Wanderville by Wendy McClure

I am starting the week off right – a 2-hour school delay AND a great book to tell you about!

wandervilleWanderville (Book 1 of the Wanderville Series)

By Wendy McClure

224 pages – ages 8+

Published by Razorbill on January 23, 2014

Jack wasn’t an orphan, but his parents put him on an orphan train after his older brother died in a factory fire. His parents couldn’t afford to have Jack live with them anymore. Jack makes friends on the train. His new friends, Frances and her little brother Harold, are just happy to not be separated from each other. The kids hear horrible rumors about the place they’re heading for, the Pratcherd Ranch. So, they hatch an idea. When the train stops, the kids jump off it! Soon after, they meet Alexander, a kid who had escaped from the Pratcherd Ranch. They become friends and they make a town where kids in need can find refuge. The children call it Wanderville.

This was an outstanding, well-written book. Ms. McClure has instantly become a favorite author of mine with this book! The story was one I couldn’t put down. I really identified with the characters who were taken from New York and left in Kansas (we recently moved from just outside Philadelphia to a VERY rural area). Ms. McClure’s writing style really draws you into the story. It made it seem like I jumped off the train with Jack, Frances, and Harold. There is some very minor violence at the Pratcherd Ranch, but most of it happens between chapters and isn’t graphic. I love the history I learned about the orphan trains too. I first learned about them in Clare Vanderpool’s “Moon Over Manifest,” but learned more about them from this book. Jack sounds like a boy I’d love to be friends with. He’s pretty adventurous. I think kids will love this book! I can’t wait for Book 2! 😀

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Ms. McClure’s website is packed with activities, history, cool things about her research for this book and much more. To visit her website, please click HERE.

Like Ms. McClure’s Facebook page HERE.

Follow her on Twitter HERE.

Visit the publisher’s website HERE.

Categories: Age 9+, Erik's Favs

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34 replies

  1. Wow, your enthusiasm for this book really bounces out of your review. I certainly want to read it now. Good luck with adapting to your new situation. Such changes are challenging, but we get to see and appreciate different things.

  2. You make it sound really exciting, Erik. I’ll check it out.

  3. This book would catch my interest to. Like the idea of the kids creating their own town for kids in need. Like your enthursiasm for this book. Great review.

  4. I saw a train once. It scared me. I hope I never have to ride the orphan train.

    Love and licks,

  5. Erik, it is easy to tell when you like a book. I would be interested for a couple of reasons. I think the idea of a town run by kids for kids is an interesting idea. Years ago, I saw some show on Nickelodeon, or some channel like that, and it was a reality thing where kids were in the “Wild West” era and making an abandoned town their own. It was interesting.

    The other reason is because my mom was an orphan, so those kind of books always catch my eye. I’ll need to check it out.

  6. Well, I would like to jump on a train! A town just for kids sounds pretty cool. I hope they have a dog to help out.

  7. The concept of “orphan trains” captures my imagination, too. Sounds interesting.

  8. This sounds like an amazing book. I will have to check it out! This is my first time hearing of it, so thanks for sharing. I am curious about the orphan train and my heart goes out to the main character.

    Yeah for you for the delay! 🙂

  9. This sounds like a really good book, thanks for the review!

  10. Your recommendation coupled with that very appealing cover art just landed this one on my tbr list!

  11. I like reading about the Orphan train too! Great review! I’ll be looking out for it!

  12. Again, the cover and title totally got me on this one…then, of course, your review! This sounds like SUCH a fresh idea for a book and it goes to show how you really DO learn something new every day! Are you saying that orphan trains were a real thing?!

  13. This sounds like a fantastic book. Definitely will be on our TBR list. Thanks, Erik.

  14. Glad to read in this review that you’ve read Moon Over Manifest. It’s slow leisurely reading but well worth it. How are you finding the country so far?

    • Well, it’s fun being surrounded by trees. 1-10 cars (driven by people who don’t live on our road) go on our road PER DAY, give or take. And they always seem to come when you’re walking down the road. 😉 School’s good. 🙂


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