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van loveatfirstbook.com

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Thanks to @SheReads BookClub I received a copy of Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Molly, a troubled teen, uncovers an older woman, Vivan's, past while completing her community service hours. But this story is more unique because the background is the real life time in history when orphans were taken on trains to be distributed to new families. . . many times as indentured servants. I could not put this book down!

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The Orphan Train Movement 1854-1929. a welfare program that transported children from crowded cities of the United States, such as New York City and Boston, to willing foster homes across the country. The trains relocated an estimated 250,000 orphaned, abandoned, or homeless children. At the time the orphan train movement began, reformers estimated that 30,000 vagrant children were living on the streets of New York City.

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The Orphan Train: ...in 1853, a minister named Charles Loring Brace started the orphan train. Brace believed that farmers would welcome homeless children, take them into their homes, and treat them as their own. So he rounded up the kids, got parental permission when he needed it, and took the city kids to the country. Between 1854 and 1929, the trains took over 100,000 children to adoptive parents in 47 states and Canada.

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Orphan Train. These children truly were victims - lost parents, heritage, sold to the highest bidder across the states.

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van CBS News

The Orphan Train

Orphan Train Riders stopped in Jamestown

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From the 1850s up through the 1920s, abandoned or homeless children in New York City were uprooted and put on trains that took them to rural communities. Here several children are lined up with the hopes that someone will take them to a new home.

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Map of where Orphan Train Children where distributed. Mostly in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri.

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Some Orphan Train children were not so fortunate, and their lives became more miserable as they found themselves in homes where they were used chiefly for slave labor. In 1927, Nebraska and Kansas still allowed indenture of children.

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Orphan Train, a historical fiction novel by Christina Baker Kline. I loved it.

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Map of United States showing number of orphan train riders in 1853-1910.

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