UK Libraries and the Office of New Student and Parent Programs co-hosted a reception in the WT Young Library Gallery for this year’s Common Reading Experience author, Christina Baker Kline. Kline, whose historical novel, “Orphan Train,” has been used in a number of university common reading programs across the country, also signed copies of the book and answered questions. Faculty from across campus who used “Orphan Train” in their classes and Libraries faculty and staff attended the reception.
Following the reception, Kline attended Peter Hesseldenz’ UK 101 class in WT Young where the students talked about the book. They had many questions for Kline, who answered them all in lively discussion. “Many of the students came away with a new appreciation of the book and of the writing process,” says Hesseldenz, Business and Economics Academic Liaison for UK Libraries.
“Orphan Train” tells the story of an Irish immigrant girl who is orphaned at the age of nine just before the Great Depression. She is sent to the Midwest on an “orphan train,” which was a well-meaning attempt to find homes for children who would have otherwise ended up living on the streets. While some children had good experiences, many were treated harshly and taken-in by families merely to provide farm labor. The book juxtaposes a modern-day story with the events that take place in the 1930’s and 40s.