Orphan Train

Orphan Train

by Christina Baker Kline
4.4 825

Paperback(Original)

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Overview

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train is an unforgettable story of friendship and second chances that highlights a little-known but historically significant movement in America’s past—and it includes a special PS section for book clubs featuring insights, interviews, and more.

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse...

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life—answers that will ultimately free them both.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061950728
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/02/2013
Edition description: Original
Pages: 278
Sales rank: 592
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 890L (what's this?)

About the Author

Christina Baker Kline is the author of five novels. She lives outside of New York City and on the coast of Maine.

Customer Reviews

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Orphan Train 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 825 reviews.
Cathy__Marie More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Great story. I couldn't put it down. didn't want it to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having my own Irish relatives who were shipped out west on an orphan train, this book got me inspired to learn more! I absolutely loved it. Anyone who loved A Tree Grows In Brooklyn will like this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another book that I bought as a cheapie, kept me reading until the wee hours. American history is fascinating and worth reading about. Buy it, you'll like it.
RebeccaScaglione More than 1 year ago
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
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story about two different women that end up sharing a similar journey. I read the whole book in two days.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Mom-in-Missouri More than 1 year ago
Christina Baker Kline's novel Orphan Train is a definate read. This book set in present time as Vivian a 91 year old woman who takes on a girl to help with her community service hours. Little does Molly know, her and Vivian spark a unique friendship cleaning out the attic. Kline take you back to 1929, to many immigrants searching for the American dream, to the trials of loss and struggles during the Orphan Train runs from the east through the Mid-West. Where many children were placed into loving homes or brought into for hard labor. This book will take you through the trials and struggles of a young girl on the Orphan Train, while you are shown the bond of a friendship between the Molly and Vivian. Kline captures the hearts of two women struggling with their own ghosts and hoping to forgive a past that haunts them as their friendship is started.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Giovina More than 1 year ago
Christina Baker Kline deserves very high marks for choosing a subject that both enlightens and educates us at the same time. All though this book is a novel, it is based on factual events. The plight of countless orphans during the Great Migration to the Mid West in the early 1900s became a blessing for some children, a never ending horror for others. The pages will fly through your fingers; anxious to read what happens next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How interesting! A wonderful, sad but heartwarming story set against a historical background, like Titanic and the such. The characters spoke to me and I felt a part of their struggle. Books like this make you appreciate what life is like now and grateful is back in your vocabulary. A definite worthwhile book to read and recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never given five stars to a book. I read it in two days and thought about the characters when I wasn't reading it. The author brings you into the world of the main character and develops it so richly that I felt all her highs and lows. I wish it didn't end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book that I've read in a while. Christina Bake Kline did an awesome job with this book. Molly and Vivian are two characters that will stay with you even after the book ends. The generation gab is unexpected but the story would not be the same if the two characters had not been placed together. I recommend this book to anyone that wants to read an inspirational book for women.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful story! What a well researched & beautifully written story.  Can't wait to read Kline's other novels.  Loved this book!
Marthaeo More than 1 year ago
This book was a good read. I had never heard of the "orphan trains" before. Without giving away anything of the plot, it's hard to comment, but I did find parts a little unbelievable, too "convenient." All in all, it was good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this story! I couldn't put it down. Lost sleep but it was worth it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book brought tears to my eyes more than a few times. I will read more of her books.
msbunnyNH More than 1 year ago
Light, entertaining. Little depth. Not riveting, so a good carry-with-you book. would have given it a 3 1/2 if that were available.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an enjoyable and enlightening read. The last part of the bood appeared to be rushed, as if the author realized she had a deadline fast approaching. Otherwise, I have no unfavorable criticisms.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
psycsuz More than 1 year ago
I always like to learn things along with being entertained. This book was hard to put down. I really like how factual it was and appreciate the author's research on the subject. One of the better books I have read.
Dee14 More than 1 year ago
I had opportrunity to hear the author speak at our local library at which she provided the back story to her historical novel. This book will be for our March meeting. Once I started I could not put the book down until I completed the book.