book review, Children's Writing, Giveaway, Orphan Trains: Taking the Rails to a New Life, Rebecca Langston George, San Francisco Book Review, Writing

Orphan Trains: Taking the Rails to a New Life — Review and Giveaway

Thought for the Day:
“If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the 
first six sharpening my ax.” 
~ Abraham Lincoln ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:
I get lots of email from Writer’s Digest and now and then they send a link to an interesting post. HERE you will find 5 Helpful Lessons for Writing a Novel. 
From Gotham Writers comes this interesting article HERE on Enlivening Passive Characters. Enjoy. 
Janice Hardy talks about the importance of context HERE. Worth your time. 

I hope you all had wonderful holidays filled with family time and love. I know I did. My two daughters and two grandchildren and I spent a few lovely days at Lake Tahoe. This was the view from the deck of our rented condo. 

Ah. It truly is God’s country up there. Okay, be jealous, but not for too long. We have books to talk about. 

I hope my last-minute shopping suggestions were helpful to some of you. They were all books I thought had merit. There was no giveaway, so on to the review. 

The Orphan Trains are a fascinating chapter in our country’s history. I have run across a few books about it and have enjoyed them all. Orphan Trains: Taking the Rails to a New Life by Rebecca Langston-George is a wonderful addition to the small canon of this topic. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review

In the mid-nineteenth century, more than 30,000 children lived alone in New York City, with no parents or other relatives to care for them. Orphanages didn’t have enough room to hold them all, and many lived on the streets, making their way by selling newspapers or apples. A local minister, Charles Loring Brace, took note of this problem and vowed to find ways to help. He founded the Children’s Aid Society, and part of their work included placing children with farm families in the Midwest and West. Over the years, into the twentieth century, thousands of children, including some babies, were loaded on railroad trains and sent west to be looked over and chosen by families looking for help working farms and filling out families. Some had great experiences, some had terrible ones. 
Author Rebecca Langston-George follows the lives of seven children, including

Rebecca Langston-George

all the good and the bad that happened to such children. Many have photographs as well. Included is a follow-up section that tells what happened to the children later in life. This well-researched and beautifully written book will be a treasure for middle-school teachers and students and any who love history.

I have a gently-read paperback for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower, and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.

Don’t forget to check out Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.

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