Results of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction in the year 2005.
Before the accident Nathaniel's life seemed pretty good. His help around the farm made his father proud. But now, with a busted leg, Nathaniel can't do farmwork anymore, so his father adopts another son through the Orphan Train. Feeling replaced and useless, Nathaniel attends school for the first time. Meanwhile, sturdy and strong John is able to do the work that earns Pa's attention.
But the truth is, John Worth has his own set of troubles. He is treated more like a servant than a son. Kept awake at night by nightmares of his family's death, he remembers having a pa who took pride in him. But now he has no one, until a community battle and a special book reveal a potential friend - and a chance for understanding.
A. LaFaye's dynamic portrayal of two boys longing for something they no longer have and finding the resources to face the future offers a fresh perspective on the thousands of children who moved west via the Orphan Trains in the late 19th century.