Orphan Train: A Novel

Orphan Train: A Novel

Paperback | April 2, 2013

byChristina Baker Kline

not yet rated|write a review

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train is an unforgettable story of friendship and second chances that highlights a little-known but historically significant movement in America’s past—and it includes a special PS section for book clubs featuring insights, interviews, and more.

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse...

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life—answers that will ultimately free them both.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$17.53 online
$17.99 list price
In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25
Prices may vary. why?
Please call ahead to confirm inventory.

Orphan Train: A Novel

Paperback | April 2, 2013
In stock online Available in stores
$17.53 online $17.99

From the Publisher

The #1 New York Times BestsellerChristina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train is an unforgettable story of friendship and second chances that highlights a little-known but historically significant movement in America’s past—and it includes a special PS section for book clubs featuring insights, interviews, and more.Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer i...

From the Jacket

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servit...

Christina Baker Kline is the author of five novels. She lives out-side of New York City and on the coast of Maine.

other books by Christina Baker Kline

The Way Life Should Be: A Novel
The Way Life Should Be: A Novel

Paperback|Sep 16 2014

$17.72 online$18.50list price
Sweet Water: A Novel
Sweet Water: A Novel

Paperback|Jul 1 2014

$18.50

Desire Lines: A Novel
Desire Lines: A Novel

Paperback|Aug 12 2014

$18.50

see all books by Christina Baker Kline
Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.68 inPublished:April 2, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061950726

ISBN - 13:9780061950728

Look for similar items by category:

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! I absolutely loved this book. I take transit to and from work and I even refused a ride with a colleague because I couldn't wait to get on the train and keep reading this book. I also missed my stop because I was so engrossed in the beautiful storytelling. One of my favourite books of all time. Happy reading.
Date published: 2016-06-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read I really enjoyed reading this book as the author did a great job at describing a terrible time in history when orphaned children were put on trains and shipped off to cities to essentially be auctioned off to whomever needed help, not necessarily those who wanted children. If the description of how these children were treated is accurate, it is horrifying. Fast forward to a modern day scenario where a young rebel who had been in and out of foster care and hadn't had any truly caring figure in her life to trust for most of her young years, can (initially unbeknownst to her) finally find some similarities with a former orphan train child. The author did a great job of moving back and forth between the early to mid-1900s to modern day. The two stories are truly moving but the very end is a little predictable/weak in my opinion. Otherwise I really enjoyed reading this book and finished it fairly quickly.
Date published: 2016-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! Wonderful moving story, couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2016-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Orphan Train Awesome story. Great real life accounts of a hstorical tm in our history. I loved the parallel lives of the two main characters. A great reAd.
Date published: 2015-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thoroughly enjoy it. I loved this book. A beautiful story and written so well. It jumped back and forth in time early in the novel but eventually came together so well.
Date published: 2015-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great story this is one of the better books that she written,I loved the story and the way it all fell into place it keeps you wanting to read more of the story
Date published: 2015-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great story this is one of the better books that she written,I loved the story and the way it all fell into place it keeps you wanting to read more of the story
Date published: 2015-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Orphan Train It's about learning to survive on a train of orphans as an child in life and in hard times in mid western state
Date published: 2015-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read Love the way the author weaves together the stories of the main caregivers. A little-known chapter of history brought to life.
Date published: 2015-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Orphan Train An enjoyable read about a sad time in history. I really liked the way the story flowed. It revolves around the story of an elderly woman and a young orphan who have a lot in common.
Date published: 2015-09-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Orphan train Interesting novel...well written and based on real facts. The interaction between characters is believable and well woven into the story. Leaves the reader pondering about the untold stories from these events.
Date published: 2015-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Orphan Train Excellent, fascinating read. I truly enjoy historical fiction and this was primo! When I finished the book, I sat there pondering the history behind the story. DO read the very interesting history behind the story at the end of the book.
Date published: 2015-08-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it !! Maybe it was a bit simplistic as one review stated, but the story was beautiful as well as informative. It was easy to follow and you do not lose track of who is who and the relationships. As with most who commented I too had never heard of the 'orphan trains'. I am Canadian so am wondering if we had them in Canada as well?? Loved how the relationship between Vivian and Molly evolved and I could understand why this friendship worked. The hardships of families in the '20's (and beyond - and before in reality) is heart wrenching, most of us cannot even imagine. To lose your family or be given away because you could not be taken care of, is truly horrible. I would definitely recommend this book.
Date published: 2015-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Orphan train What a wonderful story. I loved all the charactors. Molley and vivian became such close friends and were so good for one another. Iloved this story.
Date published: 2015-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very good book even though the characters were fictional I really enjoyed following them and the fact that the events were true made it very interesting
Date published: 2015-07-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved it! I liked how the story was based on a historical event. I was not aware of the 'Orphan Trains' until I read this book. I thought the characters were interesting and liked how they evolved. The reality of foster care and the war came through for both main characters. I would recommend this book.
Date published: 2015-06-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Orphan Train A book I had a hard time putting down, and a hard time not thinking about it when I had to. Wonderful story, and I've learned something new about the world's history (I'm Canadian.) Highly recommended.
Date published: 2015-06-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from disappointing This is not a well-written book, and that lack of good writing gets in the way of the reader's enjoyment. Both the writing and the "message" are simplistic.
Date published: 2015-06-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Entertaining I found it to be a good way to pass the time. My one criticism... Over too quickly! I had never heard of real orphan train activity; I'm going to read more of the history of that sad subject.
Date published: 2015-04-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good easy read I enjoyed Orphan Train, was easy to read and kept me interested and wanting to find out what happened to the main characters. Also interested to read about this part of history.
Date published: 2015-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great and moving story I could not put this book down! Orphan Train is the powerful stories of Molly and Vivian whos paths cross by fate, or a well-meaning boyfriend, you decide. Molly is an angry teenager who has been dealt a crappy hand at life. Going from one foster home to another, she is not exactly living a normal life. After getting herself into a bit of trouble, Molly is paired with Vivan, a rich 90 year-old woman, who Molly agrees to help clean out her attic for her community service hours. As each story unfolds, we learn about the sometimes harsh world of foster care and the devastating losses young children should never deal with. Through Vivan's heartbreaking and touching story, both Vivan and Molly finds a piece of themselves and uncover a common bond.
Date published: 2015-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from lovely book This was a wonderful book to read, especially when it was based on actual historical facts. I was not aware of the "orphan trains" until I read the book. This book is highly recommended by me.
Date published: 2015-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!!!! I think that orphan train is an amazing book and i will tell everybody about it! I think that there should be a sequal thats in the adults veiw.
Date published: 2015-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book I could not put this book down once I started it. The two main characters were so well developed and the story was heart-wrenching! I enjoyed every page and was so sad when I finished it! Also, I liked learning a little history as I devoured the story.
Date published: 2015-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this story I had never heard of the orphan trains, the story and the characters are beautiful. I would recommend the book to family and friends.
Date published: 2015-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Orphan Train I absolutely loved the story line and the main characters of the book! - I had never heard of the "Orphan Train" and it's children...this book inspired me to research more about this real event... I have recommended this book to friends and relatives.
Date published: 2015-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from enjoyable story I really enjoyed this book the way in went back in time and that the book was based on what use to really happen years ago
Date published: 2015-02-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Orphan train Great b00k I Would recommend it to all the parents that adopted o --thank you Sue montreal At t
Date published: 2015-02-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from interesting I found this story very enjoyable. I never knew a thing about orphan trains till I saw this book. It kept me very interested and you should check it out.
Date published: 2015-02-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Orphan train Never knew these actually existed. Interesting subject and well written. I would love to talk to someone like Vivian.
Date published: 2015-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent book Couldn't put it down. Extremely interesting and even more so when you realize it is based on actual historical events.
Date published: 2015-01-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Great Read Loved this story. I was an eye opener for me from an historical perspective. While I could appreciate the choice of language in some parts, given it fit with the setting, I would have appreciated it abit more if the f word wasn't used. So, it would have been a five star had the author chosen not to use different word. It was only a few times, thankfully. The main characters went through such hardship and such sadness. It is a story that had to be told! The character development was so well done and I wished for more chapters...always a good sign. You could feel the emotions so well of each character.
Date published: 2014-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Orphan Train This was the first book I've started reading in a long time that I couldn't put down. I read it in just over a day. There's something about a fictional story based on real events that I find intriguing.
Date published: 2014-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it What an exceptional story. I love both Molly and Vivian. could barely put it down to sleep at night. Got so involved in the story line, the back and forth through time really kept me focused on what was happening. I have since become very interested in the train riders and have started reading articals on the early 1900s when all this was taking place. most interesting.
Date published: 2014-08-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from totally predictable it's good book for 12 year olds.
Date published: 2014-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Orphan Train I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love that it was based on a real event. Those poor orphans, what they went through , just hoping to find loving homes. I love the connection between the rebellious Molly and Vivian. Once again it shows that people are people and can create a bond ,no matter what their age or what their story is. We all have a story.I feel their bond and the plight of Niamh.
Date published: 2014-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful and intriguing story I just can't put this book down when I'm reading it, I have to see what happens to Vivian next. I love this book.
Date published: 2014-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome read! The novel Orphan Train was an excellent read. I loved that it was both historical and modern day. I was really sad when the story finished as it was such an excellent book. Really made you think about life as an abandoned kid both then and now.
Date published: 2014-06-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read, couldn't put it down. This was a great book. Gave me insight into a period of history I was not aware of. I cannot believe orphan children were put on trains in hope of finding a new home/family at each train station. Many of these young children were chosen for farm labour or to work around the house. Not wanted as a child to love, just cheap labour. So very sad. I am definitely recommending this book to friends.
Date published: 2014-05-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compelling I really enjoyed this small treasure of a book. The story is told in two different eras, with more in common than the years would warrant. Molly is a foster child about to age out of the system in modern time. Vivian was an orphan on the train in the 1930s, with a remarkable spirit and will to survive. Their lives intersect in modern time when Vivian is in her 90s. Vivian's ability to relate to Molly and the marvel that is their shared circumstance was really compelling. This was a very sweet read that makes me want to give my grandma (also in her 90s) a big squeeze. Recommended.
Date published: 2014-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating and engrossing The Good Stuff Epic, its been a long time since I read a story like this. These used to be my favorite types of stories. Parallel stories told years apart, characters of different eras face the same prejudice and hardships - human nature never really seems to change. Interesting story based on a little known piece of history Was hooked in right away and didn't want to put it down Heartbreaking and horrific at times because even though this is a fictional story it is based on fact and what some of these children had to go through is truly brutal Loved the conversations between Molly and Vivian and would love to have more of the story Makes me want to research more into the "Orphan Trains" The Not So Good Stuff The storyline that focused on Vivian was far better developed than that of Molly which is a shame. I found the Molly bits to be a bit jumpy I wanted more - this was one of those stories that could have been much longer Favorite Quotes/Passages "Do you believe in fate?" I ask. 'What's that again?" "That everything is decided. You're just - you know - living it out." "God has it all planned in advance." I nod. "I dunno. I don't like the plan much so far." "Me either." "No time," Vivian calls over her shoulder. "I'm old , you know. Could drop dead any minute. We've got to get going." Who Should/Shouldn't Read Great book for a reading at the cottage, on the beach or just about anytime you want to lose yourself in a great story 4 Deweys I received this from William Morrow in exchange for an honest review
Date published: 2013-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly an Amazing Story!! Story Description: HarperCollins Publishers|March 25, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-06-195072-8 Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude? As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered by a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship. My Review: Seventeen-year-old Molly lives with her foster parents, Dina and Ralph in Spruce Harbor, Maine. Dina wasn’t all that excited about having Molly as a foster child as their last one tried to set the school on fire, but husband Ralph wanted her. Having been through the Big Brother’s program as a child himself, he felt he had something to offer Molly. But Molly isn’t surprised Dina didn’t want her because not much ever went right in her life. At school she was an outcast because she dresses goth, that is, until she meets Jack during a school work group. Jack liked her and thought she was “awesome” which made Molly smile. Jack’s mother works for an elderly woman, Vivian Daly who is ninety-one-years-old. She wants someone to help her clean out her attic and Jack’s mother doesn’t want to do it so she offers the opportunity to Molly after Jack convinces her that Molly is trustworthy. Molly takes on the chore as she can complete her fifty hours of community service instead of going to juvenile hall for stealing something and it gives her an excuse to stay with Dina and Ralph. Vivian Daly was only seven-years-old when she came to America from Ireland in 1929 with her family. However, she ended up in the care of the Children’s Aid Society just three years later after losing her family. Shortly after her arrival there, she found herself seated on a train called the “orphan train” which was bound for the countryside and out of the big city of New York. There were hundreds of children on the train with her, all bound for farmland and new families, that is, if any picked them out of the line-up. I felt so very sorry for Vivian when she was living in the Grote household. The deplorable conditions under which she was forced to live were heartbreaking. I cried when I read the passage about something horrible that happened to her in that house. I wanted so badly to reach into the pages of the story, put my arms around her, and rip her out of that situation. Then, being forced to walk so, so far in the dead of winter was totally unacceptable. What cruel and heartless people they were. As Molly and Vivian continue to clean the attic, each box opened brings back another memory and another amazing story from Vivian. It soon becomes apparent that Molly and Vivian’s lives didn’t differ that much from each other despite the seventy-four-year age difference between them. I think they found a kindred spirit in each other. Molly having been in and out of foster homes herself has now found a new friend in Vivian and one who understands what she has been through. The Orphan Train was a phenomenal story that affected me deeply. My heart went out to all the children on the orphan train. I will most definitely be recommending this wonderful masterpiece to all who’ll listen. Orphan Train gets a huge thumbs up from me! Thank you Ms. Kline for a most interesting and intriguing story.
Date published: 2013-04-23

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

“One of the most intriguing, tender novels of 2013...This is a warm, satisfying, and inspirational story.”