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Publisher's Summary

In 1860, life in New York City’s slums is hard and dangerous. For a widow with six children, it is impossible. So when Mrs. Kelly learns of the Children’s Aid Society, she sees a way to provide for her children. They will be sent west on an “orphan train” to families eager for help on their farms. Thirteen-year-old Mary Frances is confused and angry. How could a mother send her children away? At her new home in Missouri, however, Mary Frances is surprised to discover that the kind family provides a refuge on the Underground Railroad. Their sacrifices will finally help her understand her mother’s difficult decision.

Joan Lowery Nixon is a four-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Best Juvenile Mystery Award. She has also received two Golden Spur Awards. The author of more than a hundred books for children, she was inspired to write The Orphan Train Adventures by the true stories of its children. Through Barbara Caruso’s lively narration, A Family Apart quickly draws listeners into Mary Frances’ world.

©1987 Joan Lowery Nixon (P)2000 Recorded Books

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My Fifth Graders Loved This!

My fifth grade class reads this every year. I decided this year to have them listen to the audiobook while following along in their books. The author really made the book come alive for them, down to the mother's Irish accent. They looked forward to it each day!

The book itself was a wonderful story about family and sacrifice. It offered much needed perspective for many of my students, including me!