The Orphan Trains (American Events)

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9780027357219: The Orphan Trains (American Events)

A chronicle of a little-known event in American history describes how, from 1854 to 1929, the Children's Aid Society sent orphaned city children West to free them from crime and poverty, showing how these children lived in their new surroundings.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-8-In 1854, the Children's Aid Society of New York City began a practice that would continue for 75 years: the placing of homeless, orphaned, and abandoned children from Eastern cities in homes in the countryside and small towns in the West. In all, over 200,000 children were given a chance for a new life. Fry examines the social conditions that led Charles Loring Bruce to come up with his plan for getting these destitute children off the streets and into more favorable environments. The author explains how the movement operated and introduces several prominent adults who had been "orphan train" children. A final chapter describes the efforts of former orphan train children and their descendents to unravel the mystery of their past and locate long lost relatives. Informative, well researched, and documented with footnotes, the book includes a number of black-and-white photographs and reproductions of the children involved. Basically upbeat, the book emphasizes the placements that turned out well, only hinting at the mistreatment that some of the children encountered in their foster homes. A solid source of information for readers who enjoyed Isabelle Holland's The Journey Home (Scholastic, 1990) or Joan Lowery Nixon's "The Orphan Train Quartet" (Bantam).
Eunice Weech, M.L. King Elementary School, Urbana, IL
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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