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Readers' Comments for Orphan Train

In September, readers in our Sneak Peek: An Early Look at an Upcoming Book feature won copies of ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline, a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are. We gave the readers a series of questions to gauge their reactions to the book, and here we share some of their comments (which are all raves!) to give you insight into the story.



Alice from Clarks Summit, PA
I loved ORPHAN TRAIN. Christina Baker Kline is a great storyteller. I was hooked from the prologue and wanted to know how the story would all come together. I thought it was quite profound. This is one of those books that really touched me, and I will re-read it with more attention to the words and thoughts about relationships. This book made me hopeful, sad, and curious to learn more about this early movement in the US.

Pamela from Virginia Beach, VA
ORPHAN TRAIN was a compelling story, with interesting characters. It's a story told in the present and in flashbacks, about two girls who are orphaned and looking for their place in the world. One is part of the modern-day foster care system, while the other was shipped out west in the late 1920s as part of a program to resettle immigrant children from the east.

Nicole from KY
I loved this book. ORPHAN TRAIN tells what the lives of orphans may have been like back then, plus what a child’s life in the foster system may be like now. After finishing this book, I felt happy, sad and enlightened.

Stephanie from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
ORPHAN TRAIN was very good and interesting. The characters were likable and the plot was really good. It is a story of two women who were orphans who faced many challenges and hardships in their lives but who survived through their resilience. I feel more informed after finishing this book.

Cindi from IL
ORPHAN TRAIN is definitely a worthwhile read. It is a bit of sad history, but a very good story! This novel made me feel sad and heartbroken.

Amanda from San Antonio, TX
I absolutely loved ORPHAN TRAIN! It was very well-written, and I couldn't put it down! I literally read it in one sitting! It's touching and a page turner! I learned quite a bit. Before reading this book, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as orphan trains.

Julie from Mechanicsburg, PA
I enjoyed this book a great deal. I think it would make a great book club pick. ORPHAN TRAIN is a heartwarming story about love, friendship, family and belonging that goes back and forth between present-day Maine and early-20th-century Minnesota. After finishing this book, I felt satisfied, happy and touched.

Deirdre from Middletown, CT
ORPHAN TRAIN was one of those books where I was sad to reach the last page because it was such a good story and I hated to have it end. I thought it was very well-written, and the dual plots really held my interest. I like how the stories of the two main characters intertwined. They both understood each other because both were loners who were used to depending on themselves, but found comfort and friendship from helping each other.  

Terri from NJ
I loved this story. I can't say enough good things about it. 5 out of 5 stars for sure. ORPHAN TRAIN left me feeling satisfied, curious and happy.

Linda from MN
I truly enjoyed reading this book and I thought it was very thoroughly researched and told in a very interesting manner. Although I'd recently read a lengthy newspaper article about the orphan trains which piqued my interest, this book and Rae Meadows' MERCY TRAIN gave me quite an eye-opening education about the orphan trains and made me want to research them more.

Reeca from MS
I loved ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline. The characters were so real. Very well-written. This is a book that absolutely has you enraptured. You do not want to put it down because you must find out what happens. This book left me curious, appalled (at the process of the orphan trains) and amazed (that this occurred).

Kelley from Eubank, KY
I really enjoyed the book and will recommend it to our library patrons when it is released. A great story of a friendship between an elderly lady and a teen. Family isn't always the people you are related to. I didn't know very much about this movement so I learned a lot from the book.

Joyce from Phoenix, AZ
I liked ORPHAN TRAIN and thought it was interesting and well-written. I learned a lot about this movement and found the background information very informative.

Michelle from New York City, NY
I really enjoyed ORPHAN TRAIN and I read it in one sitting. It captivated my attention. It is a unique, moving story about family...and how that one simple word can mean so many things --- including your blood family and also the family who are your neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc. 

Karen from Fredericksburg, VA
I loved ORPHAN TRAIN! It is an excellent story of two women who grew up as orphans in different eras.  The chapters alternate between present day and the 1930's.  This book filled me with heartbreak, hopefulness and fulfillment.

Rhonda from CA
I got swept away in this story!  A wonderful novel filled with human resilience. This is a wonderfully written emotional book. You will not want to put it down. This was the first time I read anything in depth about that part of history.

Kathleen from Young America, MN
ORPHAN TRAIN is very well-written and different with a great historical love story with Ireland, NYC, Minnesota and Maine all featured!  The jumping back and forth between the times was done very well!   

Mary from Newark, CA
I loved Orphan Train! What an emotional story! I think I would describe this book as one about family. It's a book of the decisions we make in life and where they take us. It's a story of finding our family in whatever state that may be. I was emotionally touched, happy and hopeful at the end of this book. 

Pamela from Chanhassen, MN
 I would describe this story as a quick read, light literary fiction. Will probably do well with Book Clubs particularly in the Midwest where there may be a lot of interest in the Orphan Train. This is a women's fiction drama with a nice blending between historical and contemporary stories.