The Children’s Train is historical fiction at its finest. Amerigo is one of many children who were shipped up North for the winter, to see a life that is better than the poverty they’re used to. We follow Amerigo as he adapts to this new life, as he retells stories from his past, and then later on, with Amerigo now 50. Ardone covers many stages of his life, and in doing so, gives us a piece of what children like him had gone through at the end of the war.
Even though Amerigo started poorly educated, he was curious, and that curiosity lent way to his love of playing instruments. While he bumbles along at first, his adopted family is kind, they take care of him, and only want what’s best. I loved his innocence and the wonder as he was introduced to new things. I much preferred the storytelling from young Amerigo than old. I can’t imagine how torn both the parents and the children must have felt. As a parent, you could see yourself barely keeping your head above water, and wanting the best for your child. As a child, you can’t picture the thought of staying past the winter. I felt the author wrote the duality and the struggles of fitting in well. Thank you, HarperVia, for sending this along.