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Orphan Train by Christina Baker Klein Summary Study Guide

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Themes

It's easy to treat orphans like slaves. Apparently back in the 1930's orphans were routinely used as slaves. What the f? Foster parents could starve them, keep them out of school, work them really hard, and stick fingers in their v_ginas and suffer no consequences.

 

People fall in love after one train ride. People can fall in love after sharing a few hours on a train. I know I don't believe it either but this is a theme of the book.

 

Some guys are attracted to 10 year olds. Mr. Grote wants to bone Dorothy/Vivian even though she is only 10 years old. I don't understand that. She has absolutely no breasts and no hair down there. At 10 I don't even know if her parking space is big enough to accommodate cars. It doesn't make any sense to me.

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Hardened orphans can learn to become sensitive. Molly is f'ed up at first, dressing like a vampire whore and indeed whoring herself out for tattoos. But she learns to become sensitive when she hears Vivian's tale of orphan woe. Why hearing the story of another orphan would make Molly sensitive I have no idea, because it is never explained in this book, nor are we even given a clue as to what Molly is feeling or how she evolved.

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