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Home > Author > Renee Wendinger
 
Renee Wendinger

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Member Since: Jan, 2010

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  Renee Wendinger           

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Recognized history essayist and orphan train historian.


Background Information

Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York delivers an outstanding composition about a little known epoch in American history. Inspired by Wendinger's mother, Sophia (Kaminsky) Hillesheim, 1917 orphan train rider from New York; the book is a reality of decades of researching the premise. The author's writing style functions in concert with authentic photography reaching across the spectrum to academic and universal readership. The volume chronicles children of the train and newsboys [who were collectively known as street children, orphans, urchins, waifs, and the dangerous classes] impart a skillful arrangement within a solitary volume.The fascination of this book can not be realized until this reserve is in the readers hands. Last Train Home, an orphan train story, is a historical faction(fiction based mostly on fact) novella depicting an American story about cultural identity and family history set during the nineteenth century at a time when America received an enormous influx of immigrants, and a quarter of a million children whose fates would be determined by pure luck were sent west from East Coast cities by orphan train. Would they be adopted by kind and loving families, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude? The story highlights the methods practiced by two agencies sending children West by tracing the individual journeys of two children, Johnny and Sophia. From a very young age, both children learn to adapt and inhabit new identities. Change has been the defining principle in the lives of these two children. As their personal stories unfold, the children learn triumph over tribulation building strength of mind and character into an incredible reserve.

Accomplishments

A concentrated college level study course has been built exclusively on Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York. This book is heavily utilized by authors, and in Theatrical and Documentary productions as an authoritative resource book.
The 2010 and 2011 National Indie Excellence Winner Award in history goes to Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York, by author Renee Wendinger.

Renee Wendinger is the president of the Orphan Train Riders of New York Organization.

Renee Wendinger is the recipient of the New York Foundling award acknowledged by the Orphan Train Historical Society of America for history preservation.

Recipient of numerous history essayist awards.

2011 recipient of the Founders Award from the National Orphan Train Complex of Kansas.

Additional Information

Book Reviews: “In a most beautiful and professional way, this book represents a true labor of love. A candid, humbling, but ultimately inspiring look at a very particular theme and period in American history. The archival photos of newsboys and bootblacks surviving on the streets of New York. Hauntingly good! The yearbook‐like sketches of orphan train children and the responsible adults and citizens they became; a highlight. With this volume alone, Renée Wendinger has made the planet a better place.” John Graham Tucker, president of Norfleet Press New York, New York “An absolutely incredible book! This is a classic book and a fascinating story written by a very talented lady. This author portrays the children’s stories so well. Classic images of our distant past, the pictures are beautiful! To acquire an appreciation for New York’s history this book is a “have got to pick up,” as it is one of a kind. Really a wonderful and classy book. A concentrated New York College course has been built upon this accomplished book alone.” Art and Susan Zuckerman, Steve Duer [historians, lecture series] Radio Station WVOX [Z Travel and Leisure] New York, New York Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York provides an insightful overview of how responsible persons made drastic decisions based on facts, common sense and a limited number of real life options. It is a unique book that belongs on the shelf of every professional or aspiring sociologist involved in the history of unfortunate children, and in collected works of every library. This book reveals, probably for the first time to millions, the heroic work undertaken by the New York Foundling and the Children’s Aid Society. The book envisions a part of American history which might have been a lifelong tragic loss. An excellent book! Diana Serra Cary, author of Hollywood‘s Children; What Ever Happened Baby Peggy, [and additional tome] Fending for oneself as a child is a rough endeavor. "Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York" tells the story of the fate of many children in the early twentieth century, and how the Children's Aid Society sought to help these young people through their early lives. From helping them find homes in rural America through the famous orphan trains, to giving the newsboys of New York places to stay,the Children's Aid Society engaged in remarkable work. "Extra! Extra!" is a fascinating survey of the history of child welfare in the United States. Midwest Book Review Last Train Home, an orphan train story, is a moving fictional story based on the real life stories of Johnny and Sophia, both orphaned in the early 1900s under heart-wrenchingly difficult circumstances. I was struck by the similarities between the characters in Last Train Home and my grandmother's creation, Anne of Green Gables, and the will to live a positive and productive life. The author is clearly a gifted writer. Kate Macdonald Butler, granddaughter of Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery Last Train Home, an orphan train story, is history at its most capacious, beautifully written, and panoramic in viewpoint about the people who made history aboard the orphan trains of New York. Renee Wendinger tells a tale of how one event in a life can change everything. This is a story about a moving time in our nation's history when hope and faith held us all strongly together. A great novel for historical fiction lovers. Ann Creel, novelist of Nicki and Thanks to Nicki(American Girl books)

Favorite Links

Orphan Trains
Learn more about Renee's Orphan Train books http://www.theorphantrain.com

Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York
Hardcover First Edition.Museum quality historical nonfiction. Library binding.

Last Train Home, an orphan train story
Paperback First Edition historical novella.




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