Meet the twins who traveled on the orphan train to find their forever home in this middle grade historical fiction novel, part of the Based on a True Story series.
Can you imagine becoming an orphan while your parents are still alive? That's what happens to Nettie and Nellie Crook, who are only five years old in 1910 when they are removed from their home in New York.
No one tells Nettie and Nellie why their parents can no longer care for them, and later, no one explains why all the orphans are put on a train headed west. The girls soon find themselves put on display in various small town auditoriums, where prospective parents examine and select children for adoption. Nettie and Nellie are taken by Mr. and Mrs. Chapin, but this happy ending isn't what it seems; Mrs. Chapin is cruel and works the girls like slaves. The twins are eventually rescued, finding the "forever" home they've always wanted.
Nettie and Nellie Crook: Orphan Train Sisters by Susan Hill writing as E. F. Abbott, with illustrations by Clint Hansen is a fascinating novel for young readers, featuring black-and-white illustrations and photographs throughout. This title has Common Core connections.
The Based on a True Story books by E. F. Abbott are exciting historical fiction stories about real children who lived through extraordinary times in American History. Other books in the Based on a True Story series include Sybil Ludington: Revolutionary War Rider, John Lincoln Clem: Civil War Drummer Boy, and Mary Jemison: Native American Captive.
"This engaging narrative portrays children facing real hardships. . . . An appended note from Abbott (a pseudonym for Susan Hill) provides information about child welfare in the early 1900s, the orphan trains, and the lives of the real Nettie and Nellie Crook." -Booklist