Cover image for Orphan train
Title:
Orphan train
Author:
Kline, Christina Baker, 1964-
Edition:
[Large print ed.]
Publication Information:
Waterville, Maine : Kennebec Large Print, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2013.

©2013
Physical Description:
458 pages (large print) : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Summary:
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.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9781410460523

9781594137372
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Material Type
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Status
Audubon Library LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print Large Print
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Grand Island Library LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print Large Print
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Collins Library LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print Large Print
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Lancaster Library LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print Large Print
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Central Library LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print
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Central Library LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print
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Summary

Summary

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?

As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.

Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.


Author Notes

Christina Baker Kline was born in 1964 in Cambridge, England. She received a BA in English from Yale University, a MA in literature from Cambridge University, and a MFA from the University of Virginia. Her essays and articles have appeared in several periodicals including The San Francisco Chronicle, the Literarian, Coastal Living, More, and Psychology Today. Kline served as Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University from 2007 to 2011, where she taught graduate and undergraduate creative writing and literature. She also teaches in the Fordham-in-London program at the University of London, Heythrop College. She has taught literature and creative writing at Yale Univeristy, NYU, the University of Virginia, and Drew University, and has served as Writer-in-Residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

She is the author of several novels including Sweet Water, Desire Lines, The Way Life Should Be, Bird in Hand, and Orphan Train. She is also the co-editor, with Anne Burt, of About Face: Women Write about What They See When They Look in the Mirror and the co-author, with Christina L. Baker, of The Conversation Begins: Mothers and Daughters Talk about Living Feminism. She has edited three other anthologies: Child of Mine, Room to Grow, and Always Too Soon.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A long journey from home and the struggle to find it again form the heart of the intertwined stories that make up this moving novel. Foster teen Molly is performing community-service work for elderly widow Vivian, and as they go through Vivian's cluttered attic, they discover that their lives have much in common. When Vivian was a girl, she was taken to a new life on an orphan train. These trains carried children to adoptive families for 75 years, from the mid-nineteenth century to the start of the Great Depression. Novelist Kline (Bird in Hand, 2009) brings Vivian's hardscrabble existence in ­Depression-era Minnesota to stunning life. Molly's present-day story in Maine seems to pale in comparison, but as we listen to the two characters talk, we find grace and power in both of these seemingly disparate lives. Although the girls are vulnerable, left to the whims of strangers, they show courage and resourcefulness. Kline illuminates a largely hidden chapter of American history, while portraying the coming-of-age of two resilient young women.--Thoreson, Bridget Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Kline's absorbing new novel (after Bird in the Hand) is a heartfelt page-turner about two women finding a sense of home. Seventeen-year-old Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer has spent most of her life in foster care. When she's caught stealing a copy of Jane Eyre from the library, in an effort to keep the peace with her stressed foster parents, she ends up cleaning out elderly Vivian Daly's attic. Molly learns that Vivian was herself an orphan, an Irish immigrant in New York who was put on the Orphan Train in the late 1920s and tossed from home to home in Minnesota. The growing connection leads Molly to dig deeper into Vivian's life, which allows Molly to discover her own potential and helps Vivian rediscover someone she believed had been lost to her forever. Chapters alternate between Vivian's struggle to find a safe home, both physically and emotionally, in early 20th-century Minnesota, and Molly's similar struggle in modern-day Maine. Kline lets us live the characters' experiences vividly through their skin, and even the use of present tense, which could distract, feels suited to this tale. The growth from instinct to conscious understanding to partnership between the two is the foundation for a moving tale. Agent: Beth Vesel, the Beth Vesel Literary Agency. (Apr. 2) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Kline's latest novel (after Bird in Hand) weaves contemporary and historical fiction into a compelling story about loss, adaptability, and courage. Molly is a rebellious 17-year-old foster child sentenced to community service for stealing a copy of Jane Eyre. She finds a position cleaning out the attic of Vivian, an elderly woman in their coastal Maine town. As Molly sorts through old trunks and boxes, Vivian begins to share stories from her past. Born in County Galway, she immigrated to New York City in 1929. When her family perished in a tenement fire, she was packed off on one of the many orphan trains intended to bring children to Midwestern families who would care for them. Each orphan's lot was largely dependent on the luck of the draw. In this, Vivian's life parallels Molly's, and an unlikely friendship blossoms. VERDICT With compassion and delicacy Kline presents a little-known chapter of American history and draws comparisons with the modern-day foster care system. Her accessible, interesting novel will appeal to readers who enjoy the work of Sara Donati. [See Prepub Alert, 10/22/12.]-Christine Perkins, Bellingham P.L., WA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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