One City, One Story: Orphan Train on the Web

Christina Baker Kline, author of our 2016 One City, One Story selection, Orphan Train, will visit Central Library tomorrow, March 31st, to discuss the book in conversation with Director Jan Sanders.  If you would like to learn more about Christina’s research and the themes involved in the book, here are some resources you can explore:


Christina Answers Top 10 Book Club Questions

Watch the video below to hear Christina talk about how she researched Orphan Train, and the fascinating discoveries she made while writing this book. The book is fiction, but as she states, “Everything that happened in the book actually happened to someone.”

A major theme of the book is journeys: geographical, across time, and over emotional terrain. Take a virtual trip and visit sites for some of the resources Christina mentions, to learn more.


The Tenement Museum in New York City

image tenement sign

A rich source of information on the American immigrant experience through the lens of the tenements of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The website offers a virtual tour, games, activities and primary sources to tell the stories of many, many American families.

(Image: “New York Tenement Museum” by Sophie Panzarella: CC License SA 3.0)


The Library of Congress in Washington, DC

Libary of Congress, detail

The LOC is the largest library in the world, and includes books, music, sound and video recordings, images, manuscripts, and much more. It is the first-established national cultural institution and a working government office. The website offers access to some wonderful collections, exhibits, and is a rich resource to inform and inspire.

(Image: “Library of Congress, detail” by Packherd: CC License SA 3.0)


American Experience: “The Orphan Trains” from PBS

orphan train image

A companion to the broadcast episode of the PBS program, this site offers a program transcript, a list of books and articles to learn more, and a teacher’s guide.

(Image: Orphan Train, used courtesy Wikipedia)


National Orphan Train Complex in Concordia, KS

National Orphan Train Clock

Visit this website to read the stories of riders who traveled on the trains to find new lives. This site also includes information on research, educational resources, and registration for its National Orphan Train Celebration event, taking place this year in June.

(Image: “National Orphan Train Memorial Clock” by Paulmdonald: CC License SA 3.0)