Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Orphan Train

By Christina Baker Kline

  • Release Date: 2013-04-02
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 1,574 Ratings
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The #1 New York Times Bestseller

Now featuring a sneak peek at Christina's forthcoming novel A Piece of the World, coming February 2017.

Christina Baker Kline’s #1 New York Times bestselling novel—the captivating story of a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to long-buried questions…now with an extended scene that addresses the number one question readers ask, and an excerpt from Kline’s upcoming novel A Piece of the World.

“A lovely novel about the search for family that also happens to illuminate a fascinating and forgotten chapter of America’s history. Beautiful.”—Ann Packer

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?

As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.

Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, and unexpected friendship.


  • Orphan Train

    By Vickielr
    A wonderful and well written story that gets a hold of you and won't let you put it down until that last page is read. I enjoyed it tremendously! Vickie R.
  • Orphan Train

    By Suecat102
    I loved this book even though it is heartbreaking to know that so many children had to go through the experiences the main character did.
  • Great read!

    By Cement28
    Loved everything about this story!
  • 😭

    By NijiKiti
    I ugly cried while reading this book. Other than the endless tears, this book was amazing and definitely a page-turner.
  • Loved it

    By Plcarr
    Great book about the orphan immigrant children and the challenges they faced as told from an elderly woman and a teen in foster care. Watch the chapter years to know which person the story is about. Confusing at first.
  • Amamzing

    By Lexi4327
    I went to cover a book club at the local library for work and the book they were covering was the orphan train. After listening to the discussion as someone who is interested in being a foster/adopted parent in the future i had to read this book so amazing i was slow in starting it but read about the last 200 pages in 24 hours.
  • No need to buy :(

    By Kejokuri
    Wow, the very first review was a spoiler to the ending, no need to buy the book now. Why must a reviewer give away the story???
  • Well-written and touching

    By Jeff741a
    I thoroughly enjoyed this touching story of two orphan girls from two separate generations. The author did a beautiful job weaving the tales together. As an adoptive father of a former foster child, this book gives me a glimpse into what my son may be feeling. Thank you.
  • Amazing

    By JJSinClt
    I tell everyone to read this book! I was so sad and happy when it was over. I don't know what I would have done if it didn't have a happy ending!
  • Oᖇᑭᕼᗩᑎ TᖇᗩIᑎ

    By ᗷEᒪᒪᗩ13
    I TᕼIᑎK TᕼIᔕ ᗯᗩᔕ ᗩ GᖇEᗩT ᗷOOK ᗷᑌT I ᑭᖇEᖴEᖇᖇEᗪ ᒪIᒪIᗩᑎᔕ ᑭOᖇTIOᑎ Oᖴ TᕼE ᔕTOᖇY ᗷETTEᖇ TᕼOᑌGᕼ.