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3.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  14 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Homer abruptly finds out at age 13 that he's adopted when his gruff father, an Iowa farmer, announces it after dinner one night. Homer is crushed and decides he must find his real family who he learns were in New York City. On his way, he stops to tell his best friend, Jamie, who feels compelled to go along and keep Homer out of trouble. They hop a train and head east, onl ...more
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published May 24th 2010 by West Side Books (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 41)
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Anastasia Tuckness
Great adventure book that takes place in the 1930s about Homer, who discovers at age 13 that he came to his family in NW Iowa via an orphan train. Determined to discover his "real" parents, he cajoles his best friend Jamie into hopping a train (hobo style) for New York, where the orphanage is. Along the way they encounter many characters, both helpful and harmful, and learn lessons about the world and themselves.

The greatest strength of this book is the action and adventure against the historica
Jul 08, 2010 Emily rated it liked it
In the midst of the Depression Homer's life is uprooted with the simple sentence, 'You're an orphan Homer.' This single sentence rocker Homer's world. He couldn't believe that HIS parents were NOT his parents. After everyone goes to bed the night of the big revelation he finds a paper that says his parents can take him out of school after he is 13 and they have to pay him like a hired hand when he is 17 and no longer have to care for him after he turns 18. Homer always assumed he would farm with ...more
Sandra Stiles
Nov 25, 2010 Sandra Stiles rated it really liked it
It is the 1930's and on his 13th birthday Homer learns he was adopted. He and his best friend Jamie set out to find his "real" family in New York. They mode of travel is to hop aboard a train and travel like the hobo's. They quickly learn how dangerous this can be. They are taken under the Wing of Smiling Jack, a hobo and taught all about the code and culture of the hobo. In my opinion, although I was not born during that time this was a very accurate depiction of the 1930's. I believe this will ...more
Aug 12, 2010 Jamie added it
Shelves: 10-12, historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Tilatitsky
Nov 14, 2010 Sarah Tilatitsky rated it really liked it
This book is a really sad, heartwarming book. Although it's mostly sad, bacause of the depression, people are happy when you tell them tales or play the harmonica. This book is about a boy that found out that he was adopted. He then runs away with his best friend to New York City, to find his parents, or find out who and why they adopted him. Read it, because this book is so hard to explain about its goodness.
Martha Schwalbe
Jul 09, 2011 Martha Schwalbe rated it did not like it
I'm on 116 and am having trouble sticking with the book. I started it on Thursday and can't seem to get into the story. I think the writing is redundant, kind of reminds me of League of Freaks without the accent.
Someone else please read it and let me know what you think. I read a book about the orphan train a few months ago and loved it so I really expected to enjoy this one.
Dec 07, 2010 Nance rated it liked it
Although at times a stretch, I loved the search for self and family within the setting of the depression. The naivety of the boys was appropriate for the time and place. The characters were not as well developed as they could have been.
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John R. Weber is currently Director of Secondary education programs at a private school in the mountains of Honduras. After receiving his MA in computer science, John spent twenty-two years working in higher education administration in information technology, and studied fiction at Missouri University.

When he’s not in Honduras, John lives in northwestern Illinois, where he bicycles and teaches wh
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