I am starting the week off right – a 2-hour school delay AND a great book to tell you about!
By Wendy McClure
224 pages – ages 8+
Published by Razorbill on January 23, 2014
Jack wasn’t an orphan, but his parents put him on an orphan train after his older brother died in a factory fire. His parents couldn’t afford to have Jack live with them anymore. Jack makes friends on the train. His new friends, Frances and her little brother Harold, are just happy to not be separated from each other. The kids hear horrible rumors about the place they’re heading for, the Pratcherd Ranch. So, they hatch an idea. When the train stops, the kids jump off it! Soon after, they meet Alexander, a kid who had escaped from the Pratcherd Ranch. They become friends and they make a town where kids in need can find refuge. The children call it Wanderville.
This was an outstanding, well-written book. Ms. McClure has instantly become a favorite author of mine with this book! The story was one I couldn’t put down. I really identified with the characters who were taken from New York and left in Kansas (we recently moved from just outside Philadelphia to a VERY rural area). Ms. McClure’s writing style really draws you into the story. It made it seem like I jumped off the train with Jack, Frances, and Harold. There is some very minor violence at the Pratcherd Ranch, but most of it happens between chapters and isn’t graphic. I love the history I learned about the orphan trains too. I first learned about them in Clare Vanderpool’s “Moon Over Manifest,” but learned more about them from this book. Jack sounds like a boy I’d love to be friends with. He’s pretty adventurous. I think kids will love this book! I can’t wait for Book 2!
Ms. McClure’s website is packed with activities, history, cool things about her research for this book and much more. To visit her website, please click HERE.
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Visit the publisher’s website HERE.