Reading into History: Book Wrap Recap and our Next Book!

By Rachel Walman and Katie Fuller

We had a fantastic Book Wrap last Sunday. Families who came got to discuss the real-life stories told in We Rode the Orphan Trains — stories of family, loss, loneliness and perseverance. They were also able to interact with Lukas Weinstein, Archivist for the Children’s Aid Society. Lukas shared interesting historical insight about child welfare in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He even knows some of the people whose stories are told in the book! Conversation flowed so much that we ran out of time while examining photographs and documents that Lukas brought with him from the CAS archives. It was a fascinating afternoon exploration of some very tough issues.

So now what? Well, now all you history detectives out there need to run, not walk, to our museum store and get a copy of Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani. Our Book Wrap for this incredible novel is on Sunday, November 4th from 3:30-5 pm and co-author Neela Vaswani will be there!

This is a very different book for RiH because it’s more of a novel than historical fiction; but it’s a novel that teaches recent history through letters written between two fictional children. Meena is an Indian-American immigrant girl growing up in New York City’s Chinatown and her pen pal is River Dean Justice, a native-born white boy growing up in rural Kentucky. Their lives are so different and yet so similar. Through their letters, they discuss culture, what it means to be an American, their daily lives, environmental issues and the 2008 election. This book will help families recognize the history they are living through right now and how they can be an active part of it. Get reading!


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