The Midnight Train Home by Erika Tamar

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An orphan train child escapes a coldhearted adoptive family to join a vaudeville troupe and travel to Texas to find her older brother Sean.

Deirdre O'Rourke and her brothers Sean and Jimmy are sent by their mum from their tenement existence to ride one of the last of the orphan trains west, in the hope of finding a good family. Instead, all three are separated, and Deirdre is placed with a straitlaced minister and his wife, who she soon learns adopted her out of pity. Deirdre can only hope that someday she will be reunited with her beloved older brother, Sean. When at last she finds that he is on a ranch in Texas with a wonderful family, Deirdre longs to be with him, but with no money, she has no real hope of escaping. Then a vaudeville troupe comes to town on its way west. Deirdre convinces the vaudevillians to take her with them, and suddenly her life takes on a real purpose: getting to Texas. But along the way, Deirdre discovers she has a greater depth and purpose than she'd expected--and that being on stage is perhaps an even greater pull than family.

About Erika Tamar

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Erika Tamar is the author of many novels and picture books, including The Junkyard Dog.
Published May 1, 2000 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. 208 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Three immigrant siblings: Sean the oldest at 13, Deirdre, 11, and Jimmy, 3—have been given away by their destitute, homeless mother.

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Publishers Weekly

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Miserable in her new home with an austere minister and his wife, ridiculed by children for her hand-me-down clothes and viewed by adults as a ruffian, Deirdre loses her sense of dignity and identity until she hatches a plan to find her older brother.

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