The only thing keeping Molly, a 17 year old who is currently in foster care, out of juvenile hall is completing community service hours cleaning an elderly woman's attic. Vivian, the elderly woman, and Molly couldn't be farther apart in age and although both hesitant about each other at first, they begin to bond as they go through Vivian's belongings from her past. Vivian was an Orphan Train rider as a little girl and although the story is fiction, the events surrounding the Orphan Train are all true. Back in the early 1900's Orphan Trains existed and were used to take orphan children to different states in hope of finding them homes. Orphan Train is a book about survival, life finding a way to work itself out, and how sometimes friendship isn't defined by age, but by those life experiences that make you who you are.
Discussion Questions ||
1. Did you know orphan trains existed prior to reading this book? Were they a good thing?
2. Have you ever known a child in foster care? What are your thoughts on the foster family Molly was living with?
3. What things do you own which hold a special meaning to you? Can you relate to Vivian and her inability to get rid of her past belongings?
4. Why do you think Vivian chose to give up her baby?
5. How has Molly changed Vivian's life? How has Vivian changed Molly's life?