News Flash

Executive - Press Release

Posted on: January 26, 2018

County libraries launch annual community reading program featuring acclaimed bestseller Orphan Train

Book Clubs and special programs offered throughout the spring; lecture and book signing with author set for April 25 in Wilmington

New Castle, DE – “The things that matter stay with you, seep into your skin,” award winning author Christina Baker Kline once wrote. For one evening this spring, Baker Kline will be saying things that matter right here in the First State.

Today New Castle County Libraries present the 14th annual community reading program, “New Castle County Reads,” featuring Baker Kline’s New York Times Bestseller Orphan Train. The novel recounts the transportation of an estimated 250,000 orphans from New York City to farming communities in the Midwest in search of stable homes.

Member of the public are invited to a free lecture and book signing with Baker Kline on April 25, 2018 at 7 pm in the Chase Center on the Wilmington Riverfront. More than 80 area book clubs are already registered to read the novel over the winter and New Castle County libraries are hosting dozens of free discussion groups and living history programs related to the book.

The New Castle County Reads program engages youth and adults in shared reading experiences and deepens community engagement with local libraries through book clubs and special programs.

Orphan Train tells a compelling history of our country, a history of family separation, of survival and of rebirth. Now New Castle County Libraries bring this history to life for residents of all ages, with discussion groups, interactive programs and a chance to meet the author herself,” County Executive Matt Meyer said. “Please join Christina Baker Kline and me on April 25th and bring a friend too.”

Learn more about the 2018 New Castle County Reads program and register your book club to participate by visiting Get updated information about the April 25 lecture and book signing at or

Last year’s New Castle County Reads Program featuring “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie engaged 1,400 participants in book clubs and special related programs and drew more than 700 attendees at the lecture and book signing with author Ayana Mathis.

First released in 2013, Orphan Train has been published in 40 countries, with 3.5 million copies currently in print. The novel spent five weeks as #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and more than two years on the New York Times, USA Today and national Indie bestseller lists. More about Orphan Train:

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.

New Castle County Reads 2018 Community Reading and Living History Programs
Stay tuned to for a detailed schedule of discussion groups and living history programs related to Orphan Train in March and April, including the following:

  • Orphan Train Riders of America presented by Donna Aviles, through the Delaware Humanities Forum. Learn the history of this 75 year “social experiment” as Donna Aviles provides a first-person account of her grandfather, orphan train rider Oliver Nordmark, as he recalls his experience of traveling with his brother from their New York orphanage to the small town of Bern, Kansas.
  • Orphan Train Riders Youth program. Travel back in time and learn the origins of the Orphan Train Movement. Experience being an Orphan Train rider by going through the selection process in an effort to find a new family. Listen to short excerpts that illustrate the challenges and uncertainties created by the Orphan Trains. For Ages 9 and older.
  • Discussion Groups led by library staff in every county library throughout April

Start reading Orphan Train today!
Reserve your copy of Orphan Train from New Castle County Libraries which have dozens of copies available in a variety of formats. Don’t have a library card? Stop into a branch and sign-up today! Click here to get more information about obtaining a library card. The book is also widely available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers.

Learn more about author Christina Baker Kline at her website:


Contact: Jason Miller, Director of Communications, 302-545-1462

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