• February 24th, 2017

Book Cover reading Orphan Train by Christina Baker KlineThe Honors College has selected Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline as its 2017 Common Book. All incoming freshmen are expected to read the common book and participate in lectures, discussions, and other activities during the year. Kline will be on campus September 24-27 to discuss her book with students, faculty, and staff.  A complete schedule of activities will be available in later summer.

Orphan trains took orphaned and abandoned children from the east coast to the Midwest from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century. Kline’s 2013 novel, a #1 international bestseller, tells the story of the friendship between a 91 year old orphan train rider and a 17 year old foster child. Going back and forth in time between the 1920s and 1930s and the present day, Kline explores issues of cultural identity, loss, and perseverance.

“Reading the Honors Common Book is the first experience that all incoming students have in common, and we are excited about the conversations that this intriguing book will spark,” said Dr. Ross Bryan, assistant dean of the Honors College. “The issues of family identity and the ways in which people’s early experiences impact their later lives are very relevant to young people starting out in college. I can’t wait to be part of discussions about this book.”