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Jack Frances and Frances’s younger brother Harold have been ripped from the world they knew in New York and sent to Kansas on an orphan train at the turn of the century As the train chugs closer and closer to its destination the children begin to hear terrible rumors about the lives that await them And so they decide to change their fate the only way they know how They jump off the trainThere in the middle of the woods they meet a boy who will transform their lives forever His name is Alexander and he tells them they've come to a place nobody knows about—especially not adults—and where all children in need of freedom are accepted It's a place called Wanderville Alexander says and now Jack Frances and Harold are its very first citizensTHE FIRST BOOK IN A HISTORICAL SERIES THAT'S PERFECT FOR COMMON CORE AND FOR FANS OF THE BOXCAR CHILDREN


10 thoughts on “Wanderville

  1. says:

    uick good read for the middle grade readers 1904 in New York City Jack works in a factory with his older brother Daniel A fire starts and Jack is able to escape but his brother does not His parents are so full of grief they decide to send Jack away in hopes of him finding a better life out westFrances and Harold are orphans living in an orphanage One day the children are all given a blue ribbon or a red ribbon Children with the blue ribbons are being sent out west on a train that today is known as the Orphan Train They are told that farmers out west need hands to work the fields or help in the house That enough is to scare the young children but when they board the train they realize how bad things really areJack helps out Harold on the train and build a bond with him and Frances Two women accompany the children on the children on the train One is the kind Mrs Routh the other is the cruel Miss De Haven Frances and Harold realize they may be separated Jack comes up with a plan to keep them together and now their adventure really begins They meet Alexander who takes them to the town of Wanderville a place for children who need a homeThe book gave me a feeling of the Boxcar children while reading about the author I learned she did work on the later books in the series This book is fun and adventurous Jack was a good strong male character and Frances was clever and resourceful One thing parents may not like about this book is the children had to steal what they needed but keep in mind they are runaways who in all honesty were better off living together than in the harsh conditions of some of the placement homes This is going to be a series and the second book is due out in the Fall of 2014 I plan on ordering it for my library and think it is a good read for children


  2. says:

    Jack wasn’t an orphan but his parents put him on an orphan train after his older brother died in a factory fire His parents couldn’t afford to have Jack live with them any Jack makes friends on the train His new friends Frances and her little brother Harold are just happy to not be separated from each other The kids hear horrible rumors about the place they’re heading for the Pratcherd Ranch So they hatch an idea When the train stops the kids jump off it Soon after they meet Alexander a kid who had escaped from the Pratcherd Ranch They become friends and they make a town where kids in need can find refuge The children call it WandervilleThis was an outstanding well written book Ms McClure has instantly become a favorite author of mine with this book The story was one I couldn’t put down I really identified with the characters who were taken from New York and left in Kansas we recently moved from just outside Philadelphia to a VERY rural area Ms McClure’s writing style really draws you into the story It made it seem like I jumped off the train with Jack Frances and Harold There is some very minor violence at the Pratcherd Ranch but most of it happens between chapters and isn’t graphic I love the history I learned about the orphan trains too I first learned about them in Clare Vanderpool’s “Moon Over Manifest” but learned about them from this book Jack sounds like a boy I’d love to be friends with He’s pretty adventurous I think kids will love this book I can’t wait for Book 2 D NOTE I got an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review


  3. says:

    Jack whose brother dies in a garment factory fire in the early 1900s and Frances and her brother Harold who are living in abject poverty are sent on the Orphan Train out to Kansas On the way from New York City they are ill treated by the organizers and hear horrible stories of the families who take children in The three decide to run away and manage to find a community of other children who band together and try to survive Book two is coming out in the fall of 2014 Strengths McClure who wrote the delightful The Wilder Life My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie has a strong appreciation for what makes historical adventures so appealing and brings in a wide variety of historical details that would make a good introduction to the genre for younger studentsWeaknesses There were some historical details that seemed vague to me and would have been effective if explained Was Jack's brother involved in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire? Was there actually a city of children who managed to survive? And were the families who took in Orphan Train children really that evil Think the Joan Lowry Nixon series as well I have a friend whose great grandfather and his siblings were sent from Wisconsin to Iowa after the death of both parents to live with a family unrelated to them and they were well treated and ended up marrying into the family in several cases


  4. says:

    SummaryAfter being abandoned by his parents Jack finds himself on a train headd towards Kansas While on the train he meets Frances and Harold two other young boys that have been abandoned by their parents The three children are headed for a supposed new better life working; however as they travel on the train they hear the horrors of the working conditions and then set off to escape on their own This leads them into the woods on a journey to find a new life for themselvesMy thoughtsI have a hard time believing that this is a middle grades book I would definitely recommend it for children a little older or children interested in history with parentsteachers that want to talk about the social issues that are raised within the story The children are abandoned at 11 years old to completely care for themselves This focuses on the Orphan Train Movement so the hardships are definitely real Also the working conditions that were faced by small children are intense While the book does not get overly graphic it is blunt with its telling of what was happening at the time There is also no magic happy ending which could be difficult for a younger audience On the other hand the pacing is awesome It's a book that is easily read in one sitting for an older childadult The action sucks you in and you root for the boys all the way through


  5. says:

    Fun sweet and cute and cruel short read Definitely LOVED it


  6. says:

    This book has great potential but it misses the perfect opportunity to educate kids on an interesting piece of history At the very least there should be a section in the back that goes into factual detail about orphan trains and the Children's Aid Society Due to the inclusion of the factual depictions child labor NYC textile factory fires and the orphan train I expected the Wanderville section to be realistic too But the framing of that section acts like all sorts of time passes when it's really only about a week and it's really very unlikely that the kids would escape discovery in the end


  7. says:

    This was described as a book for people who liked the Boxcar Children but I found it not at all like the charming innocent stories that Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote For me the connection between the children was uncompelling and I found I didn't sympathize with some of the main characters and neither believed nor enjoyed their solutions to their problems


  8. says:

    A good summer read for 3rd and 4th graders 'the book reminds me of the BoxCar kid series The exploits of 5 orphans who ran away from the Orphan train to a canning factory


  9. says:

    I've been unwell and haven't been reviewing this year I'm uploading all my reads now and maybe someday I'll write a proper review here


  10. says:

    My kids were very suspicious at first but they loved it and want the next one immediately After meeting Wendy at a book signing years and years ago it is lovely my kids are enjoying her now