Greg M. Romaneck
The Orphan Trainsby Alice K. Flanagan
Tells the story of how homeless children during the late 1800s and early 1900s were taken to new homes on trains which were known as orphan trains.
Greg M. Romaneck
Meet the Author
Alice Flanagan has written more than 100 titles for children and teachers. Her books include holidays, phonics for beginning readers, career guidance, biographies of U.S. presidents and first ladies, and informational books about famous people and events in American history. Ms. Flanagan lives with her husband in Chicago, Illinois. As a writer/photographer team, they have published several books together. Their travels have taken them to many beautiful places and brought them many lifelong friends.
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This is a scholarly thesis on specific social programs, from the mid-1860's to the early 20th Century, wherein the orphaned or abandoned children of the major Eastern urban centers were sent by rail to new homes in the 'West' - actually the area we think of as the Mid-west today -- in order to give them a better chance at a productive life away from the negative influences of the city streets from which they were 'rescued'. Much detail is presented about the workings and philosophies of the 'placing-out' programs and the people involved in them, both advocates and detractors. Observations, deductions, and arguments are well made, often to the point of tedium. Text is sparsely sprinkled with quotes from letters and interviews with surviving 'out-placed' children grown to adulthood. An interesting read if your subject is the evolution of social programs for children over the past seven decades. Don't expect to learn much about the railroads that participated in the processes -- it's about people, not trains.