Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  567 ratings  ·  111 reviews
Before the accident Nathaniel's life seemed pretty good. His help around the farm made his father proud. But now, with a busted leg, Nathaniel can't do farmwork anymore, so his father adopts another son through the Orphan Train. Feeling replaced and useless, Nathaniel attends school for the first time. Meanwhile, sturdy and strong John is able to do the work that earns Pa'...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published June 1st 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Worth, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Worth

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,006)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Nathaniel and his family are homesteaders in Nebraska in the 1800s. Nathaniel breaks his leg in a freak accident and is told that he may be lucky to walk again. Because times are hard and money is tight, his father takes in an orphan boy from New York to help around the farm – John Worth. Nathaniel, once his leg begins to heal, is sent to school so that he can make something of himself. Nathaniel resents and envies the relationship that John seems to have with *his* father, but after learning Jo...more
CH13_Rachel Arens
Worth tells the story of a Nebraska farm family in the second half of the 19th century. When the only son is badly injured in a farm accident, the family "adopts" a boy, Jack Worth, from one of the orphan trains that brought orphans from East Coast cities out to live with and work on farms. The story is told through the perspective of Nathaniel, the crippled son, as he deals with losing full use of his leg, being made to go to school instead of work with his father on the farm, and adjusting to...more
Grades 4-7
Rebecca Caudill Award Nominee
Audio Book read by Tommy Fleming
Eleven-year-old Nate and his family experience setback after setback, and end up farming in Nebraska and desperately trying to make ends meet. Life becomes even more difficult when Nate's leg is struck by lightning. To help out on the farm, Nate's father brings home John Worth from the Orphan Train. John's family, like many during that time, was killed in a tenement fire. John was treated essentially like slave labor, especia...more
Category: Award winners (Scot O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction)
Author: A. LaFaye
Illustrator: n/a
Title: Worth
Publication date: 2004
Brief annotation: John Worth is brought to Nebraska from New York City on the Orphan Train and takes over the work of Nathaniel, who was injured in an accident. As Worth begins realizing he will never see his dream of getting a good job or inheriting the farm come true, he and Nathaniel form a friendship that will transcend the farm and their own lives.
Themes: fami...more
Since the story is told in first person, by the main character, Nathanial, the audio CD is read by a young male actor. The narrator does a great job with changing voices, not only between the young male characters, but also taking on the voices of the adults in the story. The voices are believable and it is evident that the reader is skilled at storytelling/acting.
Miss Amanda
gr 3-6 144 pgs

1800s, Nebraska. 11 year old Nate feels worthless after his leg is crushed in a farm accident. Now, he has to go to school, which is hates, and can't do the farm work he loved helping his father with. Orphan John Worth, a city boy, is taken in by the family to help with chores. John also feels worthless not knowing how to do basic farm work and given a cold welcome by Nate and his mother, John wishes he could go back to the city. When the family gets caught in the middle of the war...more
Mary Ann
Farming in the late 19th century was never easy, but eleven-year-old Nate was pretty well used to the hard work on the farm he shared with his Ma and Pa. The same sweat that went into building their Nebraska farmhouse from the ground up also went into the backbreaking effort of taking care of their crops. But then, a freak accident leaves Nate with a shattered leg, unable to work on the farm ever again. To make matters worse, Nate’s not very good at fixing things, like his Ma, nor does he have a...more
5 out of 5 stars

LaFaye had multiple conflicts occurring in this emotion-packed novel. First, there was a conflict between the main character and his father. There was an additional conflict between the main character and the orphan boy. Two more conflicts were the one between the main characters parents, and the one between the ranchers and farmers. The story was told in chronological order, but there were bits of flashbacks pieced into the story. The book touched on happiness, grief, ange...more
The novel, Worth, is written by A. LaFaye. This book would be considered to be more of a historical fiction book. It takes place on a farm in the Midwest in the 19th century. The book is about a family that lives in the plains and works to take care of their farm. But unfortunately, one night a terrible storm was coming and the son, Nate, was trying to get everything ready in the fields before the storm hit. While he was trying to pull a pitchfork out of the ground, lightening struck and startl...more
Worth written by A. La Faye is a historical fiction novel that was also an award winning book. This book received the “Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction.”

The book is about a family where a little boy named Nathaniel's leg is crushed in an accident, his father brings home an orphan boy, John Worth, to help work the fields. Nathaniel feels jealous of the boy who has taken over not only his work but the attention of his father. Meanwhile, Worth is still grieving for his family and his old l...more
Miguel Martinez
Worth by A. LaFaye recieved a five star rating from me. I give five stars to this book because it shows how to be brave.Talks about helping people and trying to make the goals good. In some parts of the book, there are moments sad and exciting same to the reality. This book becomes happy everytime. Well, LaFaye made the persons characters likeable and easily to identify. Also she won for doing the book an award historical fiction!

I like this book because it shows the reader how Nathaniel as a c...more
Meredith Trotter
Publication: 2004

Grade/Age: Ages 8-12

Annotation: Nate and his family live on a farm in 19th-century Nebraska. Nate breaks his leg, making him feel useless around the farm. When Nate's father brings home an orphan boy by the name of John Worth to help with the chores, Nate feels even worse.

Themes: Fathers and sons, adoption, frontier and pioneer life, family, friendship

Ways to use the book:

Language Arts - Have students write a newspaper which features articles about the major and minor events in...more
Sarah W
Nathaniel Peale and John Worth have had their lives turned upside down by catastrophic events. Nathaniel has his leg hideously broken in an accident while trying to get the hay in before a prairie storm. John lost his entire family in a fire in New York while he was out playing a game. The two meet when Nathaniel's father decides he needs more help at the farm if he is to make the payment for the homestead. Unable to hire extra help, Pa brings home John Worth from the Orphan Train. While Nathani...more
Worth by A. LaFaye is a story that takes place in the 1870's on a farm in Nebraska. Nathaniel lives with his parents on this farm and helps take care of things. One evening a storm was coming and the family needed to get in their hay. Nathaniel was helping his father and severely injured his leg. One day Nathaniel's father comes home with a troubled orphan boy named Worth to help around the farm. Nathaniel doesn't like the idea of another boy being around the house and getting close with his fat...more
Abby Johnson
Eleven-year-old Nathaniel has always known that his place is to be helping his father on their farm. One tragic day, a terrible accident leaves Nate with one debilitated leg and suddenly his whole life has changed. Now Nate must go to school and learn to read and do math while his father adopts an orphaned city boy to help on the farm. Nate's ma declares that she only has one son and she makes the orphan John Worth sleep outside in the lean-to. Nate hates the boy that's been brought to the farm...more
This story about complex and confusing family ties neatly blends the stories of two families that struggle with loss and maintaining personal identies despite tragedy and grief. After a farming accident cripples a farmer's son in late-19th-century Nebraska, the farmer brings in a boy from the Orphan Train. As the parents and both boys grapple with their losses and their changing roles in the family, they also try to maintain good relations with the rest of their community despite dangerous schis...more
Wyatt Polt
I really like this book. It is about a kid who was loading hay in a barn before a big storm, but he fell off the wagon and broke his leg. He was laid up for 3 months until he could finally get off his bed. His dad needed help on the farm so he hired a kid from another country. His name was John Worth. He didn't really know much about a farm and wanted to go to school. The kid that was hurt knew a lot of the farm and could hook up a team of horses like nothing. The thing is, his dad made him go t...more
Susan P
After his leg is badly broken in an accident, 11-year-old Nate can no longer help his father on the family farm. As a result, his father brings home a boy from the orphan trains to take Nate's place - which makes both Nate and his mother very unhappy… But as Nate grows to know John better, he realizes that John has baggage of his own, and is just as unhappy to be in Nebraska as Nate is to have him there. Can the two reconcile their issues and come to a truce? A good, quick read.
John Worth, an orphan train rider, comes to live with Nathaniel, and his parents Gabe and Mary Eve Peale after Nathaniel severely injures his leg in a farming accident. Gabe needs a strong, healthy boy to help him do the chores on the farm. Nathaniel is sent off to school, even though he’d rather be farming. Coincidently, John would rather be going to school. There happens to be a feud between the farmers and ranchers in this Nebraska town, but John and Nathaniel work together to stop the ‘fence...more
Feb 21, 2014 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children ages 7-12+
Another book I read aloud with my 10 year old daughter. It is a great book. I love historical fiction. This is an inspiring story about a young boy who has hurt/damaged his leg in an accident, his parents choose another young boy, from the "orphan train" to come and help work their farm. There is so much learning and growth from all of the characters throughout the book. The story addresses the father's concerns over the family farm and neighboring feuds, the mother's grief and fear for her chil...more
Melissa Urban
Themes: orphans, adoption, family, Nebraska Orphan Train, 19th Century, frontier and pioneer life

After breaking his leg, eleven-year-old Nate feels useless because he cannot work on the family farm in nineteenth-century Nebraska, so when his father brings home an orphan boy to help with the chores, Nate feels even worse. John Worth, the orphan who was adopted, also has problems of his own. He is feeling more like a servant than a child within the family. Missing his family and a father who once...more
Neill Smith
When Nate's leg is shattered while trying to get hay into the barn during a flash lightning storm his father adopts a boy from the Orphan Train to help with the farmwork. Both Nate and his mother resent the new boy and force him to sleep in a lean-to at the side of the house. Nate's dad carries a lot of anger from previous failed farms and businesses and resents the feelings of his son and wife. When he drinks his anger spills over onto both boys and his wife. The family troubles are set against...more
This book felt very Little House on the Prairie. I loved that show growing up. Title is extremely fitting as related to the important theme of realizing, understanding and building what you are worth. Book has great voice and would be a good example for teaching dialect in writing.

Relationships between characters felt real for the time period but also rang true for today, especially the relationship between the father and son. The author does a good job of sharing the father's feelings about hi...more
This book felt very Little House on the Prairie. I loved that show growing up. Title is extremely fitting as related to the important theme of realizing, understanding and building what you are worth. Book has great voice and would be a good example for teaching dialect in writing.

Relationships between characters felt real for the time period but also rang true for today, especially the relationship between the father and son. The author does a good job of sharing the father's feelings about hi...more
Clay Johnson
This is a good book because it is about a boy in the 1800's who lives on a farm in Nebraska and one day he is helping his dad and mom get the hay really fast before a really bad thunderstorm and all of a sudden their is a bad crack of thunder which spook the horses. The boy "Nathan" is unloading the hay from the hay mover and he falls his leg gets caught in a wheel spoke and the horses keep moving and Nathans leg gets crushed by the force of the wagon coming back down and he spends 6 months sitt...more
Nov 30, 2009 Megan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pre-teens
Recommended to Megan by: Teresa
Shelves: teen-fiction
This is another book that my sister-in-law Teresa is reading to her 5th grade class and recommended to me.

"Worth" tells the story of a young orphan boy named John Worth who comes to live with a struggling farmer and his family in Nebraska. Although John yearns for affection (and to escape the nightmares of what happened to his real family) he is treated little better than a servant.

I was moved by this story about a broken family who learns to love and heal one another through a series of heart...more
Chris Murray
A boy's life on a farm in the 1800s is serious work and when 11 year old Nate is hurt in a farming accident and is no longer able to prove his "worth" Nate's father decides to adopt an orphan to replace him. John Worth, the orphan, is a ciy boy from New York who has lost his parents in a fire. He struggles to learn the ways of farming while nate, used to working in the fields, is sent to school and struggles with his new role as student in a class of younger, more educated students. Both feeling...more
Nat has a tragic farm accident and finds himself not the help his father has always expected him to be. His father blames himself for the accident and distances himself from Nat which only makes things worse. Then his father adopts an orphan from the city and Nat finds himself jealous of another boy who finds himself in a new world and missing his family who he has recently lost. Can Nat and this new boy comes to terms with their new lives? Sometimes loosing something brings on new things you ne...more
YA, Historical fiction, 19th C., Nebraska, farm life, orphan train, adoption, coming of age, boys, Scott O'Dell Award
Nathaniel is the only son of a farmer, until one day he had his leg caught in a wheel of a wagon. Nathaniel could no longer help his dad and mom around the house of help with the farm land. Dad decided that they needed help so he sought out for a boy by the name of John Worth. Nathaniel world was taken over by the new son, so he thought until he realized that they needed each other. This was one of my favorite books to read. This could be placed in the classroom library for students to read abou...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 33 34 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
worth 3 14 Oct 25, 2011 07:50PM  
  • Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule
  • The Art of Keeping Cool
  • Yankee Girl
  • The Bomb
  • Trouble Don't Last
  • Bull Run
  • Charley Skedaddle
  • Two Suns in the Sky
  • The Fighting Ground
  • Morning Girl
  • The Game of Silence
  • Under the Blood-Red Sun
  • The Truth About Sparrows
  • Jip: His Story
  • Shades of Gray
  • How I Found the Strong
  • The River Between Us
  • Wanted... Mud Blossom (Blossom Family, #5)
Water Steps The Year Of The Sawdust Man Walking Home to Rosie Lee Stella Stands Alone The Keening

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »