Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Orphan Train

I read Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train because it appeared on a reading list for my niece who is entering her freshman year in high school. I was intrigued by a historical situation I was completely unaware of—orphaned and abandoned children from the East sent to the Midwest for “adoption”—and thought it would be a topic worthy of discussion. I wasn’t overwhelmingly impressed with the writing or even the plot—too many characters were two-dimensional, all black and white with few shades of gray—but the book raises several topics and questions worth discussing, from the titular orphan train to the Native American experience to foster care to parenting choices. I imagine the discussions following the book will be deeper and more fulfilling than the book itself.

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