Set during the aftermath of World War II, Viola Ardone's international bestseller follows the journey of seven-year-old Amerigo Speranza as he is sent to northern Italy along with thousands of other children in hopes of a better life in the less war-torn regions of the country. Temporarily taken away from their families, these children entered a new world in which they finally don't feel the pain of hunger or the threat of the cold. After getting a taste of comfort and security, Amerigo must wrestle with his love for his family and his longing to escape from poverty.
The Children's Train was originally written in Italian, though the English translation seems true to its original text. The story itself is broken up into short chapters that seem like vignettes into the lives of these children. Overall, I found the story to be very moving, especially since the experiences of Amerigo and his companions were based on true events in history.