Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Review - Orphan Train

Orphan Train is probably one of my favorites of the year.  I hadn't heard about the whole orphan train phenomenon until I read The Chaperone earlier this year.  My favorite part of that book was the part about traveling to the midwest, so I was curious if there were other books about that topic.  Then I saw Orphan Train on the bestseller list and put it on my hold list at the library.  

This was another book that jumped from modern day to the past.  This seems to be more and more popular (or maybe I'm just in a phase where I read books like this?).  As with most of the books like this, I prefer the historical parts to the modern chapters, but I liked the modern chapters of this book much better than most.  Kline really made me care about both of the main characters.

The modern plot centers around a teenager in foster care who has been passed around for her whole life, and never had a home or really anyone who cared about her much.  She ends up meeting an elderly woman and helps her clean/organize her home, which is full of things that trigger old memories for the old woman.  So the chapters jump back to her early life, and we learn as we go what happened to her.

It's incredible to think about the things that were happening in America just 100 years ago.  I mean, a train full of orphans that they just give away to random people at the train station??  That's crazy!  


  1. This sounds so interesting! I love books that have two perspectives or two stories at once. This is going on my list!

  2. I really enjoyed this one too - I like books that give you some historical fiction that alternates with a modern-day story (though I always enjoy the present day portions more...). And I really liked the characters in both parts.

  3. I think I might need to read this, apparently my grandfather was on the Orphan Trains back in the day. I will have to mention this to my mom too, I think she'd be interested in reading it! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Apparently I missed that this was a thing too! Is it a YA novel?

  5. I have had this on my To Read list for awhile and am happy to hear that you liked it.

    Like you I was stunned to find out that they really put these kids on trains to the Midwest and that that was the extent of the planning! Crazy.

  6. We just recently read this in book club, so good!