Middle Grade: Ages 8-12
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.
Reviews and Praise:
“… A page-turner that will have readers eagerly waiting for the next installment. For those who want more background, the book includes a brief explanation of the Orphan Train Movement. Readers may wonder how children can survive on their own. Here, the strong characters make it plausible.” —Booklist
“McClure celebrates bravery, ingenuity, and the bonds of family and friendship in this old-fashioned story of children fending for themselves, building a community, and eluding the adults who seek them… Readers should enjoy vicariously participating in the children’s independence and will appreciate their hard-earned triumphs.”—Publishers Weekly
“Readers will be swept away by the bravery of the young heroes… Readers of series fiction who enjoy learning about the past will gravitate toward this accessible novel and will be impatient for the sequel.”—School Library Journal
“A thoroughly enjoyable, fast-paced adventure.”—Caroline Starr Rose, author of May B.
“Creativity and resilience, key themes found within Wendy McClure’s newest novel, play a large part in the creation of Wanderville…. A fantastic new historically set adventure.” —The Hiding Spot
“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 relatable to today’s audience.” —Miss Pippi Reads
“Wanderville by Wendy McClure is a great book about three kids. One of these kids is Jack. In a factory that his brother worked, at there was a fire. Jack’s brother [Daniel] goes to put out the fire but dies in it. So his parents can’t afford to keep Jack and send him on a orphan train. The other two characters, Frances and Harold, are orphans and also get sent on a orphan train. All the characters meet and are friends. The rest you’ll have to read about. It is a great book with a lot of drama and excitement. This book is a must read! The author is awesome, and I look forward to the sequel.” —Matthew, age 10, reviewer for Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth, MA