‘O.C. Reads’ Invites All to Learn About ‘Orphan Train’ Together

first_img“Orphan Train” by Christina Baker KlineThe Ocean City Free Public Library is planning its second “OC Reads” program with an invitation to everybody in the community to read “Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline.” ‘OC Reads’ is a program designed to bring people together through literature by encouraging them to read the same book and participate in discussions and other events centered on that book,” Library Director Karen Mahar said last year when the program was launched.“Orphan Train” explores the little-known story of so-called orphan trains that ran regularly from cities on the East Coast to farms in the Midwest, carrying thousand of abandoned children between 1854 and 1929.In the bestselling novel, the lives of an older woman, Vivian Daly, and a teenager, Molly Ayer, intersect. Vivian had been sent away from New York City on the orphan train as a young Irish immigrant. Molly is a Penobscot Indian who’s been in and out of foster homes. When she’s assigned community service helping Vivian clean out her attic, Molly helps Vivian rediscover her past. An unlikely bond forms between the two women.Christina Baker Kline. Photo credit: Diana KarinJulie Brown, the new program director at the library, said the book was chosen by  a committee earlier this year based on suggestions from the community, but also because it includes so many potential discussion points — from the actual history of the orphan trains, to Irish culture, to the cross-generational bond between the two characters.“Orphan Train” is available through the library and for purchase at Sun Rose Words & Music, 756 Asbury Ave. and at the Bookateria Two, at 1052 Asbury Ave.The first O.C. Reads program last year saw a packed house hear author Robert Kurson speak about his non-fiction “Shadow Divers.”The program of events (all in the Chris Maloney Lecture Hall at the library) includes:A Discussion of the Orphan Train Movement (4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20): A video chat with archivist Paul Clarke of the Children’s Aid Society. He will be leading a discussion on the Orphan Train Movement, how it started and how it evolved. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions of the archivist. The chat will be followed by a general book discussion of “Orphan Train.”All Things Irish! (2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25): A talk by guest speaker Ireland native Georgina Shanley and musical performances by The Emerald Isle Academy of Irish Dance as well as The Holy Spirit Chorale with Joseph Votta on bagpipes. Refreshments will be provided.Documentary Screening (2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1): Hear from guest speaker Reverend Dorothy Gerken as she speaks about “What My Father Never Told Me” and from guest speaker Tom McGrath as he presents a model train replica of the orphan train. This will be followed by a screening of the PBS documentary “The Orphan Trains.”A Talk with Author Christina Baker Kline (6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2): Christina Baker Kline, the author of “Orphan Train,” will speak about her book and the research that went into it. She will answer questions from attendees. Copies of the book will be available for purchase from Sun Rose, and the author will be available for book signings.last_img read more