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Synopsis

A Chance to Escape is a chapter book of historical fiction suitable for grades 3-5. Imagine being a young widow from England who has been in America only one year, then is left alone to support three children under the age of twelve. This family is trapped by severe economic circumstances in a slum district in New York City. Their meager income is dwindling to such a crucial level that the mother fears her children might wind up on the streets to survive, as thousands of poor children have been forced to do. She is desperate for help. This was the predicament in which Laura Harvey found herself in 1893, with winter approaching. The only solution she could come up with was to put Kathleen, Robert, and Beth on an Orphan Train going out west where they could be placed in foster homes. There they could have nourishing food, fresh air to breathe, and an education?even though her heart would be broken and her children devastated at being separated from her.

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