Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
I recently read McClure’s adult book, The Wilder Life, about Laura Ingalls Wilder (review coming soon!), and wanted to see if her children’s book was as engaging and laugh-out-loud funny. It’s easy to see where some of that research came in handy; the orphans (or pseudo-orphans) in Wanderville eat salt pork and ride in buggies. Other than that, though, the style of her children’s novel has very in common with her adult non-fiction book. The story of a group of children who escape from an orphan train in 1904 has good pacing, but I had hoped it would have more of the humor of The Wilder Life and was a bit disappointed. It also seemed a bit like they were modern kids, with modern expressions and attitudes, stuck in 1904, which made me suspicious that other period details were accurate. But in general, it was a nice story, and ended on a little cliff-hanger. The very last page indicates a sequel, due out in Fall 2014.