Read A Family Apart by Joan Lowery Nixon Online

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FOR LOVERS OF HISTORICAL ADVENTURE, A FAMILY APART IS THE MIDDLE-GRADE ANSWER TO CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE'S NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING ORPHAN TRAIN. Imagine being taken from your home. Imagine your mother is the one who lets it happen. This is the fate that befalls the Kelly children. It’s 1856, and their widowed mother has sent them west from New York City because she’s convFOR LOVERS OF HISTORICAL ADVENTURE, A FAMILY APART IS THE MIDDLE-GRADE ANSWER TO CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE'S NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING ORPHAN TRAIN. Imagine being taken from your home. Imagine your mother is the one who lets it happen. This is the fate that befalls the Kelly children. It’s 1856, and their widowed mother has sent them west from New York City because she’s convinced that she can’t give them the life they deserve.  The Kellys board an “orphan train” and are taken to St. Joseph, Missouri, where their problems only grow worse. It was bad enough that they had to say goodbye to their mother, but now they’re forced to part ways with their fellow siblings as well. Thirteen-year-old Frances won’t stand for it. She’s going to protect her brothers and sisters, even if it means dressing up like a boy and putting herself in danger. Will Frances be able to save her siblings? And what about her mom—was splitting up their family really her greatest act of love? Ride the rails with Frances and her siblings to find out! “This is as close to a perfect book as you’ll buy this year.” –VOYA...

Title : A Family Apart
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780440226765
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 162 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Family Apart Reviews

  • Mary Beth
    2018-09-23 00:42

    I think I read A Family Apart in third grade. I just remember that it made a big impression on me, enough so that I related the whole plot, details and all, to my grandmother in one sitting.

  • Becky
    2018-09-18 20:47

    I remember reading these as a child and I absolutely loved them. I figure if the memory of a book has been able to stick with me for over twenty years it deserves four stars. I also remember that these were the first characters I cried for in a book, the first time I was moved to an outburst of emotion by written word. Those are the types of things that stick with a bibliophile.Read in fifth grade.

  • Tracy
    2018-09-18 23:24

    I think I read this book for the first time in 6th grade. I'm feeling a bit nostalgic lately so I've been rereading books from my childhood. I remembered that while I liked the Orphan Train series, It always bugged me that at some point (I don't remember which book) the children were allowed to go back and live with their mother and most of the 6 children declined. Having reread it, it still bugs, but I can see why the children chose to live apart through the characterization of Frances Mary in this first installment. Good reason or not, their mother abandoned them. There has to be ramifications stemming from that. Anyway, this books sets the stage for the rest of the series as the children are sent out west on the Orphan Train. History wise, at times it appears as if the author read a few textbooks and went from there trying to explain historical events like the Missouri Compromise or the Fugitive Slave Act through wooden and clunky dialogue. The climax in which Frances Mary, who disguises herself as a boy in order to be adopted with her youngest brother is cliche and predicable. She joins her new family in helping slaves on the Underground Railroad and is nearly arrested for her part. However, once everyone realizes she's a girl all is forgiven and the charges are dropped. I can't decide if that's historically accurate or merely the stereotype of the period. The Underground Railroad part is strange as well. It is interesting to read about Frances Mary's new relatives leaving their privileged homes in New England to move to Kansas in order make it a free (non slave) state. However, Frances Mary too easily accepts (and her adoptive parents too easily tell) their views on slavery and the like. Would a very poor, uneducated, Irish girl from New York City really know as much about slaves and slavery as Frances Mary does? Yet, A Family Apart is a young adult book that tries to educate this historical time period for young readers. In the sense the book works. It is a quick read that will have you reaching for the next book in the series not long after you turn the last page.

  • Candace
    2018-09-25 03:44

    A Family Apart is the first book in the Orphan Train Adventures series. The books follow the paths of the six Kelly children who are sent by their mother out to St Joseph, Missouri where they can hopefully find better lives than she can provide from them back in New York City.The first book in the series, not only tells the story of the children being sent West, but focuses on Frances Mary, the eldest of the six Kellys. In her story, Frances pretends to be a boy to be able to stay with her youngest brother Petey. She learns how to milk a cow, cut wheat from a field, and she even helps her new father with the Underground Railroad.The story, while not necessarily true, does have basis in history. The Orphan Train was a real thing and Ms. Nixon does a great job of bringing it to life with characters that children will love for years to come.

  • Carrie
    2018-09-23 22:53

    I read this book on an airplane when I was like 8; my mom looked over and I was BAWLING with tears streaming down my face. At first she thought I somehow hurt myself but nope, just sobbing about a sad book. #sensitivechildproblems

  • Kate Matson
    2018-09-15 00:39

    Amazing! Such a fascinating story!

  • George
    2018-10-13 22:34

    QUICK AND EASY. INTERESTING AND ENTERTAINING.“Don’t dawdle here with your betters where you don't belong.”—page 11How could I resist this pitch in goodreads.com’s synopsis: “FOR LOVERS OF HISTORICAL ADVENTURE, A FAMILY APART IS THE MIDDLE-GRADE ANSWER TO CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE’S NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING ORPHAN TRAIN.”I simply couldn’t. I loved Christina Baker Kline’s novel, Orphan Train (almost as much as I enjoy typing her musical name), and the temptation of a whole series of Orphan Train Adventures was just too much not to at least dabble…Adventure is the operative word in the title A Family Apart (Orphan Train Adventures #1), by Joan Lowery Nixon. The series is intended for the eight to fifteen year old crowd; and it takes a bit of exciting adventure to grab and hold that audience. That said, A Family Apart has the ring of a genuine historical novel, with a lot of entertainment and information to share with all audiences.Recommendation: Coax your kids to pick up on this series. They’ll learn stuff while enjoying an adventurous story. And enjoy a quick romp in middle-grade reading, yourself, while you’re at it. “. . . and that’s the all of it.”—page 16 (among others)Kindle edition, 162 pages

  • Tish
    2018-10-02 22:33

    I think I would have liked this more if I were 10 years old. It seemed more like an attempt to describe what life was like back then, hitting on various aspects briefly and shallowly (poor Irish family in New York City, Orphan Train, outlaws, bounty hunters chasing escaped slaves) than a real story about real-seeming people. A lot of issues and situations were brought up that would probably provide good discussion topics, but I never really felt like the author brought them to life. I would rather she have focused on one or two and delved into them a bit deeper and given the reader some real insight into that aspect of our country's history. Given the topics, though (adoption, poverty, slavery, etc.), maybe that wouldn't be appropriate for children of the target age?

  • Barbara
    2018-09-20 22:36

    As a reading specialist, I am very excited to try this novel with some of my enrichment middle school students. There are so many interesting themes and choices during the course of this book - the meaning of sacrifice, the underground railroad, theft, forgiveness, adoption, orphan trains, and the love of siblings. I hope the other books in this series are as interesting as this one.#2 - I used this book with a group of three boys in sixth grade who are excellent readers. They are more used to science fiction with loads of action. They felt the beginning was too slow and lost interest at first, but the last few chapters won them over a little bit. They felt it got a 2.5 with them.

  • BookBloggerInBloom
    2018-09-15 00:26

    I read this book with the intention of using it in my 7th grade language arts classroom since our second semester focus is historical fiction. After watching a documentary on the orphan trains, and doing my own research, I found that these people, abandoned and forgotten as kids, were also a forgotten piece of history. In search of a novel, I came upon A Family Apart. I wanted something that was intriguing from start to finish with a lot of imagery. This book was everything I hoped it would be and I'm definitely going to use it in my classroom.

  • Andrew
    2018-09-19 03:29

    When I checked this book out I thought it would be boring. I judged it by its cover. But then I started reading it and I sort of liked it. It starts out slow but progresses and starts to get exiting. The main character is Frances Mary, she cleans at a shop to earn money for her family. One day Frances's mother decides that she needs to send the 6 children to new families in the west to give them a better life. That's we're the journey begins…

  • Dellaknowsdobby
    2018-09-24 01:48

    I read this series in 5-6ish grade and really liked it! I recently re-read the series because I was craving some good historical fiction. It's a believable and moving series about a separated family in a time of hardship. By far one of the better historical fiction series for middle grade readers out there.

  • Kassandra
    2018-09-19 01:36

  • Janet
    2018-09-24 22:37

    I remember LOVING this book as a kid. I still love it. And the entire series.

  • Amy
    2018-10-02 22:47

    Every time Orphan Train comes up in my update feed, I'm reminded of this series that came out when I was in middle school. I loved it at the time, but haven't seen it since...

  • Megan
    2018-10-05 00:42

    Very excellent book. I enjoyed it a lot.

  • Amanda
    2018-10-03 03:27

    This was a nostalgia read -- I loved this series as kid! If all the books hold up to my memory as well as this one, I'll be excited to share them with Meg in a year or two.

  • Anne
    2018-10-09 21:40

    3,5 stars

  • Melanie
    2018-09-27 23:39

    Great adventure book. 6th grade and up.

  • Sarah Denson
    2018-09-27 19:43

    A Family Apart, by Joan Lowery Nixon, captures the realistic adventures of a family being separated in the depths of American History. It shows the division among children who live on the orphan train for a majority of their childhood in the mid 1800's.Nixon's purpose in writing this novel was clearly stated, "The Orphan Train Quartet was inspired by the true stories of these children". She continues on saying, "...the characters in the series, their adventures, and the dates of their arrival are entirely fictional." This historical fiction novel shows how a journey for these scared children could have been lived.In A Family Apart, I see the theme as making the most out of situations. There were obvious scenarios that put children in rough spots. On the orphan train, siblings were split apart left and right. Frances, the main character, was the oldest of her six siblings at thirteens . Frances believed, "Families should not be torn apart!" She had made a promise to stay with her youngest brother, Petey, no matter what was thrown their way. Frances had risked to life to disguise herself as a young boy so the family adopting her brother would take her, too. The rest of the siblings were not involved. Sacrifices were made everyday just so they could have a glimpse of joy in their days by being with blood family. The Children's Aid Society would also give them joy by checking on the adopted children two times a year. It gave the children a sense of protection. Frances had said, "Don't be sorry, ma'am, we've known that we'd be separated. But we'll see one another again, and if that I'm sure." She had such a positive attitude, despite her situation, that would make it hard to see the good in the world. However, Frances was making the most out of her childhood.The description Joan Lowery Nixon and wrote in this historical fiction book made it feel like I was there with these children. She explained thoroughly about these times in the children's life, making me feel like I was experiencing this first hand. This was reinforced by have Frances and the other various children using first person pronouns in the conversations. I was able to picture how frightening life would be if I was put in their position. Third person was used to describe what the children were doing, such as, "Frances cited aloud, and several people in the courtroom turned to look at her." This quote gave me sympathy towards these children being separated from one another. Another is, "Frances, numb with shock...". It gave me a glimpse into how children feel over these hardships. One more that Nixon uses is, "'I can't. I love you, Ma, and thought you loved me. I can't understand how you could give us away, and I'll never forgive you. Never!'" These quotes incorporate actual thoughts and feelings children could have been feeling, making the reader feel emotion towards them. The effectiveness is clear as myself, the reader, feels as If I am in this horrifying situation. It would be hard to imagine how a crazy journey like this would be, but the novel and quotes like, "'Ma! Oh, Ma!' She whispered. 'How could you do this to us?' If only she could sneak off somewhere, put down her head, and cry." made it easier to feel the sorrow towards these children and the strength they need to overcome.What I think is really incredible about this book is that Frances was able to keep her promise to her "Ma". Her, Petey, and other children overcame the Orphan Trains. Their journey made me feel realize how lucky I am that I have never been put under that sort of pressure. It makes my problems seem so small. A Family Apart will give you chills at some points, like, "'Her entire body ached with shock and confusion, and she clenched her teeth against the pain.'", and encouragement at others, like, "Frances longed to jump up and hug him and reassure him that everything would be all right, but she know no more than any of the others if it were true.", and "'Don't be afraid of me! I want to help you!'". I recommend A Family Apart to those wanting to read about a journey to a new, strenuous life.

  • Justin Brandon
    2018-09-25 22:46

    Justin BrandonGoodreads Book ReviewB-210/6/15 The book I read this quarter was called “A Family Apart” by Joan Lowery Nixon. This is a nonfiction book about a family who lives on the Orphan Train for most of their childhood life in 1856. In the book “A Family Apart” the author's purpose is to show how the lives of many children were back in the 1830’s to 1901, and to show how the orphan train worked. In the beginning of the book the children are placed on the Orphan train, and none of the children understand why except Frances, who was the older daughter. While Mrs.Kelly dropped off her kids on the orphan train she says, “Sometimes we must do what needs to be done, and that's the all of it.” Most families back in the 1830’s struggled to make a living, and this mom had six kids with no husband or job. I believe the kids towards the end of the story had it better off than they would of if the mom would have kept them. The Orphan Train was a very boring ride. All you ever got to do was work, and sit until they arrived at their next stop to try and get adopted. Most people who were adopted had to work on the farm, and never really have a family that cared for them. That was the case for Frances and some of her siblings. “We were never slaves, but I know how it is to be treated as if you had no feelings.” is a quote Frances told her little brother while working on a family's farm. The theme in “A Family Apart” is trying to tell us the Orphan Train had its weaknesses, and its strong moments. One of the weakness of the Orphan Tplrain was that siblings were split apart. It depended on if the person who was adopting your sibling wanted to take your sibling too, or not. “Families should not be torn apart!” Frances said while her little brother was being adopted the next day. When this happened Frances disguised himself as a boy to live with her little brother, but he left his other four siblings behind. This is the kind of stuff that children would do just to be with their siblings. One of the pros of the Orphan Train is a member from the Children's Aid Society would check up on the children twice a year that were adopted. This helped protect the children as much as they could. They made sure they were being fed, bathed, and they were healthy. The family the 6 siblings were placed with treated them very poorly. They were put back on the train when the Children's Aid Society came and checked up on them. The style of the book was a description. It described everything about the orphan train and its purpose. It described each person in the family, and what they went through. It was set around the 1830’s and the train departed from New Orleans. My overall view of the book is very good. I would give it a 5 out of 5. I loved this book.

  • Justin Brandon
    2018-10-04 03:45

    Justin BrandonGoodreads Book ReviewB-210/6/15 The book I read this quarter was called “A Family Apart” by Joan Lowery Nixon. This is a nonfiction book about a family who gets lives on the Orphan Train for most of their childhood life in 1856. In the book “A Family Apart” the author's purpose is to show how the lives of many children were back in the 1830’s to 1901, and to show how the orphan train worked. In the beginning of the book the children are placed on the Orphan train, and none of the children understand why except Frances, who was the older daughter. While dropping her kids off to the orphan train their ma says “Sometimes we must do what needs to be done, and that's the all of it.” Most families back in the 1830’s struggled to make a living, and this mom had six kids with no husband or job. I believe the kids towards the end of the story had it better off than they would of if the mom would of kept them. The Orphan train was a very boring ride because all you ever got to do was work, and sit until they arrived at their next stop to try and get adopted, but most people who were adopted had to work on the farm, and never really have a family. That was the case for Frances and some of her siblings. “We were never slaves, but I know how it is to be treated as if you had no feelings.” is a quote Frances told her little brother while working on a family's farm. The theme in “A Family Apart” is trying to tell us the Orphan Train had its weaknesses, and its strong moments. One of the weakness of the Orphan train was that siblings were split apart. It depended on if the person who was adopting your sibling wanted to take your sibling too, or not. “Families should not be torn apart!” Frances said while her little brother was being adopted the next day. When this happened Frances disguised himself as a boy to live with her little brother, but he left his other four siblings behind. This is the kind of stuff that children would do just to be with their siblings. One of the pros of the Orphan Train is a member from the Children's Aid Society would check up on the children that were adopted twice a year. This helped protect the children as much as the could. They made sure they were being fed, bathed, and they were healthy. The first family the 6 siblings were adopted by, they were treated poorly. The style of the book was a description it described everything about the orphan train and its purpose. It described each person in the family, and what they went through. It was set around the 1830’s and started in New Orleans. My overall view of the book is very good. I would give it a 5 out of 5. I loved this book.

  • Jodie Toohey
    2018-10-11 23:26

    I found this book on Amazon when I was researching for my pre-civil war era historical novel; it book provided a lot of good information about the appearance of the rural Midwest and about how people lived in their farm communities. A Family Apart opens in modern times when the grandmother of bored visiting kids in Missouri pulls out their great-great-great grandmother's, Frances Mary Kelly's, diary. It then jumps to showing Frances Mary Kelly's difficult life in New York City helping to support she and her five siblings after her father dies. As an author, I'm not sure I would've included the beginning and ending modern times because it didn't seem to really add anything significant to the story. However, the inclusion doesn't detract from the story at all either. The story was engaging and quick, easily digestible read.After giving a vivid sense of financially struggling to survive in New York City, the story transitions into Frances' travel on the orphan train with her siblings to be adopted by families in and around Missouri. I could feel Ma's desperation and hurt when she sends her children west as well as the anger and confusion in her children who each react in their own way. Even though I knew essentially how the story must end - after all, the great-great-great grandchildren are reading the diary and discovering the story - there was enough tension, action, and conflict motivating me to keep reading to find out exactly how the story gets to that end.I appreciated this book more because it was based on the true experiences of children being sent west to join new families on the orphan train. The characters and plot points were true to life; it's an all around well developed engaging read.

  • Eden
    2018-09-30 01:41

    Frances Mary is thirteen and the oldest of the six Kelly children. She loves her Mother, but can't feeling betrayed and abandoned when her mother sends them away in hopes they have a better life.Frances Mary realizes that she and her siblings will be separated, as it will be very unlikely for any couple to take all six children. But she made her mother a promise, a promise to stay with her youngest brother and to do this, Frances Mary must pose as a boy.The beginning of the book was kind of slow and at first I found I had a hard time getting into the story. But it does pick up and get better.My heart broke when the kids found out they were going to be sent away. I understand the mother did it so they would have better lives, so they could have things that she couldn't give them. But I also understand the children's feelings. I know it must be traumatizing to leave the only parent you have left. I really teared up at that part.It was a really good book and I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.

  • Lisa
    2018-09-17 19:28

    Frances is growing up in NYC in 1860. After her father dies, her mother struggles to keep her family of six together and in good morals. Her brother Mike suddenly gets arrested as a pick-pocket and his doomed to prison. Frances' mother decides that she is incapable of caring for her children and so she sends them off to Missouri with a children's mission to be adopted by a western family wanting children. In attempt to keep part of the family together, Frances decides to "change" into a boy; for she's heard that they would sometimes keep brothers together. While this works for her and her young brother Peter, only two other siblings are settled together and the other two are adopted by independent families. Frances' family are abolitionists and she finds herself wrapped up in the dangerous transport of trying to save a couple.

  • Shanti
    2018-10-05 02:41

    A Family Apart is a great book. This book was a core book for my class. At first I thought this book was going to be boring. When I started reading this book, I was shoched that this book would be this good. Trust me, this book is amazing. Now, I understand why this book is a core book because it is so good and it teaches us a lttle about the Orphan Train. Anyway, this book is about the Kelly family. The 6 children in the Kelly family go on the Orphan Train. The Orpan Train is a train that took homeless children from New York City and places them with new families in the west, so that the children could have better lives. Anyway, the children get seperated when they reach St. Joesph, Missouri. This book is a really good book. I can't wait to read the rest of the Orphan Train Adventures series.

  • Susan
    2018-09-14 22:34

    3 1/2 stars really, this is very good juvenile fiction. It is a young girl and her dealing with a very challenging experience, as her mother sacrifices for her children and sends them out west where they will hopefully be better cared for than she is able. As a mom, I couldn't make that gamble, nor part with my own. But this girl deals with the hurt in her own way, while making her own sacrifices for her siblings and others. It is a beautiful story of personal development, and learning of the wicked ways of the world and learning what sacrifice means when she has to make her own...It was quite short, and the character development was rather speedier than I would have expected, but that's the nature of much juvenile literature, I suppose.

  • Kaitlyn *I Will Never Let Go*
    2018-09-20 20:24

    I can honestly say I haven't read this book in a long, long time. However, my entire fourth grade class was entirely obsessed with the series for, like, years on end. Whenever I see it now I want to cry because fourth grade was so amazing. Ah, those good old days when everything was innocent...Anyway, nostalgia aside, I would probably find some flaws in this book if I read it again. But for old time's sake, I would overlook them nonetheless. It left such a profound impression on me,I've never been able to forget it. This was honestly my first real exposure to GREAT literature, and I've been hooked ever since :)

  • Tarica
    2018-10-08 19:37

    Greatest coming of age collection for pre-teens and teenagers hands down. All teenagers feel they have a legitament reason to complain but I think after reading this series of pain and triumph your teen will appreciate what they have (not only materialist values but family values)and feel self assured in what they can accomplish. I read the Orphan Train Quartet in middle school, high school, and again in my early 20's to keep it fresh. One of the most relevant books of my childhood. It is entertaining but will pull on the biggest bullies heart strings.

  • Melinda
    2018-09-16 23:42

    I read this when i was 11-12 years old and lent it to a classmate in the 8th grade but it was never returned. Unfortunately the only thing I remembered about this book was the picture on the cover and the important lessons it taught. It was only recently when I searched the library for 'Orphan Train' that this book appeared in the results and sparked my memory. I plan to read the series again to sharpen my memory of those important life lessons and I'm sure I will love the book and series just as much as I enjoyed it as a pre-teen.