Wanderville by Wendy McClure

10 Feb

I am starting the week off right – a 2-hour school delay AND a great book to tell you about!

wandervilleWanderville (Book 1 of the Wanderville Series)

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! 😀

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

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.

Like Ms. McClure’s Facebook page HERE.

Follow her on Twitter HERE.

Visit the publisher’s website HERE.

34 Responses to “Wanderville by Wendy McClure”

  1. Joanna February 10, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    Wow, your enthusiasm for this book really bounces out of your review. I certainly want to read it now. Good luck with adapting to your new situation. Such changes are challenging, but we get to see and appreciate different things.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks February 10, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      Well, we’ve been living up here for more than a year, so I think I’m adapted. 😉


  2. Catherine Johnson February 10, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    You make it sound really exciting, Erik. I’ll check it out.


  3. Patricia Tilton February 10, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    This book would catch my interest to. Like the idea of the kids creating their own town for kids in need. Like your enthursiasm for this book. Great review.


  4. julie rowan zoch February 10, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Sounds terrific!


  5. Genevieve Petrillo February 10, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    I saw a train once. It scared me. I hope I never have to ride the orphan train.

    Love and licks,


  6. KidLitReviews February 10, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

    Erik, it is easy to tell when you like a book. I would be interested for a couple of reasons. I think the idea of a town run by kids for kids is an interesting idea. Years ago, I saw some show on Nickelodeon, or some channel like that, and it was a reality thing where kids were in the “Wild West” era and making an abandoned town their own. It was interesting.

    The other reason is because my mom was an orphan, so those kind of books always catch my eye. I’ll need to check it out.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks February 13, 2014 at 9:00 am #

      I think you would really like it, Ms. Morris! 🙂


    • stanleyandkatrina February 15, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

      I remember that show, Sue. It was so sad for you the young kids who really just wanted to be home.


  7. readingwithrhythm February 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    Well, I would like to jump on a train! A town just for kids sounds pretty cool. I hope they have a dog to help out.


  8. Susan February 11, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    The concept of “orphan trains” captures my imagination, too. Sounds interesting.


  9. Stephanie@Fairday's Blog February 11, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

    This sounds like an amazing book. I will have to check it out! This is my first time hearing of it, so thanks for sharing. I am curious about the orphan train and my heart goes out to the main character.

    Yeah for you for the delay! 🙂


  10. Daniel Johnston February 12, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    This sounds like a really good book, thanks for the review!


  11. Michelle Isenhoff February 12, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    Your recommendation coupled with that very appealing cover art just landed this one on my tbr list!


  12. Pragmatic Mom February 13, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    I like reading about the Orphan train too! Great review! I’ll be looking out for it!


  13. writersideup February 13, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

    Again, the cover and title totally got me on this one…then, of course, your review! This sounds like SUCH a fresh idea for a book and it goes to show how you really DO learn something new every day! Are you saying that orphan trains were a real thing?!


  14. stanleyandkatrina February 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    This sounds like a fantastic book. Definitely will be on our TBR list. Thanks, Erik.


  15. Myra GB March 17, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

    Glad to read in this review that you’ve read Moon Over Manifest. It’s slow leisurely reading but well worth it. How are you finding the country so far?


    • thiskidreviewsbooks March 20, 2014 at 7:14 am #

      Well, it’s fun being surrounded by trees. 1-10 cars (driven by people who don’t live on our road) go on our road PER DAY, give or take. And they always seem to come when you’re walking down the road. 😉 School’s good. 🙂



  1. Weekly Round-Up of Kid Lit Reviews and Posts: Week #5 | Mother Daughter Book Reviews - February 14, 2014

    […] Wanderville by Wendy McClure ~ This Kid Reviews Books […]


  2. #500 – Wanderville by Wendy McClure | Kid Lit Reviews - February 16, 2014

    […] Ending aside, Wanderville is a wonderful story with almost wonderful characters. I absolutely love this story. If major moviemakers are not jumping on this story, it is only because the characters are still stiffly developed.  Kids will love the action, the tempo, the creative town the kids develop. Parents will like the generally wholesome kids, caught in circumstances most did not make. There is definitely a lesson in Wanderville teachers can use, if only the history of the orphan trains. I loved Wanderville. I truly think kids will too, and for confirmation of this, check out twelve-year-old Erik’s review here. […]


  3. Review! Wanderville: On Track For Treasure (Book 2) by Wendy McClure | This Kid Reviews Books - December 1, 2014

    […] book. The town is set up so that, wherever they are, it can come with them (see my review HERE), they are kind of like gypsies. The town now has 10 new residents but they all must leave […]


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