Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Discuss the July 2016 Book of the Month, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.

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atonykamau
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Re: Overall Opinion and Thoughts about Orphan Train

Post by atonykamau »

I personally didn't like the book and i had a hard time following the plot of the story.

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lbhatters
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Post by lbhatters »

I am a great fan of historical fiction and hisorical novels, and Orphan Train was one of the best books I have ever read. I love books where you are following the life of one character from beginning to end. I always am thrilled when a piece of history gets filled in that before was never there, even if the character herself was fictional.
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Post by steigerd »

The Orphan Train by Christina Baker represents a possible life in the late 1800 and early 1900 for a young orphan. Orphans were shipped west to a "better" life. I'm not sure if social workers are any better now than they were in the past. Yes, they are probably just as overworked but did anyone follow up on the lives of these children that were often sent off to be slave labor for farmers or servants for the well-meaning society ladies, but what was the emotional burdens and scars for these children. I studied American history in college, and this is one event of many that historians did not teach.

The shifting of time between the past and the present held my interest as the author compared Vivian's and Molly's lives. I often compare my college life in the '70s to my niece's experience in the 21st century and find it lacking. Where were the excitement and adventure? The same with Vivian and Molly, which had a life changing experience? Both, but which was the most intense?

This story of strength, second chances, misery, and sorrow will capture the imagination.

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LinaMueller
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Post by LinaMueller »

Orphan Train shows how resilient children can be. Historical fiction is the best way to learn real history. I really appreciated this book.
Heart! We will forget him!
You an I, tonight!
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done, pray tell me
That I my thoughts may dim;
Haste! lest while you're lagging.
I may remember him!

Emily Dickinson

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krysted
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Post by krysted »

I gave it 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. Makes me wonder about my Grandma Rysted from Minnesota, who was adopted. She died a long time ago and she never talked about her childhood, at least not around me.

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Post by JGretz-7 »

I was originally exposed to Orphan Train when a shortened portion of it was included in our reading anthology that we used with our fifth-grade students. I purchased the book several years ago as I thought it would be a great option for our students to extend their learning as they had many questions. Thankfully, I read it first as the sexual abuse and promiscuity would likely not have been well-received by my students' parents with this particular age group.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book as I love how historical fiction can bring the past to life and help us to better understand what life was like before. I think Christina Baker Kline did an excellent job of painting that picture while also helping the reader to see how those life lessons can be translated to today's experiences and time. The contrast between then and now with the alternating chapters allowed the reader to truly see the similarities and gain strength and understanding.

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