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A Family Apart by Joan Lowery Nixon
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This book depicts the experience of traveling on the Orphan Train from New York west. The story tells of a widow who decides to hand over her 6 children to organizers of sending orphans west to be adopted by families who wanted and needed children to work on the farms. The book has the reader experience poverty, discrimination, desperation, and in this book, a happy ending. In this first book in the series, Frances pretends to be a boy in order to be placed in the same household as her younger brother. Since she grew up doing many chores, fulfilling the jobs of a boy isn't hard for her. In the end, she helps slaves escape through the underground railroad to freedom. Students love the excitement in this book and empathize with the mother who gives up her children and Frances, who is trying to be strong for her siblings. ( )
  elmisner | Jul 18, 2015 |
A Family Apart is the first book of The Orphan Train Adventure series. The story begins with the six children, Frances, Mike, Danny, Megan, Peg, and Petey Kelly being sent to live with farm families in Missouri by the Children’s Aid Society of New York as their mother is no longer able to care for them. To ensure that the youngest boy, Petey, is not separated from a sibling, the oldest girl Frances disguises herself as a boy so there is a better chance that they will both be taken together by one family. The book mainly tells of the adventures that Frances and Petey encounter with their new family.

I was first introduced to this series when my son was in fourth grade. I can remember us reading the book together and discussing the characters.

Classroom extensions would include using this book as a transition to studying about the culture and environment of 1860, which is the period of time that the book takes place. Another extension would be to use this book as a transition to studying about the origin of trains. ( )
  DavisPamelag | Mar 28, 2011 |
I read this when I was serving on a panel to evaluate juvenile novels for an elementary school. . This book depicts the experience of children sent in an orphan train from New York City to Missouri in the years just before the Civil War. There is some discussion of the politics of slavery during this period, and the children and their foster family get involved on the right side of the Underground Railroad. There is a depiction of the poverty of New York City immigrants, and the effect it has on them physically and emotionally. A good book. No problems. ( )
  baobab | Nov 10, 2010 |
When their mother can no longer support them, six siblings are sent by the Children's Aid Society of New York City to live with farm families in Missouri in 1860.
  prkcs | Oct 8, 2008 |
I think I read this book six times in a row when I was ten. It was that good.
  KatieWallace | Apr 14, 2007 |
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To my friend Dan Weiss
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Jennifer shook back her long, dark hair, damp from the summer's heat.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440226767, Paperback)

When their mother can no longer support them, six siblings are sent by the Children's Aid Society of New York City to live with farm families in Missouri in 1860.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:32 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When their mother can no longer support them, six siblings are sent by the Children's Aid Society of New York City to live with farm families in Missouri in 1860.

» see all 4 descriptions

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