy children, then immigration and poor jobs and wages, made this all but impossible.  This book tells the story of one man's solution to this problem.  A pastor decided that there was a better solution than housing kids in orphanages.  Thus the Orphan Trains were started from the Children's Aid Society.




    Orphan Trains took inner city kids cross country to give families in the Midwest and south an opportunity to choose kids from the trains to become a part of their family.  Between 1854 and 1930, more than 200,000 children were placed into families by this method.  This book tells one man's journey from his mother's death to his final placement into a good home.  Lee Nailing tells his story from abandonment by his father, splitting up of his siblings, to becoming the "son" of a wonderful family.  He eventually got in touch with a couple of his surviving siblings too.  Parts of other children's experiences were interspersed within this story.  Some poor experiences, but mostly good ones.  




    Children from these trains generally grew up to be good productive citizens, including one governor, a leader in Alaska, leaders in other children's aid groups, and other community leaders.  Very interesting book, good for adults and for teaching children about this part of history.  Pictures included. 

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  • Posted June 7, 2013

    Recommended for the real story behind the orphan trains

    Interesting, very short true story of the orphan train experience from the memory of a man that lived it. Sometimes sad, sometimes heartwarming but certainly always real.

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    Posted February 18, 2014

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    Posted January 29, 2012

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    Posted October 4, 2011

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    Posted February 14, 2011

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    Posted May 13, 2013

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    Posted March 25, 2012

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    Posted November 13, 2012

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