Read what people think about Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, and write your own review.

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

Orphan Train

By Christina Baker Kline

Orphan Train
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Apr 2013,
    304 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Reviews

Page 1 of 1
There are currently 5 reader reviews for Orphan Train
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Kyle (12/05/13)

Orphan Train
I’m not sure that I have ever heard of orphan trains that took 200,000 children from the coast to the midwest to find their families. Another good, sometimes tragic event in American history. This book poses a question: What would be the important things you take with you throughout your life from past experiences? This book also had an interesting way of combining and melding the past and present. While there is some strong adult language, this book is a great read for those who enjoy historical fiction.
Dorothy T. (11/29/13)

Two stories intertwined
This novel takes a look at an idea in American history that should have worked more consistently than it apparently did. During the late 1800s through the early 1900s orphans from the disadvantaged areas of the eastern US were transported by train to the Midwest to be adopted by families there. Some families were good to these children, some only wanted cheap labor. One of the two main characters of Orphan Train, Vivian, was one of these children, and we watch how her life turned out as she shares her story with the other main character, Molly, who has a similar background in the present, that of being shuttled from place to place. I was engaged as these two girls dealt with what life handed them and the people who were meant to care for them.

I might have given this a 5 rating, except that like so many contemporary writers Kline finds it necessary to resort to vulgar language in the modern sections of the story.
Becky H (04/27/13)

Finding a family
This novel will appeal to both teens and adults. Orphan Train tells two interlocking stories. The first concerns a frustrated, angry teen who has been bounced around the foster care system from one uncaring “home” to another, unloved and generally unwanted. Molly, half Indian, has stolen a library book and is now forced to do 50 hours of community service. Through her boyfriend she finds herself helping Vivian, a 90 year old woman who wants help “clearing out” her attic of a lifetime’s worth of boxes and mementos.
Vivian’s story, told in flashback and the more fleshed out of the two stories, is that of an Irish immigrant child orphaned and then sent from New York to the Midwest on one of the “Orphan Trains” organized by the Children’s Aid Society. The children are often no more than “cheap labor” to the receiving families and this is Vivian’s fate.
Realistic in both tales, the novel gives a vivid and accurate portrait of life for unwanted children in two eras. Mother/daughter book groups will find much to discuss - family, adoption, family services, poverty, child labor, education, faith, “acting out”, tattoos, belonging – among others. Adults will likely find Vivian’s story easier to relate to, especially the topic of adoption and seeking one’s birth family.
Louise J (04/23/13)

Truly an Amazing Story!
The Orphan Train was a phenomenal story that affected me deeply. My heart went out to all the children on the orphan train. I will most definitely be recommending this wonderful masterpiece to all who’ll listen. Orphan Train gets a huge thumbs up from me! Thank you Ms. Kline for a most interesting and intriguing story.
Karen R (03/19/13)

Excellent story
I loved this story of two women who grew up as orphans in different eras. The chapters alternate between present day and the 1930's. The elderly 91 year old woman and teen Molly are brought together after troubled Molly has to do 50 hours of community service to avoid being sent to a juvenile detention center. Molly chooses what she thinks is an easy one - clean the 91 year old Vivian's attic. This seemingly small task enriched Molly's life in a way she couldn't have imagined. In fact, the project enhances the lives of both women and I did not want the story to end. It was that good.
  • Page
  • 1

More Information

Readalikes

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  254Cartwheel:
    Jennifer duBois
  2.  170The Weight of Blood:
    Laura McHugh

All Discussions

Who Said...

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.