LAST TRAIN HOME: An Orphan Train Story is a Dickensian story about cultural identity and family history set during the nineteenth century at a time when America received an enormous influx of immigrants, and a quarter of a million children whose fates would be determined by pure luck were sent west from East Coast cities by orphan trains. Would the children be adopted by kind and loving families, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?
The narrative highlights a little known, but historically significant moment in our country's past by tracing the individual journeys of two children to bring about the distinction between the "placing out" of these children in finding a family and a home. History, culture, and geography celebrate the survival of these children by weaving their individual stories into triumph over tribulation building strength of mind and character into an incredible reserve.
Praise for Last Train Home: An Orphan Train Story
"Renée Wendinger has written a thoughtful and moving history based on the real life stories of two orphan train riders, Johnny and Sophia, both orphaned in the early 1900s under heart-wrenchingly difficult circumstances. I was struck by the similarities between the characters in Last Train Home: An Orphan Train Story and my grandmother's creation, Anne of Green Gables, and the will to live a positive and productive life. This author is clearly a gifted writer."
Kate Macdonald Butler
Heirs of L.M. Montgomery Inc.
"History at its most capacious, authoritative research, beautifully written, and panoramic in viewpoint about the people who “made history” aboard the orphan trains of New York. Renée Wendinger tells a tale of how one event in a life can change everything. This is a story about a moving time in our nation’s history when hope and faith held us all strongly together. A great book for lovers of orphan train history."
Novelist of Nicki and Thanks to Nicki (American Girl Books)
The Magic of Ordinary Days, a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie.
"Renee Wendinger knows the history of the orphan trains well. Last Train Home: An Orphan Train Story is a richly detailed and intriguing narrative that draws upon the real-life stories of train riders, John Ausers and Sophia Kaminsky, and humanizes the thousands of children who rode the orphan trains."
Last Train Home: An Orphan Train Story by Renee Wendinger
Size: 5.5" x 7.5"
...the culmination of my mother's orphan train journey.