Wanderville by Wendy McClure

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 train.

There, 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 citizens.

Description taken from Goodreads. 

I really appreciated this book just because of how much history is embedded into it.

When I first picked it up, I really had no idea what it was about. I got it under reference from another blogger and found that right away, even though it was evident that it was a historical fiction, the pace doesn’t drag due to the writing or the historical elements to it. WANDERVILLE is a quick read and perfect for fans of the Boxcar Children series.

WANDERVILLE is realistic and relatable. Even though it was set during the time of what is known today as the Orphan Train and many of the experiences that these kids go through are foreign to the children of today–there’s plenty of similar feelings, ideas, memories and lessons passed through the main characters, who are well-fleshed out and easy to keep up with.

One of the only things that I wish had been more detailed was the specific details to the story. As for what the children might have gone through and the world they lived in, everything is well crafted but when it comes to specific details such as what elements were truly historical, if the fire that killed Jack’s brother was the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and other specific ideas, this book was lacking. I wish that there had been some sort of way to have learned these things, but overall I really liked this book. I wanted a little more closure in the end, but I feel like that issue was taken care of due to this being a series. All in all, this is a great start and unique series that will be great in companion with similar books like the Boxcar Children. 3.5 stars.

pg count for the hardback: hardback: 224

Series: Wanderville



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