"Getting on this train had not been my idea. I wanted to go home. But I had no home anymore, except The Little Wanderers' Refuge, and they had sent me away to be sold as a slave...."
These are the thoughts of Rodzina Jadwiga Anastazya Brodski as she boards the orphan train. Though the orphans have been told that they are going to be adopted by loving families, Rodzina is not convinced. Even if there were such people, why would they want to adopt an overlarge, unpretty, standoffish girl of Polish origin? Besides, Rodzina doesn't need a new family: at twelve she is old enough , and certainly big enough, to take care of herself.
But having little choice in the matter, she soon finds herself on the train heading west, leaving behind the only home she has ever known and bringing with her little more than memories of the family she has lost. Rodzina's journey is filled with memorable characters, humor, and courage.
Join us on Thursday, March 5th at 6:30 to discuss this compelling and unforgettable orphan-train story by Karen Cushman. Snacks will be provided.
Charlie Anne is devestated when her father must go up north to build roads after the Depression hits. She and her siblings are left with their rigid cousin, Mirabel, and a farm full of chores. The only solace Charlie Anne finds is by the river, where the memory of her mother is the strongest.
Then her neighbor Old Mr. Jolly brings home a new wife, Rosalyn, who shows up in pants---pants!---the color of red peppers. With her arrives Phoebe, a young African American girl who has also lost her mother. Phoebe is smart and fun and the perfect antidote to Charlie Anne's lonely days. The girls soon forge a friendship and learn from each other in amazing ways.
But when hatred turns their town ugly, it's almost more than they can bear. Now it is up to Charlie Anne and Phoebe to prove that our hearts are always able to expand.
Join us on Thursday, February 5th at 6:30 to discuss the book and have some snacks.
"I watch the wagon
until I see nothing on the open plain.
For the first time ever,
I am alone." Caroline Starr Rose
May is sent to help out on a neighbor's homestead---just until Christmas, her pa promises. But when a terrible turn of events leaves her all alone, she must try to find food and fuel---and courage--- to make it through the approaching winter.
This beautiful novel in verse will transport you to the Kansas prairie---to the endless grassland, and to the suffocating closeness of the sod house where May is stranded.
May's straightforward yet eloquent voice, and her bravery, determination, and willingness to risk everything, will capture your attention and imagination.
Join us on Thursday, January 15th, at 6:30 in the evening to discuss this excellent novel. Snacks will be served.
I looked down at her on the porch.
"It's okay, dog. I won't hurt you. I want to be friends."
She stretched her nose out toward me, it went crazy, sniffing quick and loud.
Oh! That big brown nose was cold as ice and nice and wet. And her saggy jowls that brushed against my hand as she sniffed it all over, they were velvety soft.
Her tail thumped, and she laid her head back on her front paws, and when I took my next scootch, she didn't move a whit." K.A. Nuzum
More than anything Dessa Dean needed a friend. A friend with whom she could share her heart. Then there came a scratchin' at the door and Dessa Dean's life was forever changed. This is the story of a girl, a dog, and the friendship that saved them both.
Join us on Thursday, December 18th at 6:30 to discuss this heartwarming story and enjoy some snacks.
As in past years, Lily will spend the summer in Rockaway, in her family's summer house by the Atlantic Ocean. But this summer of 1944, World War II has changed everyone's life. Lily's best friend, Margaret, has moved to a wartime factory town, and, much worse, Lily's father is going overseas to the war.
There's no one Lily's age in Rockaway until the arrival of Albert, a refugee from Hungary with a secret sewn into his coat. Albert has lost most of his family in the war; he's been through things Lily cannot imagine. But soon they form a special friendship. Now Lily and Albert have secrets to share: They both have told lies, and Lily has told one that may cost Albert his life.
Join us in the Youth Department on Thursday, October 23rd at 6:30 to discuss this excellent book about family, friendship, honesty, separation and loss. Snacks will be served.