“I was so moved by A Last Survivor of the Orphan Trains and by William’s experiences. He was put on a train with no supervision, no oversight, and given away to the first people who claimed him. A story of heartbreak and resilience . . .”
—LISA MICHAELS, AUTHOR OF GRAND AMBITION, A LOS ANGELES TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR, AND SPLIT: A COUNTERCULTURE CHILDHOOD, A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR.
“… a refreshing take on what seems to be a lesser-known historical matter. Oscillating between two voices—the authorial ‘I’ and a Brechtian narrator—this work of oral history chronicles the life of William Walters, a homeless boy since he was orphaned at age four, and his journeys—by choice, by chance, or against his own will—after being put on one of the Orphan Trains heading for the Southwest. This memoir successfully shuns the exaggerative epic by staying life size in portrayed details and emotions. Overall, the language is clear and its voice convincing. Historical contexts are sufficiently furnished within the narratives.”
—The Eric Hoffer Awards
“This is a powerfully emotive story, inspiring and motivational in its message that keeping going and being resilient pays off, even when the world is unspeakably cruel. Author Victoria Golden works well with William Walters’ story, and the two together make an epic and detailed journey through the Depression, the Second World War and almost right up to present day history as William’s life unfolds… Despite his terrible experiences, William’s own inner strength and belief in a better future make him an admirable hero against the odds. A Last Survivor of the Orphan Trains is an excellent memoir, highly recommended.”
—K.C.Finn for Readers’ favorite book reviews
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