The history of the orphan trains combined with the story of Lee Nailling, who in 1926 rode an orphan train to Texas.
That said, I think the book was wonderful.The writing is well done for children's non-fiction, but also is able to capture adult readers. The book is a fascinating story about one of the few surviving children who rode one of the orphan trains as well as the general story of the trains history.
My wife, 11 year old daughter and I read the book (my wife and I in 1 evening, my daughter the next) and then we discussed the concept of the trains, the needs for them and why such things are no longer in use in today's society. It made for a good family discussion and we all learned from the experience.
This book has very good content, as well as interesting information about the sociology of this country's past. It was well worth the read for both adults and our daughter and we all enjoyed it.
Chapters alternate between historical information on the movement and personal details and memories of orphans like Lee Nailling and his brothers.
The most touching moment for me was when Lee, who had every reason to be bitter and hate the world, finally found a home. Fully intending to run away again before morning, he fell asleep and was awakened by a call to breakfast. As a part of "grace" said before the meal by his mother-to-be, the boy heard, "Father, thank you for sending our new son to us, for the privilege of allowing us to raise him."
Lee commented, "I'm sure my jaw dropped in amazement. Somebody was actually thankful I was there!"
There are also many excellent photographs.
This book has very interesting facts and an amazing story that is true, but there is a problem. No offense to the author, but the writing is poor. I give it a 1 star. The three is for the story and facts. A five would have to have a good author also. I do recommend it, though. I sped through it because I loved it, but don't get it for the author's writing (which is poor). Get it if you think this topic sounds interesting, and trust me, it is!