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The 2014 selection
Orphan Train: A Novel
by Christina Baker Kline

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

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her attic is the only thing keeping Molly out of “juvie” and worse.

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and this stranger aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both.
—From the publisher’s notes

Now in its 9th season, One Book One Siouxland shares ideas and builds community through the experience of reading and discussing the same book, and exploring different perspectives through dramatization, music, film, and history.

Sponsors for One Book One Siouxland include the Sioux City Public Library, the South Sioux City Public Library and the North Sioux City Community Library, in partnership with The Institute for Lifelong Learning, Western Iowa Tech Community College and Morningside College.

Experience the transition from one life to another with the Orphan Train riders

February 22

Story of the Orphan Train, a dramatization based on actual accounts, with storyteller and actress Pippa White
watch video

March 2

Tunes from the Orphan Train Era
with musicians Mike Langley, Jack Langley and Walter Peterson
watch video

March 17

The Orphan Train
as seen through children's & teen literature, with Carole Johnston, author
of Trains West

March 21

Trains West: Stories of the Children Who Rode the Orphan Trains West from New York City, 1854-1929
with author Carole Johnston

April 18

Excess Baggage: Riding the Orphan Train
a presentation by Charlotte Endorf, sponsored by Nebraska Humanities

April 30

The Orphan Trains (PBS documentary), filmed interviews with orphan train riders; with guest presenter Margot Chesebro

(See Events tab for details)


"Siouxland" includes the geographic area where Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota meet,

including Sioux City, Iowa, South Sioux City, Neb., North Sioux City, S.D., and surrounding communities.

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