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Rodzina

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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  977 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Rodzina Clara Jadwiga Anastazya Brodski is the new face in Karen Cushman’s gallery of unforgettable heroines. One of a group of orphans, 12-year-old Rodzina boards a train on a cold day in March 1881. She’s reluctant to leave Chicago, the only home she can remember, and she knows there’s no substitute for the family she has lost. She expects to be adopted and turned into a ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 20th 2003 by Clarion Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,604)
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Natalie
I'm afraid the first thing I need to start with is the cover. I am not one who usually makes a big deal about what the cover of a book has (though my graphic designer husband says everyone judges books by their cover even if they don't know they are doing it). First of all I really like Trina Schart Hyman. I love a lot of her art work. I can tell she read this book and thought a lot about Rodzina and what she would possibly look like. Second, I admit this is what I imagine Rodzina looked like at ...more
K.
Jul 04, 2012 K. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in the American orphan train
Another contender for 12/13 read aloud. This one a probably.

This is another "Orphan Train" book, but so much better done than "Gratefully Yours." Rodzina herself was a fabulous character, I loved her almost from her first sentence. This book seemed to capture all the heartbreak and the anticipation and the fear and the worry that might have been wrapped up in the small breast of an orphan sent out on the Orphan Train.

Cushman did a great job with the characters. There were some surprises about
...more
Talia
Rodzina is a 12 year old orphan living in 1881 Chicago when she is forced to board an Orphan Train headed west. As one of the oldest girls on the train, she becomes like a big sister to the younger ones: Joe and Sammy (“Joe ain’t my brother!”), whiny green-eyed Gertie, and the loveably gullible Lacey. Without a home or parents, this is all Rodzina has, and she wonders where fate will place her.

I really enjoyed this story, and it’s a good historical fiction pick that will evoke a lot of discussio
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Judy Khalifa
“That’s pronounced Rodzina,” I interrupted, making that sound between a D and a G and a Z that it seemed only Polish mouths could make, sort of like the G-sound in bridge or cage or huge, but not quite. The lady doctor sounded like a bumblebee with her Rod-zzzzzz-ina."

Rodzina is the name of a Polish girl who lived in Chicago after her family had left Poland. Sadly, her two brothers died in a fire, her dad died because a crazy horse hit him in the head, and her mom was weak and sick so she died.
...more
Jan
How did I not know the history of the children's orphan trains in the United States? I found myself fascinated all the way through, not just with the events of this journey, but also with the delightful characters.
Rodzina Brodski, a 12-year-old Polish orphan girl from Chicago, and two dozen other children were put on an orphan train headed west in the hope that they could be adopted by good families. Not every family wants a child to love and cuddle, however. In the early 1880s, westerners wer
...more
Mary
Overall this was a good kids chapter book. But that is precisely why I didn't like it as much as Cushman's other books I have read. The Midwives Apprentice, for example I thought could be read and enjoyed equally by all ages, but Rodzina did not hold the same quality. While it did have issues and perspectives that were very meaningful and more mature it just didn't read as well as it could have. I liked the history in it and the culture of the American West in the 1800s, it was very interesting. ...more
Alycia
2.5/5 stars

As I read this I thought about how much I miss historical fiction! The historical aspect was good with this book, but I couldn't connect with the main girl (which could be because I am not a 12 year old or could be a fault of the audio version, I don't know) or any of the other characters. I get that it was a sad, scary time and Rodzina JUST WANTS TO GO HOME, but it was too blatant and over repeated which turned my sympathy into annoyance. However, I think this would be good historica
...more
Jeanne
Newberry winner about a young girl on an orphan train in 1880's. Solid historical novel.
Karen
I had never read any of Ms Cushman's work. Not only is she very good at painting the picture of what the characters see and feel she clearly has done her research in to the subject. The Orphan Trains. I had never heard of them before this and was very interested to hear about them. She also gave a great bibliography on other books and websites to visit.

An enjoyable story about about a 'tween' who is orphaned in Chicago and being sent WEST .... I won't tell you more as I don't want to add spoiler
...more
Miss Amanda
gr 4-7 203 pgs


Orphan train Chicago to Oakland 1881. 12 year old Rodzina has been sent out West by the aid society to be placed with a family. She hopes to be part of a family again and misses her brothers and parents, who died leaving her all alone. She's heard that families out West are looking for free labor instead of a new family member. What kind of family will she find when she gets off the train?


More a story about finding a place than what it was like for orphans once they were placed wit
...more
Jackie
It is 1881 and Rodzina,12,is an orphan on the streets of Chicago. She is herded into an orphanage for a few days before she will be on the Orphan Train heading west to California. She lost her father to an accident, her mother to the 'fever' and her brothers to a fire. She is alone, scared and not as grown up as she dares to be. The train she is on is filled with 20 orphans all hoping to be placed in a loving home, all the while, they fear it could be a home of slavery, poverty or abuse. Rodzina ...more
Bethany
This book was all right. It was a fast read, obviously, being juvenile, but I wasn't overly attracted to the characters or the situation. Rodzina is a 12 year old girl who reluctantly boards an orphan train heading west, believing firmly that she would be handed over to someone who would want her for a slave. Rodzina is twice selected by a family at the stops the train makes along the way, and both times, it turns out that she was pretty much right in assuming that these people would want someth ...more
Josh Eidam
I liked the book because of the good plot, and the character Rodzina. She was a very independent girl who had to face lots of tragedies that most 12 year olds shouldn't face. She still pushes through it the entire book with her prayers and thoughts to her dead parents. I liked how she has to travel across the country and try to find a family, but constantly worrying if her family could ever be as good as her old one. She then finally finds her perfect mother and it is a very good ending.
Lavender911
Rodzina is a twelve year old Polish American girl that was boarded onto an orphan train in Chicago when her parents died and not even the orphanage wanted her. She has fears about traveling to the West and a life of unpaid slavery. On the train, she meets Lacey, a "slow" sweet girl who wants to be Rodzina. She also meets Miss. Doctor a female doctor who is very strict. With the other orphans and Miss. Doctor, she travels to the west and changes her heart.

When I first opened this book, I thought
...more
Stacy Ford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annette
What I like about Karen Cushman: Every book she writes has a female heroine who has been given a set of problems to overcome. They always triumph in the end, but they aren't rescued by any prince or knight in shining armor. They learn to work through their problems through hard work and perseverance. The heroine is always feisty and has a lot of spunk which is what makes her keep going when things get rough and what she really want's to do is lay down and die.

Also, you can tell that Ms. Cushman
...more
Cathy Jaskiewicz
A book for my fifth-graders! Like all of Cushman's books, the title character has loads of personality & voice. It's the first-person narrative of a Polish-American child traveling west on an orphan train & NOT getting chosen by potential parents. Well-written with great character development & descriptions; not too much action or excitement. The vocabulary is at a pretty high level for most fifth-graders.
Jenny
This is a historical fiction story of a Polish girl, Rodzina, who is part of the Orphan Train heading west to be adopted. The two people in charge of these orphans, Miss Doctor and Mr. Spracht (spelling? I listened to this, not read it), often leave Rodzina in charge of the older orphans. Rodzina feels that they are both uncaring and fears she is being taken to be sold as a slave. She desperately wants someone to love her and want her...she wants a family. Yet it seems that no one decent will wa ...more
Anika
It will sound corny, but I have to say again how much I love Karen Cushman. She keeps getting better with every book I read and Rodzina is no exception. From the first paragraph I was hooked, and all I can say is wow. I literally could not put the book down and finished it in four hours. The characters are so interesting and they build as the story continues, taking on new layers with each stop of the train. Though the ending is a bit predictable, it really doesn't become so until the last few c ...more
Bethany Cain
This was one of my favorite books as a teen. I have always enjoyed historical fiction geared toward various ages and audiences. Reading Rodzina by Karen Cushman opened up a new facet of history that is not often mentioned in text books. The Orphan Trains. Rodzina is a young Polish immigrant after the death of her entire family she is left all alone in the unfamiliar country of America. She finds herself on a train with a motley, cantankerous crew of other orphans headed West in search of a forev ...more
Candi Olsen
This story was good and enjoyable but at the same time there wasn't much to it. I think the author tried to be light and fluffy on a heavy subject and it ends up diluting the story a little. It still is an easy read. I also think it's a bit insightful because all of us really just want to be accepted and loved.

Before this book I had no idea there even were orphan trains. It was eye opening. This story does end happy but by the sounds of it there were many true stories that did not end so. Here a
...more
Flora Stan
Rodzina is a great historical fiction chapter book about a young polish orphan. The story tells of Rodzina, who unfortunately lost her family in a series of unfortunate events. She is left alone in Chicago and later is taken to an orphanage. Rodzina, being a large 12 year old polish girl, is not very hopeful that she will be placed in a good home. Rodzina goes through several homes until she finds one that is right for her.
This story can be used for upper elementary students. I could see studen
...more
Marcia
The book Rodzina tells the coming-of-age story of a strong female character and her resilience to never give up her search for a family. The story shows Rodzina’s strong will, hope, and personal integrity. Rodzina gave fate a fighting chance. Rodzina is an excellent historical fiction book for upper elementary students. It tells a good story and gives the image of the hardship, loneliness, fear, and struggles of these orphaned children. The author’s note provides additional information on the or ...more
Don Weidinger
pretty is as pretty does, Poles write love poems about food, egg does not teach hen, folks with least to say talk most, women need more exercise shorter skirts and their own way, prayed to Virgin and God, a place for a polish poet, both difficult and ornery, Poe and Tolstoy orphans, 1850-1929 250K NYC Children’s Aid Society, 1M British children during bombing and from France and Jewish.
Sara Elkington
Doesn't this book make you feel lucky and grateful? Chances are... we haven't had it nearly as rough as most of this book's characters. I admire how the author allows us to admire her characters' strength and it in turn is a reminder to me to be thankful for the era in which I live. Thank goodness that we have regulations over orphanages. Thank goodness we have regulation on what is considered child abuse/neglect. While the setting is tough, the writing and story-telling has plenty of perks so i ...more
Julias14
Great, historical fiction with information about the orphan train that travelled in the 1800s seeking homes for children across the plains. I think Karen Cushman's work is good.
Letitia
I love young adult books and historical fiction. How could I go wrong? the characters were rich and vivid. the author had me cold and filthy just like those kids on the train.
Kristen Jaques
Extra points for the scene where she's with the family that lives in the hole in the ground. I've read a lot of disturbing things but that was a horror show.
Megan
Apr 19, 2010 Megan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pre-teens
Recommended to Megan by: Teresa
Shelves: childrens-lit
This is another book my sister-in-law's class is reading this year (she is a 5th grade teacher), and she subsequently recommended to me. I was very surprised to learn about the existence of orphan trains, which brought children from over-crowded eastern cities out west to be placed in families. It also serves as a great introduction to America in the late 1800's and talks a bit about immigration, factory work, gender and racial issues, as well as the day-to-day hardships that many families faced ...more
Sally
What a wonderful story of the orphan trains! A group of orphans from Chicago are taken to several towns in the midwest and the west to find homes for them in 1880. Escorting them are a woman doctor and a hard man. The story is from the perspective of Rodzina, a Polish orphan, who is 12. She's been told by someone in Chicago before she leaves that they are only being sold as slaves, so she's not at all interested in going, but has no choice. We learn about the different children and who takes the ...more
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Karen Cushman was born in Chicago, Illinois.

She entered Stanford University on a scholarship in 1959 and graduated with degrees in Greek and English. She later earned master’s degrees in human behavior and museum studies.

For eleven years she was an adjunct professor in the Museum Studies Department at John F. Kennedy University before resigning in 1996 to write full-time.

She lives on Vashon Isla
...more
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