Other Orphan Train Stories

Discuss the July 2016 Book of the Month, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.

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ebeth
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Re: Other Orphan Train Stories

Post by ebeth »

braver wrote:
ebeth wrote:Wow, it's nice hearing other people's opinion on the story. I shied away from this book a long time ago but after reading all of what you had to say about it, I am very interested in reading now. Thank you so much for sharing.
I'm curious - what was it that made you shy away from the book in the first place?
Too be honest, I cannot remember why I shied away from it because it is something I normally would be interested in.

-- 06 Sep 2016, 14:20 --

The story about Niamh Powers, known as Dorothy, running out because of a situation between her and the man reminded me of watching a Dr. Phil show (Don't watch it that much). When she went out on her own to walk in the cold to the school, would rather sleep outside than in the house of the people that took her in, shows you she is a smart girl for getting herself out of the situation. It reminds me of Dr. Phil saying something like "I would rather live in a cardboard box than be in that place." She was a very girl at the age of 10 to run away.
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Post by AA1495 »

Prisaneify wrote:I'm probably just a huge monster but I like learning about all of the different crappy things people have been through. I think it helps me appreciate what I have and how bad it could truly be. Just graduated with my bachelors in Criminology so here's to hoping I can make the world a better place through case work!
Congrats and all the very best. Also, that doesn't make you a monster - you're just reading, not wishing it upon anyone :)
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ebeth
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Post by ebeth »

I don't think it makes you a monster. I get where you are coming from. I like to read books about pioneer life and stories like the ones on Orphan Train. I agree, it does help me appreciate what I have more when I read stuff like that about other people's life. It's also a nice break from the romance novels. I can only handle so many of those. I just finished Orphan Train and really enjoyed it.
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Post by AA1495 »

ebeth wrote:I don't think it makes you a monster. I get where you are coming from. I like to read books about pioneer life and stories like the ones on Orphan Train. I agree, it does help me appreciate what I have more when I read stuff like that about other people's life. It's also a nice break from the romance novels. I can only handle so many of those. I just finished Orphan Train and really enjoyed it.
Completely agree with you :) They're also eye openers and make you realize that there's so much you don't know about
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Post by MrsCatInTheHat »

AA1495 wrote:One of my high school teachers adopted a baby girl and the teacher couldn't be any happier. The baby is her DP on all social media platforms. its amazing to see such warmth and happiness

What is DP?
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Post by Genaaa »

It is very likely that those stories are actually pretty tame relative to other real life situations. As upsetting as it it to think about it, these kinds of things happen often or at least pretty often. Which is why it's a good thing that there are some precautions that are taken often now that it is widely known how bad the situations can be sometimes.
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Post by AishaTBN »

bookfix_blog wrote:There was someone in my old neighborhood who adopted older boys for the tax deductions and government benefits and would keep a lock on the fridge and make them work and give them the money from their jobs. It was disgusting to know we lived next to that. One of the boys was my age growing up and I finally figured out the situation when he was 18 because he started dating my friend and he was so beaten down emotionally it was sad, but we gave him a plan. He was old enough to leave and once he had a solid job for long enough he could go back and petition to adopt all his foster brothers in the home. Now five years later he's finally brought light to the situation and has all his brothers under his wing now and his foster parents are in jail.
This is so terrible! I too have heard cases like that of adopted children and I wonder how someone in their right mind could do this to a child. I am glad the boy is doing well now and those people are in jail.
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Post by Lauren M »

I first read this book before I had my daughter, and it was pretty good. When I reread it recently, my heart ached for days. All I could picture was what if this was happening to her. It's so heartbreaking, and having a child has really opened my heart to the foster care system. I am hoping to one day be able to adopt, and give a child a chance at having a real family full of love.
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Post by MarisaRose »

Lauren M wrote:I first read this book before I had my daughter, and it was pretty good. When I reread it recently, my heart ached for days. All I could picture was what if this was happening to her. It's so heartbreaking, and having a child has really opened my heart to the foster care system. I am hoping to one day be able to adopt, and give a child a chance at having a real family full of love.
I really think an individuals situation greatly effects how they feel about this book! I do not have children and I found this book sad and disturbing at times but once I finished the book, I was able to move on relatively quickly. However, my good friend read this book too and has a small daughter. She expressed many of the same emotions you are describing. She was deeply effected by this book; having a child gave her a completely different perspective on Orphan Train than I had.
"No two persons ever read the same book." -Edmund Wilson
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Post by ellieonline03 »

braver wrote:Here's a link to some other Orphan Train stories: http://orphantraindepot.org/orphan-train-rider-stories/
I just visited the site. Some stories are downright horrifying. I'm just happy that in the end, most of them got the happiness they deserve.
"For you, a thousand times over." - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
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Post by drewsadinosaur »

I'm a college student, and I don't know the exact story behind it but my school had an Orphan Train related show. A group of students got together with a director of sorts and essentially wrote the show themselves by reading about the "trains'" history and stories from people who survived it. At the beginning of the show, you could also adopt the orphans who were featured in the show. Two men walked around asking couples if they wanted a boy or a girl, and then would present them with an old school looking flyer that had each orphans' information. That was a really nice, interactive touch.

The most haunting story I can remember from the show was about two siblings. The boy was taken off to the city to be a newspaper carrier or something similar. But, the man who whisked him away told him he could bring his sister even though that wasn't the case. So, this young girl was left on her own to be sent somewhere else. Eventually, she found her way to the city and discovered that her brother had been killed in some freak accident related to his newspaper job.

My overall take away from the show was that I was really confused about how we were never taught about the orphan trains in school. In the show, they said 1 in 5 people descended from an orphan train rider. Twenty percent seems like an awful lot. That number also makes the orphan trains relevant to a large portion of the population. Shouldn't we be learning about this pivotal piece in American history?
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Post by Insightsintobooks »

I think there are those who genuinely wanted to do good and those who didn't. I don't think that Vivian's story was the 'worst' of what children endured then. I think things like that can even still happen today, sadly.
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Post by Rebeccaej »

My grandfather was on the Orphan Train, but he was adopted as an infant.

I know almost nothing about his childhood but as an adult he changed his last name and made up a story about being the illegitimate child of a rich family in New York. He claimed he ran away at 14 and bootstrapped himself up, but his sister said their parents supported him through college. He was an alcoholic and emotionally abusive...

I don't know how he was raised but...yeah, I could see some of this being true for him.
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Post by Rubangakene Allan »

Its all depend on once perspective about life. People respond to those under them in the manner they where treated before. "Though not all"
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Post by Kareka88 »

I had never heard of the Orphan Trains before reading this book and I was surprised to learn of how many other books have been written on this topic. Some of the stories are tragic, but many did end positively
"Life is an occasion - rise to it." Mr. Magorian
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