A Family Apart Author:Joan Lowery Nixon "This is as close to a perfect book as you'll buy — this year. The plot is rational and well paced; the — characters are real and believable; the time setting — important to U.S. history, and the values all that anyone — could ask for:" -Voice of Youth Advocates — The Orphan Train saga begins in 1856 in New York City, where Mrs. Kelly, a young widow,... more » realizes that she cannot give her six children the life they deserve. Mrs. Kelly makes the ultimate sacrifice of love and sends them west on the orphan train to find better lives with new families. The children, especially 13-year-old Frances Mary, feel an overwhelming sense of betrayal and abandonment.
Their arrival in St. Joseph, Missouri, not only separates the children from their mother, but from each other as well. One by one they are adopted by western families-some looking for children to love, others only seeking cheap labor. Frances had promised Ma that she would look after PP ey, her youngest brother, no matter what. Masquerading as a boy, "Frankie's" adventures eventually involve her in the activities of the Underground Railroad. Will honoring Ma's request help Frances understand how splitting up the family was really her mother's act of love?
" The rapid succession of high-spirited adventures makes for lively reading:'-Publishers Weekly
"Filled with just plausible historical figures and incidents:'-The New York Times Book Review