‘The Children’s Train’ by Viola Ardone is written from the perspective of a young 7 year old boy name Amerigo who is sent away via train to the North of Italy. When he returns home he finds it hard to fit back into that life he left behind. In the end, he makes a desperate and very hard decision that will change his life forever. Wow, I’ll admit that review sounded like the back cover of the book.
Here is the deal with ‘The Children’s Train’, you never really see the connection between Amerigo and his mother Antonietta. In fact, she seems almost distant from him. One can’t help but wonder what happened in Antonietta’s past that makes her this cold.
There is a very big time jump that is kind of jarring towards the end. It left me wanting more details about Amerigo’s life as he grew up.
It’s not a book I loved or hated. The only thing I can really say is that its a sad/tragic book.
I would like to add this note for the publisher. Since these books are going to countries not well versed in Italian history an opening note would be very helpful. Such as it says ‘Based on true events’ but what part is true? If the part of children being moved via train is true then it should have said how many children were shuffled from South to North and how many years this continued for.
Also a little note about the difference between the north and the south. IE why was the south so much worst off. It’s stated they were communists in the north but the way its described (again I know from a child’s prospective) one gets a sense its pro-communism. The north has it all (and is communists) but the south does not have much and is anti-communism. I don’t think this is what the book is going for.