Related Materials

See also: Further Reading »

(From a list of materials distributed by the presenters at the “Orphan Trains in Michigan” program.)

See also: Foster Care »

Nonfiction Books

Orphan Trains and their Precious Cargo : The life's work of Rev. H.D. Clarke  by Herman ClarkeOrphan Trains and their Precious Cargo : The life's work of Rev. H.D. Clarke  
Clarke, Herman
2007
Text comprised of material taken from six of Clarke's seven scrapbooks. By the mid 1800 the street corners of New York City were home to several thousand homeless, abandoned and orphaned children. Relief came with the establishment of the Children's Aid Society in 1853 by one Charles Loring Brace. The society would gather likely orphans and send them west by train in groups of anywhere from 6-100, stopping at predetermined destinations where it was known foster homes were available. Agents were to visit these foster homes and write twice year of experiences.The orphan trains of the Children's Aid Society ran until 1929 and this text presents the story of one agent--Rev. Mr. Herman Clarke.
Mail-Order Kid: An Orphan Train Rider’s Story by Marilyn  CoffeyMail-Order Kid: An Orphan Train Rider’s Story  
Coffey, Marilyn
2010
Mail-Order Kid looks at the orphan train movement through the eyes of one small child who yearns to know her "real" mother, survives a tortured childhood, and ultimately, as an adult, comes to terms with her past, her faith, and herself.
The Orphan Trains: Placing Out in America by Marilyn  HoltThe Orphan Trains: Placing Out in America  
Holt, Marilyn
1992
"From 1850 to 1930 America witnessed a unique emigration and resettlement of at least 200,000 children and several thousand adults, primarily from the East Coast to the West. This 'placing out, ' an attempt to find homes for the urban poor, was best known by the 'orphan trains' that carried the children. Holt carefully analyzes the system, initially instituted by the New York Children's Aid Society in 1853, tracking its imitators as well as the reasons for its creation and demise. She captures the children's perspective with the judicious use of oral histories, institutional records, and newspaper accounts. This well-written volume sheds new light on the multifaceted experience of children's immigration, changing concepts of welfare, and Western expansion. It is good, scholarly social history."-Library Journal Marilyn Irvin Holt, former director of publications at the Kansas State Historical Society; is a freelance editor, writer, and researcher and teaches historical editing at the University of Kansas.
Waifs, Foundlings and Half-Orphans: Searching for America’s Orphan Train Riders  by Mary  JohnsonWaifs, Foundlings and Half-Orphans: Searching for America’s Orphan Train Riders  
Johnson, Mary
2007
Orphan train riders : Peg's story ; Algie's story ; Orphan Train Riders Research Center -- Mass immigration: a major impact : Changing life in New York City ; The effects on children ; Parental responsibility ; Our cities charities, no. iv ; Free-home-placing-out ; A story of events of an era -- Orphanages and institutions : Newsboys lodging house -- Sending children to the country ; Children's Aid Society ; Brace Farm School ; New York Founding Asylum; The work of the Sisters of Charity ; History of he New York Founding Hospital ; New York Juvenile Asylum ; American Female Guardian Society ; Extracts from the first report of the First Home Industrial School ; Chicago Orphan Asylum ; New England Home for Little Wanderers ; Home for Destitute Catholic Children ; Jewish orphanages ;Traveler's Aid Society ; Salvation Army ; Name change records in New York --Research and resources : Is there an orphan train rider in my family? ; Where did the orphans go ; The first orphan train riders ; Loading places for the children ; Where to look next ; Orphan Train Heritage Society of America -- References and reading list : References and reading list ; Researching an orphan train rider.
We Rode the Orphan Trains by Andrea  WarrenWe Rode the Orphan Trains  
Warren, Andrea
2001
They were "throw away" kids, living in the streets or in orphanages and foster homes. Then Charles Loring Brace, a young minister working with the poor in New York City, started the Children's Aid Society and devised a plan to give homeless children a chance to find families to call their own.Thus began an extraordinary migration of American children. Between 1854 and 1929, an estimated 200,000 children, mostly from New York and other cities of the eastern United States, ventured forth to other states on a journey of hope.Andrea Warren has shared the stories of some of these orphan train riders here, including those of Betty, who found a fairy tale life in a grand hotel; Nettie Evans and her twin, Nellie, who were rescued from their first abusive placement and taken in by a new, kindhearted family who gave them the love they had hoped for; brothers Howard and Fred, who remained close even though they were adopted into different families; and Edith, who longed to know the secrets of her past.Listen to these and other child orphans as they share their memories of transition and adventure, disappointment and loneliness, but ultimately of the joy of belonging to their own new families. 
Orphan Train Rider: One Boy’s True Story by Andrea  WarrenOrphan Train Rider: One Boy’s True Story  
Warren, Andrea
1996
Between 1854 and 1930, more than 200,000 orphaned or abandoned children were sent west on orphan trains to find new homes. Some were adopted by loving families; others were not as fortunate. In recent years, some of the riders have begun to share their stories. Andrea Warren alternates chapters about the history of the orphan trains with the story of Lee Nailling, who in 1926 rode an orphan train to Texas when he was nine years old.
Orphan Trains: An Interactive history adventure by Elizabeth  RaumOrphan Trains: An Interactive history adventure  
Raum, Elizabeth
2011
In the early 1900s, adults hoped to find parents for homeless city children by sending them west on trains. Most of these children had no idea whether they would find kind adoptive families or be forced to work like slaves. Will you: * Head west after living on the streets of New York City? * Search for a home for you and your three younger siblings? * Try to care for yourself and your baby sister on your own?Describes the people and events involved in the orphan trains. The reader's choices reveal the historical details from the perspectives of a New York City newsboy, a child trying to keep his siblings together, and a child sent west on the baby trains"--Provided by publisher
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Nonfiction DVD

The Orphan Trains:  A production by Edward Gray Films, Inc.  by Janet Graham The Orphan Trains: A production by Edward Gray Films, Inc.  
Graham , Janet
2006
Originally broadcast on PBS as an episode of American experience in 1995. Examines the efforts of the Children's Aid Society in New York, organized by minister Charles Loring Brace, which from 1854 to 1929 sent over 150,000 unwanted and orphaned children from the city to homes in rural America. Minister Charles Loring Brace wanted to help the high number of homeless and mistreated children he was witness to throughout New York City. His remedy: relocate these children to developing rural areas in the United States in need of labor. From 1853 to 1927 under the auspices of the Children's Aid Society, over 100,000 were shipped to Texas and the Midwest, where, though sent under good intentions, were often treated as slave labor, abused, and bounced around from farm to farm. With interviews with now-grown orphans and testimony from foster parents, their stories of triumph and heartache come to light, enhanced with photographs and personal journals detailing their experience. ~ Brooke Hodess, Rovi
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Fiction

My Heart Remembers by Kim SawyerMy Heart Remembers  
Sawyer, Kim
2009
When a tenement fire in 1866 New York City leaves three Irish immigrant siblings parentless, the children are placed on an "orphan train" and sent to be adopted out West. The children are separated when each is taken by a different family, and eight-year-old Maelle, apprenticed to a traveling photographer, vows to be reunited with her brother and sister. A sympathetic protagonist and interesting historical detail enhance this sweet, simple story of family bonds and faith that spans nearly 20 years. A good family read, this title is appropriate for both adult and YA readers. Recommended for inspirational historical fiction collections. Sawyer, winner of the American CF Writers' 2007 Book of the Year award (Waiting for Summer's Return), lives in Kansas. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc.
Train to Somewhere by Eve  BuntingTrain to Somewhere  
Bunting, Eve
1996
Marianne, heading west with fourteen other children on an Orphan Train, is sure her mother will show up at one of the stations along the way. When her mother left Marianne at the orphanage, hadn't she promised she'd come for her after making a new life in the West? Stop after stop goes by, and there's no sign of her mother in the crowds that come to look over the children. No one shows any interest in adopting shy, plain Marianne, either. But that's all right: She has to be free for her mother to claim her. Then the train pulls into its final stop, a town called Somewhere . . .
Rory’s Promise by Michaela  MacCollRory’s Promise  
MacColl, Michaela
2014
Twelve-year-old Rory Fitzpatrick loves her younger sister, Violet, more than anyone in the world. She has been Violet's only family ever since their parents died and they went to live at the Sisters of Charity Foundling Hospital in New York. Rory promised she would always protect her sister, would never leave her. So when Rory learns that the nuns are sending Violet to an adoptive family out West, Rory is determined to follow and keep her family together at all costs. What happens on the journey west proves just how brave and strong Rory Fitzpatrick is.
Rodzina by Karen  CushmanRodzina  
Cushman, Karen
2016
Rodzina Clara Jadwiga Anastazya Brodski is the new face in Karen Cushman's gallery of unforgettable heroines. One of a group of orphans, 12-year-old Rodzina boards a train on a cold day in March 1881. She's reluctant to leave Chicago, the only home she can remember, and she knows there's no substitute for the family she has lost. She expects to be adopted and turned into a slave--or worse, not to be adopted at all.As the train rattles westward, Rodzina unwittingly begins to develop attachments to her fellow travelers, even the frosty orphan guardian, and to accept the idea that there might be good homes for orphans--maybe even for a big, combative Polish girl. But no placement seems right for the formidable Rodzina, and she cleverly finds a way out of one bad situation after another, until at last she finds the family that is right for her.Once again, Karen Cushman brings us a compelling story that is thoroughly researched, full of memorable characters, and told with wry humor and keen observation by an absolutely captivating narrator. Afterword.
Nettie and Nellie Crook: Orphan Train Sisters by Susan HillNettie and Nellie Crook: Orphan Train Sisters  
Hill, Susan
2016
Can you imagine being placed in an orphanage while your parents are still alive? Thatâe(tm)s what happens to Nettie and Nellie Crook, who are only five years old in 1910 when they are removed from their home in New York.No one tells Nettie and Nellie why their parents can no longer care for them, and later, no one explains why the orphans are put on a train headed west. The girls soon find themselves put on display in various small towns, where prospective parents examine and select children for adoption. Nettie and Nellie are taken by Mr. and Mrs. Chapinâe"will this be a happy ending for the twins?Based on a True Story books are exciting historical fiction about real children who lived through extraordinary times in American History.
A Family Apart by Joan  NixonA Family Apart  
Nixon, Joan
1995
Imagine being taken from your home. Imagine your mother is the one who lets it happen.This is the fate that befalls the Kelly children. It's 1856, and their widowed mother has sent them west from New York City because she's convinced that she can't give them the life they deserve.The Kellys board an "orphan train" and are taken to St. Joseph, Missouri, where their problems only grow worse. It was bad enough that they had to say goodbye to their mother, but now they're forced to part ways with their fellow siblings as well. Thirteen-year-old Frances won't stand for it. She's going to protect her brothers and sisters, even if it means dressing up like a boy and putting herself in danger.Will Frances be able to save her siblings? And what about her mom--was splitting up their family really her greatest act of love? Ride the rails with Frances and her siblings to find out!"This is as close to a perfect book as you'll buy this year." - VOYA
The Mystery of the Orphan Train by Gertrude  WarnerThe Mystery of the Orphan Train  
Warner, Gertrude
2005
The Aldens visit an old Kansas Inn that's full of secrets! Nobody knows why a famous photographer visited the inn just to take a single picture. And what about the other legendary guest-- a heroic young stranger who'd come west on an "orphan train?"
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Additional Materials

See also: Further Reading »

(From a list of materials distributed by the presenters at the “Orphan Trains in Michigan” program.)

See also: Foster Care »

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