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Rory's Promise (Hidden Histories)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  100 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Twelve-year-old Rory and her little sister, Violet are, at least, living together in the Catholic Foundling Hospital in New York City. But in 1904 the hospital begins to send orphans to the Arizona Territory to be adopted by devout Catholic families. Too old to be adopted, Rory is desperate to find a way to accompany Violet. With no other recourse, she stows away on the “o ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2014 by Calkins Creek (first published January 1st 2014)
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Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great little historical fiction about a feisty orphan and her little sister, their lives at the Sisters of Charity Foundling Hospital in New York and later, the trials and tribulations of being sent west on one of the infamous Orphan Trains. This book has been thoroughly researched and is based on actual (and horrifying) events in Arizona. Recommended.
Carla Carrillo Lomeli
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My name is Carla Carrillo Lomeli and I think that the book Rory’s Promise by Michaela MacColl and Rosemary Nichols is amazing! Rory’s Promise is my favorite book and it is very hard to put it down and stop reading. This book is about a brave girl named Rory whose only family is her younger sister Violet and they live in a orphanage/foundling hospital because their parents died. So when Rory finds out that they are sending Violet to an adoptive family our West she follows her and does everything ...more
Carol Baldwin
Rory is a 12-year-old street smart orphan who keeps her promises.

First, she is determined to keep her promise to her dying mother that she’ll take care of her younger sister, Violet.

Second, she will absolutely not break her promise to five-year-old Violet: Nothing will ever, ever separate them.

It’s just that keeping these promises proves to be a lot more difficult than even spunky, Irish Rory Fitzpatrick ever imagined.

Co-authors, Michaela MacColl and Rosemary Nichols use the facts of the Orphan
MrsK Books
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction is about lives during a point in our not so distant past. Children who were orphaned, or whose parents died were placed on trains bound for the western frontier. This story is about a brave young lady. Although she is only twelve, what once was an age of reason, would provide Rory with the determination, the resources, and the strength in keeping her promise and watching over her little sister.

When the NYC Foundling Hospital betrays her with the fact that her sister will be he
Ms. Yingling
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rory has tried to make herself useful at the Catholic foundling home where she lives so that she can continue to be near her younger sister, Violet. The two ended up there after the death of both parents. When the nuns decide that Violet, at age five, is at the right age to be adopted, they plan on putting her on an orphan train to Arizona, but Rory (at 12) is too old to follow and is given options for remaining at the home and working. Not happy with this, Rory runs away and ends up in jail, wh ...more
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, ya-kid-lit
If you like feisty heroines, whatever their age or the historical setting, you will love Rory Fitzpatrick. Rory and her younger sister, Violet, are orphans living in the Foundling Hospital in New York in 1904. They have been there for 3 years, and now Sister Anna has found parents to adopt Violet. But Rory doesn't want to be separated from her sister, especially not when her sister is being sent to the Arizona Territory! Rory goes to incredible lengths so that she can make sure her sister is saf ...more
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
In 1904, twelve-year-old Rory lives with her five-year-old sister Violet at the Foundling House in NYC, run by Catholic nuns. Rory promised her mother before her mother died that she and Violet would always be together, so when Sister Anna tells Rory that they are sending Violet alone to a new family in Arizona, Rory is determined to go along. She sneaks onto the train, joining the group of 57 foundlings and the nuns caring for them when it’s too late to send her home. Although there are orphan ...more
Dawn Moews
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: n1, juvenile, young-adult
This is a very well written story of 12-year-old Rory and her younger sister Violet. I had heard of the Orphan Trains before, but until I read this book, I didn't realize there were multiple groups organizing the trains.

Rory and her sister are residents of The Sisters of Charity Foundling Hospital in New York City. They have also decided to send orphans west for adoption. However, their orphan trains work very differently. One of the primary factors in placing their children is that they will b
Cindy Hudson
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
At 12 years old, Rory is too old to still be in the nursery room with the young children being cared for at the Foundling Hospital in New York City. But she is indispensable to the nuns, helping to calm and care for the little ones who have been orphaned or abandoned. Rory in particular wants to stay with Violet, her five-year-old sister. When the nuns decide to adopt Violet out to a family in the Arizona territory, Rory is determined to find a way she can stay with her sister.

Rory’s Promise by
Julia Nashif
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In the back of the book, it lists how Rory's Promise was based on real kidnappings, making this one of the creepiest children's books ever.

Thank you, NetGalley and Boyds Mill Press, for this free book to review!

While Rory is fictional, Violet and the kidnappings are not. I had no idea the women in the wild west were so desperate for children. Thus, it leads to one exciting and fast paced book.

I really love Rory, despite how overprotective she was. Of course you wouldn't want your only sister to
Karen Arendt
Rory and her sister, Violet, are orphans living at Children's Foundling Hosptial.  Rory feels very strongly about taking care of her sister.  So much so that when a home is found for Violet, but not Rory, Rory comes up with a plan to stay together, just has she has done for the past three years at Children's Foundling.  The story is exciting; the tension increases when the train arrives in Clifton, Arizona to a mob scene at the station of women looking to adopt babies.  It is very clear that Ror ...more
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book started out like many others with orphans in New York City destined to be shipped west on the orphan trains. There were, however, several unexpected twists. First, Rory and her sister Violet were well cared for at The Foundling, a Catholic orphanage run by kind nuns. Second, they were not to be auctioned off at the wagon train stops. Instead, their new homes had been pre-selected through a network of Catholic priests. The unexpected happens when they reach their final destination, the ...more
Full review at:

I love historical fiction because it introduces me to history in a way that will suck me into it and help me retain the information. Many historical fiction books also choose lesser known aspects of history to share. Rory’s Promise does all of the above. When I was done with the book, I immediately went and book talked it to my reading class though I found myself talking to them even more in depth about the history it shares (which then mak
Twelve-year-old Rory and her four-year-old sister, Violet, are orphans living in New York City's Catholic Foundling Hospital. When the nuns find a good home for Violet in the Arizona Territory, Rory has a number of adventures to guarantee that they are able to stay together.

Based on well-researched history, this is a compelling narrative that is both sensitive and thought provoking. The first half of the novel reveals the precarious nature of life for children without a family. Although Rory an
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
:earning about a lesser known subject in history (orphan trains) was incredibly intriguing. This book reminded me of many of the historical fiction titles I read as a young girl---which were foundational for my growth as a reader. Beyond the fascinating subject matter, this text shows the powerful bond sisters share. Rory is utterly devoted to her sister, and will stop at nothing to protect her. When I read this book, I couldn't help but think of the connection I have with my own sister, and I w ...more
Jul 26, 2015 rated it liked it
The Sisters of Charity's Foundling Hospital like the Children's Aide Society helped orphaned and abandoned children find homes. he Foundling Hospital worked diligently to place these children with Catholic families. In this fictional story Rory and her little sister Violet are wards of the Foundling Hospital. When Violet is sent to Arizona, Rory follows. Problems arise when the Anglos in Clifton, Arizona realize that "white " children will be adopted by the Mexican residents. Nasty confrontation ...more
Cricket Muse
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fascinating insight into another historical aspect of the Orphan Train. The Foundling Society of New York administered by Catholic sisters provided a clean, safe environment for orphans, a much different perspective than the more widely known Children's Aid Society who ran the Orphan Trains that went out West.
Combining historical fact and fictional characters gives young readers both an educational yet engaging look at a little known chapter of American history. Rory's determination to stay wi
Faith Hough
4 stars only because the beginning felt unnecessarily slow. Once I got a third of the way through, I was completely hooked.
A great book about a little-known historical event, in which Catholic orphans from New York City were abducted from the Mexican families in Arizona with whom they were placed, due to anti-Catholic and anti-Mexican sentiment. Really interesting and heartbreaking and uplifting, all at once.
Shana M. Garrity
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If I had the time I would've finished this in one day. The biggest surprise to me upon completing the book is that most of it is the truth.

This is a great story of the Foundlings and of Orphans and orphan trains in the early 1900's. The reality of the book is just amazing to me, I truly enjoyed this...both the fiction and non fiction.

I'll certainly be passing this along to other readers I know, it won't take but a few pages of reading to be hooked.
A fresh look at the orphan train written for younger readers and based on a true story.

Even among the NY orphans, there are disparities between the lives Children's Aid Society and the Foundling hospital where Rory and her little sister Violet have lived for 3 years. Based on a true story in Arizona, this fast pace story includes ethnic, racial and labor problems in the copper mining town where the train stops.
May 31, 2015 rated it liked it
This new twist to the orphan train story is based on actual events, which I found out in the author's note at the end, which made for a pleasant surprise. Parts 1&2 are a bit slow in building up the story but part 3 is action packed and very interesting. The mustard sandwiches brought back iffy memories of my own childhood.
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable middle grade historical fiction.
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I felt Rory was just too brave to do anything. I really love her fighting spirits till the very end.
Mrskay Kay
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It was wonderful. I enjoyed learning about the Orphan Trains while I read through Rory's story. What a lot of spunk in this heroine. Definitely a must read if you like historical fiction.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Learned so much about The Orphan Trains and what happened at the end of the 19th century and into the beginning of the 20th century. Fascinated piece of history that I was unaware had happened.
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tween
Love a great historical fiction about the West. This author wrote this book in a way making it easy to want to read. Love Rory as a strong main character.
Oct 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Historical fiction based on true incidents. Hidden Histories series. And these characters are well written, so I could follow them through these times.
Shawn Shores
rated it really liked it
Mar 24, 2016
rated it really liked it
Aug 10, 2015
Laura Phelps
rated it it was ok
Aug 18, 2014
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Prisoners in the Palace is my debut novel. I like to create historical fiction that has a modern appeal to teens and adults.

Regency romance blends enjoyably with historical fiction, with a plucky heroine for each mode. (Kirkus)

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MacColl offe
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