“An amazing American event that is almost never shared in school.Aimed at children in grades 4-8, this book is brief but powerful. The story told here is gut-wrenching at times but ends on a positive note. Highly recommended for any age.”see full review » see other reviews »
“An amazing American event that is almost never shared in school.Aimed at children in grades 4-8, this book is brief but powerful. The story told here is gut-wrenching at times but ends on a positive note. Highly recommended for any age. ”Ralph Lagana wrote this review Tuesday, July 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Really liked this non-fiction.”Julie P wrote this review Friday, February 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Fascinating and informative read for adults even if meant for young reader.”Barbara S wrote this review Sunday, October 9, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a great book for expressing the causes and effects of the industrial age on our society... plus MANY other areas of interest during this historical time. Some of my students thought this book was going to be "boring" because of the black and white photos, but now many of them are saying they enjoy the book. A few have been asking some really interesting questions as well. ”Michelle R wrote this review Sunday, November 28, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Sad, but fascinating, true account of what happened to orphans in our country in the late 1800's and early 1900's.”Mrs. Heins wrote this review Monday, November 9, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
Orphan Train Rider: One Boy's True Story
Houghton Mifflin Company
Appropriate Grade Level(s):
4th - 7th (ages 9 - 12 according to Amazon.com)
Lee's story of being an orphan train rider gave me a very genuine, interesting perspective of an event I had not known about. Its simple language doesn't shy away from hard truths about what happened to some of the children who rode those trains out west, and it mostly stays with the story as it progresses rather than jumping around too much, better conveying Lee's feelings of uncertainty at the time. The pictures are a wonderful touch, although I found it very deceptive of the author to put Lee's brother's picture on the cover instead of his own. The story begins to overwhelm the reader with details of Lee's later life, but it emphasizes his early years as a children's book mostly concerning early life events should.
Uses in Classroom:
- Study of biography and early 20th century
- Book choice for individual reading”
“This book is about a family who loses their mother and their father can't afford to take care of them. Three boys get sent to an orphanage to live. They were forced to ride the orphan train. They made many stops. They were adopted when they stopped in Texas by three different families. ”Chris F wrote this review Monday, October 26, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Wow, what an interesting book 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 Z wrote this review Thursday, February 5, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
Citation - Warren, A. (1996). Orphan Train Rider: One Boy's True Story. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Recommended Grade Level - 4th+
Source - An ALA Notable Book.
Review - From Carolyn Phelan of Booklist
"In Warren's book, one man's memories of his childhood abandonment and adoption give a personal slant on the subject. Chapters telling the story of Lee Nailing, who took an orphan train west in 1926, alternate with chapters filling in background information about the trains and the experiences of other children who rode them to their destinies. Throughout the book, black-and-white photos show both the people and places in Nailing's story and the broader topic of the orphan train experience. Children will find this a good resource on an intriguing subject."
My Thoughts - .” Katie T wrote this review Saturday, April 12, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No