Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Orphan Train Rider" by Andrea Warren

Wow, what an interesting book Orphan Train Rider by Andrea Warren is.  Orphan Train Rider is about the period of history of the orphan trains during 1854-1930 in America.  This is during my dad's lifetime so maybe that's why I feel it wasn't all that long ago that this was happening.  Lee Nailling shares his experience about being an orphan train rider.  He tells how his father gave up on raising his kids when his wife died and split them up.  Lee and one of his brothers were placed in an orphanage.  This was before welfare and when jobs were scarce.  Sometimes people who just couldn't manage to take care of their children would put them in an orphanage.  A minister, Charles Brace, started the Children's Aid Society to help homeless kids.  He thought there would be couples out west who would be willing to take in children and raise them as their own so "orphan trains" were started.  These trains would choose healthy children from the orphanages in the east and transport them to towns in the west, Midwest and south to find families for them.  Most got placed in loving families this way.  Some never found a good family and were abused, but it is reported they had an 87% success rate!  Lee was one of the lucky ones who did end up with a nice couple who grew to love in spite of the bitterness he had at first from being separated from his family.  It seems "orphan trains" was the forerunner of our adoption system we have today, but much simpler.
(Karen's review 2/5/09)


Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

2 comments:

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  2. Hey, this sounds like an intriguing book. Thanks for sharing! I am adding it to my list!!

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