Read Wanderville by Wendy McClure Online


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. .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.THE FIRST BOOK IN A HISTORICAL SERIES THAT'S PERFECT FOR COMMON CORE AND FOR FANS OF THE BOXCAR CHILDREN!...

Title : Wanderville
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781595147004
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Wanderville Reviews

  • Becky Keir Grace
    2018-12-09 03:34

    Quick, 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 west.Frances 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 are.Jack 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 home.The 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.

  • Erik This Kid Reviews Books
    2018-11-20 21:36

    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 anymore. 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 Wanderville.This 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 more 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

  • Ms. Yingling
    2018-11-23 22:29

    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 students.Weaknesses: There were some historical details that seemed vague to me and would have been more effective if explained more. 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.

  • Jennifer
    2018-11-30 20:49

    Summary:After 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 themselves.My thoughts:I 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 parents/teachers 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 child/adult. The action sucks you in and you root for the boys all the way through.

  • Madz
    2018-11-25 03:41

    Fun, sweet, and cute and cruel short read. Definitely LOVED it!

  • Reader Girl
    2018-11-17 22:24

    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.

  • Jennifer Berg
    2018-12-01 04:40

    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.

  • Sara Grochowski
    2018-12-06 22:39

    WANDERVILLE is set in the 1900s and introduces readers to Frances, Harold, and Jack, three kids from New York bound for Kansas on an orphan train. Frances and her little brother Harold have been living in horrible conditions since their Aunt Mare abandoned them. Both hope for a better life out West, though Frances is skeptical of the fate that awaits them. Jack, not technically an orphan, has been sent away by his destitute parents after the loss of his older brother in a tragic factory fire. The three meet aboard the train, where Jack comes to Harold rescue as he's being picked on by a bully. Jack and Frances are both convinced nothing good awaits them in Kansas, so they hatch a plan to escape the train and make their way back to New York. Dodging the local sheriff, the three escape. Beginning their trek back east, the three runaways literally stumble across Alexander, another escaped orphan. Alexander confirms their fears: nothing good was waiting at the end of their cross-country train ride. But, Alex explains, he has the perfect place for Frances, Jack, and Harold to live. A safe place. A place with no adults. A place all their own. A place where kids like them are always welcome. Wanderville. Population: 4. Everything is perfect until Harold is captured by the worst people imaginable, the Pratcherds, the very family Alex has escaped from. Now Frances, Jack, and Alex must rescue Harold, without getting caught themselves.Creativity and resilience, key themes found within Wendy McClure's newest novel, play a large part in the creation of Wanderville. The town, at first glance, might not seem like much, but if you look closely, it starts to take shape. Built with bits and pieces, and no small amount of imagination, the town has everything our four runaways need: food stores (restocked frequently by "liberating" items from the nearby town, right under the sheriff's nose), a safe place to sleep (both a remarkably comfy area on the ground and hammocks), room to make their own decisions (the courtroom is a great place to determine the laws of Wanderville), and the freedom to explore and play (plus determine how they'll take on the sheriff if he tracks them down). After all the hardship these four kids have endured, Wanderville is a refuge. A place where no adult can hurt or betray them, a place entirely their own.WANDERVILLE allows young readers to learn about and explore history, specifically the realities of orphan trains and the harsh lives of young children in the early 1900s, while allowing them to embark on an adventure with plucky characters their own age that they'll find easy to relate to. Readers will easily compare their lives to those of Frances, Jack, and Harold, finding both similarities and differences. The characters in WANDERVILLE deal with bullies, love their siblings, enjoy reading and learning, etc, all things kids today can easily relate to. But there are notable differences too: Jack works in a factory under harsh conditions, Frances and Harold are briefly taken in many times before being abandoned, and all three are shipped across the country where they are promised a better life, but where a fate of a hard life as cheap labor awaits them.A fantastic new historically set adventure, readers are sure to love both the adventure and history included in WANDERVILLE. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next for Frances, Jack, Alex, and Harold in the next part of their story, slated for a fall 20114 release.

  • Miss Pippi the Librarian
    2018-12-13 21:47

    Are you familiar with orphan trains? Children from New York (or other big cities) were sent out West to live "better lives" with families and big open spaces. Yet, many children were fearful of the unknown.Jack, Frances, and Harold were a couple of children sent out to Kansas on an orphan train. They didn't want to leave, but they couldn't escape their traveling fate. After hearing awful orphan stories on the train, they decide to "jump ship" in the middle of Kansas. They meet up with another orphan named Alexander who gives them a new look at life in the prairie wilderness.When I began reading this story, I thought it would be historical fiction mixed with fantasy. I was completely wrong. The magic of Wanderville and the letdown was realized at the same moment as Jack, Frances, and Harold. It was rather ironic and heartening to relate so well to the characters. Just as the children came to grips with their new situation, I knew that this wouldn't be a fantasy story, but reality (albeit in history). Don't let the knowledge of no fantasy elements steer you away from reading Wanderville!McClure mixes historical fiction with a kid's today approach. The book is set in history, but the children face many emotions and circumstances that kids' today can encounter. The emotions of loss, fear, hope, friendship, and survival are very relate-able to today's audience. The theme of overcoming circumstances is largely woven throughout the text in different ways, but not overpowering. The story ends with a gentle cliffhanger - one that will have readers imagining what's going to happen next. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment in 2014!I think this story would be very appropriate for 3-6 graders. The author offers many different situations that can open the floor to great classroom, book club, or family discussions.Reviewed from an Edelweiss copy. Thank you, Razorbill!

  • Alisa Inman
    2018-12-12 01:26

    This book was a great historical children's chapter book. I really enjoyed it and would gladly use this in my classroom. It was well written, and the characters were well described as well as the setting. I can't wait to see what other books will be written by this author concerning other historical aspects and would buy them for my classroom. I was thankful to get this in the free giveaway because I was really looking forward to the historical aspects. While it was mentioned slightly, it wasn't really about the historical aspect. It was more of a setting than anything else. It was almost like a book that is set during World War II, but isn't really talked about. That isn't a huge problem for me, because I can use it to start the discussions about the orphan train, but it still would have been nice to have perhaps an afterward with more information about the orphan train to encourage the talks about the historical aspects.The problems I had with this book were that it almost seems to condone stealing. It is mentioned once that one child is against it, but then later that child is shown doing that. This could be fixed with a discussion about why stealing is wrong, however. Also, at the end, there really isn't a happy ending. Instead, the children *SPOILER* end up back in Wanderville, and back to the assumption that the stealing, and ways of survival would have to continue. It easily could have been that since they let the town know what was going on, the children were found good homes, or the ranch was shut down. I would recommend this book, and it is great for children in 3rd-5th grade in my opinion. It would be a great companion book to go with other books about the orphan train.

  • Michelle McBeth
    2018-11-22 21:24

    A boxcar full of orphan children is shipped to Kansas to be "placed" with families. But Jack, Frances, and Harold are worried about the rumors that the children are actually going to a work farm. So they jump the train and hope to find a way to go it alone. They run across a boy named Alexander who has created a fictional town called Wanderville where all children in need can come. He teaches them how to care for themselves including how to steal from town. But when one of the kids is kidnapped and taken to the farm, the others must step forward and figure out how to take him back.First, I must say this is an extremely well written story. The author uses lyrical description, but writes it in such a way that the reader does not feel bogged down in it. The story moves at a fast pace and the characters are interesting although I felt I would have like to know more about them. However, this story is also very heavy. It begins with a death in a fire then moves on to the horrible picture of living in a children's home. There is violence from the farm owners including hitting children with a whip and beating them until they can no longer move and have bad bruises. For a junior novel this is some pretty harsh stuff. Yes, it is a reality of the times, but not necessarily appropriate for the elementary age group. I would proceed with caution using this book with elementary students, but I highly recommend it for junior high especially since it is such a fast pace read.

  • Diana Ward
    2018-11-30 22:41

    Summary: there's a fire and Jack is stuck in the middle of it all! His brother is killed in the fire and Jack is being put on an orphan train because his dad doesn't want him any more. In another part of town there’s a 11 year old girl named Frances and her little brother Harold. Frances and Harold get blue ribbons and are taken to the same train as Jack, called the orphan train. Frances, Jack and Harold find out the train is taking them to work factory where kids never get to play and get beat up. They all have to jump off the train and find themselves lost. Then they find Alexander. They name their new home Wanderville. Then Harold gets taken away to the workplace. Frances, Jack, and Alexander must stick together to save Harold and all the rest of the children.Compare and Contrast: Jack and Frances both have to get on an orphan train. They also lost someone very important people. They both have/had a brother. And they also meet someone new named Alexander. What they don’t have in common is that Frances and Harold are orphans and Jack has parents that don’t want him. Like/Dislike: I really like this book! I have read it multiple times and so I decided to read it again! It talks about friendship and I love that because I just think about my friends. I hope everyone reads this book! Its really good!

  • Cara
    2018-11-21 00:26

    I read this book as my choice historical fiction book. It is a chapter book for intermediate grades.The author Wendy McClure visited the school I work at last year, and I had been wanting to read one of her books for awhile. The historical aspect of this book is that it follows children's journey on orphan trains. It begins in a New York orphanage when a sudden and unfortunate event lands Jack in an orphanage. Soon the children in the orphanage are sent on orphan trains across country to Kansas. Here the children have been promised loving families to adopt them. However, in reality many farmers "adopted" the children solely for the purpose of manual labor on their farms. These farms had upwards of twenty children and none were cared for properly. The story follows the journey of Jack, Harold, and Frances on the orphan train and beyond. As the boys begin to hear rumors of what really awaits them in Kansas, they make a run for it and begin an adventure of their own. I was captivated by this book because I was previously not familiar with orphan trains. When Wendy McClure visited the school I work at, she shared a lot of the historical background to this book. It was very interesting to see how created a fictional world in story amidst such a dark historical event.I would recommend this book for fourth grade and up.

  • Gayle Rosengren
    2018-11-26 01:47

    I was lucky enough to read an advance readers copy of Wanderville, and I knew from page one that it was going to be an instant hit with kids 8-12. It has everything they could possibly want--action, suspense, bits of humor, spunky characters--both boys and girls-and a situation in which they take charge of themselves when the adults around them prove unworthy of the job. Set in 1900, the characters are all escapees from an Orphan Train that they have reason to believe is sending them into lives of near slavery. What happens after they jump off the train in Kansas is just the beginning of the adventures that await the future residents of Wanderville. This is the first book in what promises to be a series as popular as The Boxcar Children it is so reminiscent of, thanks to Ms. McClure's ability to create compelling characters and an exciting storyline that will draw even reluctant readers into this little known time in our country's past.I highly recommend it.

  • Yapha
    2018-12-13 23:29

    Frances has been taking care of her younger brother Harold since their mother disappeared five years before. Jack is wracked with guilt when his older brother is killed in a fire that he survives. Due to a variety of circumstances, the three of them find themselves on the same Orphan Train heading to Kansas. Worried about all of the rumors they have been hearing about what waits for them at the end of the line, as well as Frances being concerned that she will be split up from Harold, the three kids jump from the train just before it reaches the final station. Although wandering on the prairie still seems like a better alternative, they are relieved when they meet Alexander, who takes them to his campsite named Wanderville. Together, the four of them set out to survive on their own, without getting caught by the sheriff. An exciting, though not necessarily realistic, look at the Orphan Trains and life on the prairie. The first in a new series. Recommended for grades 3-5.

  • Melanie
    2018-12-12 22:39

    In the tradition of the "Boxcar Children" series, Wanderville is about the orphans from the East, shipped via trains to the Midwest to be "adopted." These children were often used as a legal form of slave labor.Some parents chose to voluntarily give up their children in hopes that they would receive a better life out West. In this case a runaway has created "Wanderville" where any homeless child will find a home. Alexander, the developer of this community has runaway from a horrible place called The Ranch where he, like many others, was used for labor.Wanderville is just an clearing in the woods and the inhabitants use their imaginations to fill in the rest. As for food, they "liberate" food from the local general store. Each child helps out in their own way.A good book for adventure readers.

  • Amy Griffith
    2018-11-13 02:38

    This book was okay, but it's certainly not one of my favorites for children. It's not the in the same league as Boxcar Children.I was excited about it being historical fiction, but the historical side was very limited. There was some historical context about the orphan trains. Other than that, it was easy to forget that the book was set in a different time.My biggest issue with the book is related to the fact that the children stole things, and it wasn't portrayed as wrong. Any child who reads this book needs to be old enough to understand that stealing was wrong, even though it seemed very important in the context of the book. I will allow my children to read this series because they read a lot of good, wholesome books, but I can't endorse it as a book that's good for children because of that issue.

  • Kate
    2018-11-13 01:47

    I confess to a severe crush on Wendy McClure, a crush that goes back something more than 10 years. So I'm biased, but I liked Wanderville and felt it was a good middle grades read. Not-exactly-orphans, a kid whose brother dies in a factory fire, and a brother and sister pair feel that something is wrong as they ride an orphan train from New York to Kansas, and they escape but luckily run into another kid who has imagined himself a whole town he's looking to people. The plot is a little messy, and at times terse enough that I needed to reread when later dialogue referred to an event, but that's middle grades fic for you - kids will love it.I wish there had been a historical note, because I was curious about how much fantasy there was in the Lost Boys part of the plot. McClure has an ear for dialogue and a gift for friendly banter that brings characters to life.

  • Elissa Schaeffer
    2018-11-25 04:27

    Jack, Frances, and her brother Harold, are all for one reason or another being shipped from their home in New York City to Kansas on an orphan train. While en route, the three decide to hop off the train rather than face what awaits them in Kansas--which is unpaid labor on a farm, from what they hear. Once off, and "on the run," the three find Alexander and his home of Wanderville. All I can muster for this is "meh." It was okay, but nothing that made it stand out for me. I think fans of the Little House books would enjoy these, but for me it was just okay. I was hard pressed to believe that these four children could make a home from the camp and then justify stealing from the townsfolk. Grades 3 and up.

  • Kathryn
    2018-11-20 01:40

    I was excited the first quarter of this book, thinking it seemed like it would be a good introduction to the Orphan Trains that I know very little about. While there is not a lot of time devoted to a historical presentation about the Orphan Trains, I don't know how accurate a depiction this book is, so I might hesitate to recommend it until I have done more research. After the children leave the train, the story and storytelling go downhill fast, in my opinion. I am sure there will be students who enjoy it, but it won't be high on my list of book recommendations. It is clearly the beginning of a series. Grade 3?+ Read June, 2014

  • Rosalie
    2018-12-05 21:46

    This is a great book to recommend to children who love the Boxcar Children and are looking for a new series to begin. It's the story of three orphans who are on the orphan train headed for Kansas. They have been told that they will be placed into good loving families. But when they hear that there are rumors that they will be placed on a sugar beet farm as slave labor they jump off the train. They form their own town and name it Wanderville where the only rule is that all children will be welcome and no one will be treated unkindly!

  • Claire
    2018-11-14 22:37

    Hmm.. The story grabbed my attention from the first chapter, and it is a good one... Orphan train to Kansas, unscrupulous people taking advantage of kids as basically slave labor, some escaping and banding together to create a safe place, but the ending left me a little flat.It would be a good tool to have kids finish the story... It could have used an epilogue or a message from the author with some real information about orphan trains and maybe an explanation for the end.

  • Michele
    2018-11-13 03:52

    I didn't love this book. It may be that young readers will be able to enjoy this far-fetched story of young kids living on their own, but I kept wondering where they went to the bathroom and did they ever bathe? I wish the author had given more information about the orphan trains - that may have made this book more appealing for me. It's part of a series and it looks like this group (and Wanderville) will be traveling to a new town.

  • Bethe
    2018-12-10 21:54

    I haven't read too many books about the orphan trains of the early 1900s, I'm hoping the adults involved are not as mean spirited as some of the ones in this book. A few good natured adults help in the end, which is open to a sequel. I liked how the kids worked together to improve their situation.

  • David
    2018-12-07 00:51

    This was an enjoyable read. It immediately grabbed me when it opens with a fire at the factory that Jack and Dan are working at. Fast paced at times with some cliff-hangers; always enjoyable. The pictures that McClure paints of the 19th century jump off the page. The kids relationships didn’t seem forced at all and the book ends setting up for a sequel.

  • Chris Hayman
    2018-11-16 04:38

    I liked this, but I didn't love it. I don't think that the main character was a developed as a person as I need to consider a book really good. Kids sticking together was a positive; stealing from people in town was a negative.

  • Samma
    2018-11-13 23:51

    Overall, this was a solid, enjoyable read. However, I didn't care for the open end. Too many questions or possibilities left open for my own liking. I would however still recommend the book to others.

  • Librariann
    2018-11-23 02:52

    A little fantastical kids-run-it-all-grown-ups-are-villainous book set at the start of the 20th century in NYC/on an orphan train/in Kansas. We're considering having the author in for a visit at our library, so I gave it a quick read. Cute, and kids will like it.

  • Droplet
    2018-12-08 22:46

    A super fun page-turner with genuine thrills and lovable characters. I was terrified that anything would happen to Harold and when things did, because it's a book and all, I couldn't drop the book until everything was okay. Pick it up.

  • Nancy
    2018-11-18 22:40

    A sweet story based on the historical orphan train. It is about a group of "orphans" who bond during their voyage west, jump the train and learn how to survive in the woods. They discover Wanderville and are welcomed in by one of their kind.