In 1881, 12-year-old Rodzina Clara Jadwiga Anastazya Brodski wishes she didn’t have to board the orphan train in Chicago. But she has no home, no family, and no choice. Rodzina doesn’t believe the orphans are on their way out West to be adopted by good families. She’s sure they will become slaves to strangers. Anyway, who would ever adopt a large, tough, stubborn girl of Polish origin? As the train heads west, all Rodzina has is a small suitcase and her family memories from the past. Will Rodzina ever step off the train to find the family that deep in her heart she’s searching for?
“It is 1881, and twelve-year-old Rodzina Clara Jadwiga Anastazya Brodski finds herself on an orphan train bound from Chicago to the west where, she is sure, she will be sold into slavery. . . . Rodzina’s musings and observations provide poignancy, humor, and a keen sense of the human and topographical landscape.”—School Library Journal, Starred
“A natural for American history or social studies classes, this is especially interesting as a women’s history title, with Rodzina portrayed as an unromantic protagonist, big, angry, tough. . . . Cushman talks about the history in a lengthy final note, and she includes a bibliography of other orphan books.”—Booklist, Starred
Booklist Top 10 Historical Fiction for Youth
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