North Idaho Reads on Track with ‘Orphan Train’ Programs

Programs related to the books selected for North Idaho Reads (NIR) will be offered by libraries and other venues during September and October.
NIR is a community reading partnership involving three North Idaho counties. The books this year are about the Orphan Trains of the 19th and early 20th centuries and include “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline and “Riders on the Orphan Train” by Alison Moore.
Orphan Train Cover“Orphan Train” is a story of friendship and second chances that highlights a little-known but historically significant movement in America’s past.
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 home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvenile detention and worse. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian 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.
The book will be read by the Pageturners Library Book Club for its discussion on Oct. 26, at 10:15 a.m. Dr. Virginia Johnson, a member of the NIR Committee, will lead that discussion, Riders Coverwhich is open to any adult reader. Copies of the book will be available to check out at the Research and Information Desk at the Coeur d’Alene library for the book club. Additional copies will be also available at other libraries, as well as at local book stores.
The book is also scheduled to be read and discussed by the 3Cs Book Club.
“Riders on the Orphan Train” is an historical novel about the journey of two children from very different backgrounds who find themselves on the same train heading West in 1918. It is a story of dislocation, loss, and the search for home that is at the heart of the American experience.
Beginning on the eve of America’s entry into World War I and spanning the period of time until the Great Depression, these children encounter and learn from people also looking for a way to belong in a rapidly-changing world. The novel’s locations include New York City, Arkansas, the Big Bend region of Texas, central New Mexico and southeastern Arizona.