Praise of For The Love of Pete | Orphan Train

“Ethel Barker’s novel is rich in the kind of detail that brings a past era to vivid life. Readers young and old will feel as though they are riding on that orphan train and braving the unknown in the wilds of Iowa! Best of all, Barker gives us three unforgettable young characters to root for.”
—Mary Helen Stefaniak, author, The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia: A Novel

“Ethel Barker has clearly done her research, and For the Love of Pete puts an entirely human face on the dramatic history of Iowa’s Orphan Train children.”
—Rebecca Johns, author, The Countess: A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory

“Barker weaves the compelling story of three wayward children named Iris, Rosie, and Pete—all of whom were gathered up from the streets of New York and sent aboard an orphan train bound for Iowa. Their trials and triumphs are undoubtedly representative of those experienced by the several hundred thousand children sent on America’s orphan trains between 1854 and 1929. A must read!”
—Clark Kidder, author, Emily’s Story—The Brave Journey of an Orphan Train Rider

“Suspense crackles after little Rosie, plucky big sister Iris, and loyal pal Pete stumble off an orphan train in rural Iowa where unthinking adults callously force each of them to face harsh new conditions alone. Richly textured settings, engaging dialogue, and the children’s increasingly dire circumstances make Ethel Barker’s debut historical novel a fun read.”
—Cheryl Fusco Johnson, author and host of Writers Voices

“Rich in detail, Ethel Barker has written the best kind of fiction—one that allows readers to peek through the windows of the orphan trains through the lives of three orphans while holding on to strength of the human spirit. Full of twists and turns, surprises and anguish, Barker unfolds the lives of three orphans in a memorable web of emotion filled with human dignity and courage. These unforgettable children of the train will remain with the reader long after the book is closed.”
—Renée Wendinger, author, Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York

“With her first novel, Ethel Barker takes us along on a lively, adventure-filled ride with the children of the Orphan Train. Her tale is richly woven, full of warmth, wit and surprise—and best of all, a cast of plucky characters who instantly drew me into this little-known chapter of American history.”
—Delia Ray, author, Here Lies Linc

“A moving, historically accurate account of the Orphan Train movement that will captivate the reader with the extraordinary trials of three young friends as they journey separately through the uncertain times that defined this period of American history. A great adventure with an unpredictable twist—engaging right through to the last page!”
—Donna Aviles, author, Peanut Butter For Cupcakes: A True Story From The Great Depression

“Details of Iowa life illuminate the times and stories of three children who arrive on the orphan train. Ethel Barker presents a satisfying tale for young readers in For the Love of Pete.”
—Carol Gorman, author, Games: A Tale of Two Bullies