Orphan Train Tops One Book Votes!

Representatives from libraries in Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, Perry and York Counties today announced the selection of The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline as the 2015 One Book, One Community selection.

As part of the One Book, One Community campaign —now in its 12th year— organizers wanted to promote community involvement in the selection of the title, rather than handing over a single title for the 2015 campaign. The public was asked to help choose a book from a narrowed-down list of titles that they would like to read and discuss with the community. The public vote took place during the entire month of August 2014. There were five titles chosen by the Book Selection Committee on this year’s voting ballot: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein; The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion; Ready Player One by Ernest Cline; Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline; and You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon.

This year’s OBOC regional campaign represents collaboration between 85 libraries in six counties: Berks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York.

Reading campaign organizers encourage residents of the six-county region to read the book during December and January in preparation to attend free programs and discussions that will be held at public libraries during February, which is designated as both Library Lovers’ Month and Book Lovers’ Month. The public will also be invited to a “Readers’ Celebration” that will be held on March 22, 2015. Plans are underway for the public celebration and will be posted on the One Book website: www.oboc.org. Additionally, the author is scheduled to speak at Beth Israel Synagogue in Lebanon, PA, on Tuesday, May 12, 2015.

Libraries in the six counties will stock copies of the book that can be borrowed free of charge in January 2015. Books will also be available for purchase at local Giant Food Stores, Weis Markets, and Wegmans stores as well as Barnes & Noble Booksellers and at local booksellers. Program schedules for book discussion groups, expert lectures and other innovative activities will be published in the January 2015 issue of ShowcaseNow! Magazine and will be available at all participating public libraries and throughout the community. This information may also be accessed online at www.oboc.org. Nearly all the programming is free of charge.

About the Book

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by luck or chance. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude? As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.

About the Author

Christina Baker Kline is a novelist, nonfiction writer and editor. In addition to the #1 New York Times bestselling Orphan Train, her novels include Bird in Hand, The Way Life Should Be, Desire Lines and Sweet Water. Kline was born in Cambridge, England, and raised there as well as in the American South and Maine. She is a graduate of Yale, Cambridge, and the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow in Fiction Writing. In addition to Fordham, she has taught fiction and nonfiction writing, poetry, English literature, literary theory, and women’s studies at Yale, New York University, and Drew University. She is a recent recipient of a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Fellowship, a Writer-in-Residence Fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a Fordham Faculty Research Grant.

Kline has worked as a caterer, cook, and personal chef on the Maine coast, Martha’s Vineyard, and in Charlottesville, Virginia. She lives in an old house in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband, David Kline, and three boys, Hayden, Will, and Eli. She spends summers with extended family in an even older house on Mount Desert Island in Maine. (Source: http://christinabakerkline.com )

How the Books on the Public Vote Ballot were selected

The books on the Public Vote Ballot were selected by a Book Selection Committee that reviews a number of books before making their final decisions. The five choices for the public vote were based upon the following broad criteria:

  • A good, discussable book. Books that make successful subjects for discussion have well-developed characters who are challenged by issues in their lives with which readers can identify;
  • A book that is available in quantity at reasonable cost, in various media formats (paperback, large print, audio, CD, DVD, or video);
  • A book that is written at a high school reading level; and
  • A book that varies in type from others previously selected;
  • An author, or recognized experts on the author, who would be willing to engage in discussion with readers at several events

The idea of a community-wide reading of the same book came from the Seattle Public Library. Launched in 1998, “If all Seattle Read the Same Book” was the first effort to promote reading and civic engagement through a community reading project. Following their success, numerous cities and communities across the country have implemented a One Book campaign themselves. This regional reading campaign, dubbed One Book, One Community, is intended to promote the value of reading by recommending a compelling book that links the community in a common conversation. Several communities across the country have initiated “One Book” efforts, but One Book, One Community is the largest such effort in Pennsylvania with 85 participating libraries.

“Readers of this year’s selection will become enchanted with the two main characters as they take a journey that starts in the attic of a Victorian home located in Maine — the 91 year old Vivian re-lives her original journey westward on the Orphan Train as she shares her life story with Molly, a troubled teenager. Through the elder’s poignant reverie, both Vivian and Molly uncover little known truths. The connection that these two seemingly different characters forge will resonate with readers—I didn’t want the story to end.” said Mary Ann Heltshe-Steinhauer, community relations manager for the Library System of Lancaster County.

Major sponsors of One Book, One Community are WGAL TV 8, Isaac’s Restaurant and Deli, ShowcaseNow, K & L Gates, The Fowler Family Foundation and Giant Food Stores. Additionally, Library Trustees and Friends Groups from the region’s public libraries have contributed to this initiative. Glatfelter provided copies of this year’s book for outreach purposes throughout the seven counties.

For more information an updates about the Campaign, go to: www.oboc.org

# # #