Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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by Karen Cushman

Reviewed May 6, 2003.
Clarion Books, New York, 2003.  215 pages.

In 1880s Chicago, 12-year-old Rodzina has been put on a train, along with 21 other orphans, heading west to look for a family.  A kid on the street told her they would be sold as slaves, but Rodzina has no choice.  She mourns her family, who died from various accidents, and is afraid to get close to anyone.

This touching story is based on orphan trains that truly traveled long ago, meant to find homes for orphans.  The book is well-written and the characters come alive.  Rodzina has some narrow escapes.  I found myself wishing that the book would continue on after she does find a family to love, because I didn’t want to stop reading about this resourceful and determined young lady. 


Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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