Rodzina by Karen Cushman

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Rodzina Clara Jadwiga Anastazya Brodski is the new face in Karen Cushman’s gallery of unforgettable heroines. One of a group of orphans, 12-year-old Rodzina boards a train on a cold day in March 1881. She’s reluctant to leave Chicago, the only home she can remember, and she knows there’s no substitute for the family she has lost. She expects to be adopted and turned into a slave—or worse, not to be adopted at all.

As the train rattles westward, Rodzina unwittingly begins to develop attachments to her fellow travelers, even the frosty orphan guardian, and to accept the idea that there might be good homes for orphans—maybe even for a big, combative Polish girl. But no placement seems right for the formidable Rodzina, and she cleverly finds a way out of one bad situation after another, until at last she finds the family that is right for her.

Once again, Karen Cushman brings us a compelling story that is thoroughly researched, full of memorable characters, and told with wry humor and keen observation by an absolutely captivating narrator. Afterword.

About Karen Cushman

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Karen Cushman was born in Chicago, Illinois and lives now on Vashon Island west of Seattle, Washington. She received an M.A. in human behavior and one in museum studies. Ms. Cushman has had a lifelong interest in history. She says, "I grew tired of hearing about kings, princes, generals, presidents. I wanted to know what ordinary life was like for ordinary young people in other times." Research into medieval English history and culture led to the writing of her first two novels, the Newbery Honor book CATHERINE, CALLED BIRDY and the Newbery Medal-winner THE MIDWIFE'S APPRENTICE. She is also the author of MATILDA BONE, THE BALLAD OF LUCY WHIPPLE, RODZINA, and most recently ALCHEMY AND MEGGY SWANN..
Published March 20, 2003 by Clarion Books. 226 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Cooking, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Rodzina

Kirkus Reviews

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Along the way, Rodzina goes twice, unwillingly, to unsuitable new homes: once to a couple of women who plan for her to be not only a nursemaid but a farmhand as well, and once to the father of a large hardscrabble family—his wife is dying and he plans to make Rodzina his new wife.

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Publishers Weekly

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Reading her introduction, Cushman (Catherine, Called Birdy) connects her latest historical novel to her own family history, piquing the interest of listeners who are then rewarded with Baker's steady performance and a consistently solid production.

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Common Sense Media

In the meantime, though, this tale of plucky orphans making their way in a rugged and unfeeling world is entertaining enough, and Rodzina is an unusual heroine.

Mar 31 2003 | Read Full Review of Rodzina


Rodzina and many of the other orphans consider this change in circumstances to be a sentence to a life of slavery, and needless to say, Rodzina would rather live in an orphanage or even on the streets than face an existence in a strange place where she has to work in the fields from sun up to sun...

Mar 20 2003 | Read Full Review of Rodzina

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