Reviewed by Allison Fraclose for TeensReadToo.com
When Oliver Nordmark decided to play hooky from school one day in 1905, he never imagined that his mistake would lead to a life-changing event.
After one week in the Guarish Society Detention Center, he is told that his mother has died and his father is nowhere to be found. He and his little brother, Edward, are taken to the New York State Orphanage, and a few months later, both board one of the Orphan Trains heading west to be "resettled" with new families.
Finding himself now in charge of his younger brother, eight-year-old Oliver struggles to keep the two of them together. As the brothers try to make their way against dismal odds, they learn that they must rely on nobody but themselves.
Based on the true story of the author's grandfather and his travels on the Orphan Train in 1906, this story brings to life the grim reality that many children faced at the dawn of today's foster care system.