What It Is About: This story takes place in the early 1900's. The main characters are a brother and sister and another older boy. The three of them meet while on the "orphan" train heading from New York to Kansas. During the journey they find out what happens to the orphans once they get to Kansas. The three of them jump off the train and try to find safety. After spending some time out on their own, they come across another young boy living out on his own. He welcomes them into Wanderville, a town he created for all young children that have no where else to go. The youngest boy is kidnapped by an evil man who is trying to gather up as many orphans as he can. It is up to the other three children to rescue their brother and friend.
What I Thought Of It: It is always a pleasure to find a new book you don't know much about and it turns out to be a great and enjoyable read. When I first saw the book and read the book blurb, it appeared to be a fantasy type story. After reading it, I realized it is more historical fiction than fantasy. The story moved along quickly and was interesting to read about the orphan trains. The characters were all strong and added greatly to the story. Books that have children overcoming obstacles and difficulties are always appealing to me. This will definitely be a book that I will be "book talking" with my students and adding to my classroom collection.
Who Should Read It: In my opinion, this would make a great novel for fourth and fifth grade readers. It isn't too long and the chapters are easy to handle. Advanced readers in third grade could also handle this novel. If an educator wanted to read a historical fiction to their class, this would make for a perfect choice. I believe this is going to be a series, so readers that gravitate toward series would definitely want to read this first book. Happy Reading!
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars