Kline’s adult novels have been reviewed here, but Auntie M wanted to make mention of a wonderful middle grad reader, as many of you out there have young readers at home or may be looking for a gift for one. Great for summer reading, Kline’s Orphan Train Girl follows two storylines that overlap, and introduces real history in a version for this age group.

Vivian is now an adult living in Maine when young Molly comes to her to help her cleanup her attic, but before that, she was an Irish immigrant who was brought to New York and put on an “orphan train” that would take her to the Midwest and to a new home in Minnesota.

The real orphan trains existed between 1854 and 1929, carrying an estimated two hundred and fifty thousand children from the East Coast to the Midwest to being new lives. Many of them, like Vivian, were immigrants to the US.

As her story unwinds, Molly, who had resided in more foster homes than she should have, finds that she and the elderly widow have more in common than she could have imagined. Molly learns of other children Vivian met on the train, and she learns of the homes and adjustment Vivian has had to endure, even to having her name changed.

The lovely story included a brief history of the orphan trains at the end for young readers. A satisfying read for any age.

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