Thursday, August 5, 2010

Orphan! by John R. Weber

Weber, John R. Orphan! 302 p. $16.95.  Sexual Content: PG (inferences only).  On his 13th birthday, Homer learns that he was adopted from an orphan train when he was just a toddler.  Now, full of angst, Homer drags his best friend, Jamie, onto the train and off the New York City to find his real family.  Friendship awaits as the boys encounter a kind hobo willing to teach them the ropes of the rails, but danger also lurks along the way.  Life in the 1930’s is gritty and immediate and Weber paints a vivid picture of the time.  I think this rivals DeFelice’s Nowhere to Call Home.  You should get this into your teacher’s hands so that they can consider updating their teaching repertoire.  There is a pretty tense scene early on when the boys are captured by a rail detective who has ulterior motives, but nothing happens, the danger is thwarted before the boys are truly imperiled.  EL (4-6), MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

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