TALK ABOUT A GOOD BOOK
Delve into a good book this spring and participate with your friends and neighbors in the Big Read. Book discussions and other programs focusing on the novel, Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline, are taking place across the Miami Valley through April 16. This book was chosen by popular vote to be the Miami Valley’s Big Read selection.
The relocation of thousands of orphaned or abandoned children from 1854-1929 forms the basis for Orphan Train, which tells the story of an elderly woman’s past as one of these relocated children, and her unexpected friendship with a contemporary teen who is aging out of the foster care system.
“The Big Read allows us to discuss and celebrate a really good book together,” said Jennifer Spillman, co-chair of the Big Read committee. “It gives us a chance, as a collective whole, to fall in love with the same characters from the same story at the same time.”
#1 NY Times Bestseller
“Absorbing... a heartfelt page-turner” – Publishers Weekly
“A compelling story about loss, adaptability, and courage” – Library Journal
“Kline draws a dramatic, emotional story from a neglected corner of American history.” - Kirkus Reviews
“A long journey from home and the struggle to find it again form the heart of the intertwined stories that make up this moving novel. Kline illuminates a largely hidden chapter of American history, while portraying the coming-of-age of two resilient young women.” – Booklist
The True History of Orphan Trains
In the mid-19th century, children in poverty roamed the streets of New York in search of food and shelter. Charles Loring Brace was horrified by their plight and in 1853, he founded the Children’s Aid Society. He believed that work, education and a strong family life could help these children develop into self-reliant citizens. Between 1854-1929, the CAS sent more than 200,000 orphaned, abandoned and homeless children by train to the Midwest for adoption. Many did find loving homes, and many did not.
This relocation of children ended in the 1920s with the beginning of the organized foster care system in America. Brace himself was torn: "When a child of the streets stands before you in rags, with a tear-stained face, you cannot easily forget him. And yet, you are perplexed what to do. The human soul is difficult to interfere with. You hesitate how far you should go."
See the PBS "American Experience" Documentary on the Orphan Trains
Monday, April 4, 7:00- 8:30 p.m. West Carrollton Branch Library