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Forgetting Tabitha the Story of an Orphan Train Rider [Kindle Edition]

Julie Dewey
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

Raised on a farm outside of West Chester County, Tabitha Salt, the daughter of Irish immigrants, leads a sheltered existence. When tragedy strikes the family, the ten year old and her mother are forced to move to the notorious Five Points District in New York City. Known for its brothels, gangs, gambling halls, corrupt politicians, and thieves, the Five Points is a chaotic slum. The women find work as laundresses, struggling every day to survive in their squalid living conditions.
When tragedy strikes again, Tabitha finds herself on the streets of New York City, alone. Summoning her courage and willing her legs that are numb with fear and grief to move, she takes to a life on the streets. Stealing food and running from the law, Tabitha dreams of the future.
During this time the Sisters of Charity were plucking orphans off the streets with promises of a new life. Children were told to forget their pasts, including their religious beliefs, families, and names. They were to become Christian and were given new identities, only then could they board the orphan trains. The orphan trains carried the destitute children out west in search of new homes. Siblings were often ripped apart and many didn’t find homes but became indentured workers in exchange for room and board.
The looming decision would alter her life course; boarding the train meant leaving everything and everyone she knew behind. Vulnerable and afraid she made her decision.
The story is a true to life chronicle reflecting the saga of hundreds of thousands of homeless or neglected children who were placed on orphan trains from 1854 to 1929. The orphan train movement led to numerous reforms having to do with welfare and child labor laws. Many people believe it is the origin of modern foster care.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Julie Dewey is a novelist who resides with her family in Central New York. Her daughter is a singer/songwriter, and her son is a boxer. Her husband is an all-around hard working, fantastic guy with gorgeous blue eyes that had her falling for him the moment they met. In addition to researching and writing she is an avid reader. She is also passionate about jewelry design and gemstones. She loves anything creative, whether it be knitting, stamping, scrapping, decoupaging, working with metal, or decorating. Visit her at www.juliedewey.com to get your reading guide for this book and to read an excerpt from One Thousand Porches, her second novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 519 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: JWCD Press (July 23, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E4W4984
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,342 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Best to Forget Tabitha August 13, 2013
By Aliz
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The contemporary words used; Gestapo, noogie, juvy hall take credibility away from this attempt at historical fiction. Also, much of the dialogue and interactions did not give the feel of the time period.

Suggestion for writing in this period; immerse yourself into the children's literature of the time period in the 19th century.

The graphic sexual aspects of the book could have been written more tastefully to get the same message across. As a result of the content, it is inappropriate for young adults and the serious adult reader. The credible reader knows that children have been sexually exploited in the past, the present, and unfortunately will be in the future - It is a fact of life - The 'way' that it is written in this story, 'fiction' or not; is a turn off for this reader.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointed August 16, 2013
By Karna
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
heard of the orphan trains and was excited to learn more. I enjoyed the first 50% of the book where the system of finding homes for the orphans was explained. Meeting each character in the book brought the personal touch. However, about 50% into the book it took the turn with all the sexual scenes and that just turned me off. I understand prostitution occurred and the sidelines of despair for those involved, but I could have well done without the explicit sexual scenes. I feel the book could have stood alone without such detail. Wouldn't it have been wonderful to be able to recommend this book to anyone over 12 without reservation in order that they see and get a feel for the history involved as well as the story line between each character. Cannot do that and put the images into their minds of the sex scenes, especially the one with the beating and despicable harm to Gert. Withdrawing as my recommendation for my bookclub choice for November.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pass on it. May 19, 2014
By Lin
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The novel started on a solid note but lost it quickly. The plot became nonsensical and hard to believe. Don't waste your time or money.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmmmm! January 29, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book had great potential,I had actually looked forward to reading this. Then the sex,sex,sex with very graphic description and it did not enhance the book in anyway! To think I almost shared this with my young daughter as the title suggested a part of history for America not often discussed. Very disappointed !
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dead part of history comes alive! August 12, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book really was such a great account of the overlooked history of the orphan trains. Until I read this book, I honestly didn't even know they existed. This book was great at opening my eyes to these poverty problems that we faced in America, and it really made you sympathize with the characters on account of the great character development. It is set up so that each chapter is written from different points of view, giving you a chance to peer into each individual characters head. This was extremely well done. You got to know the various thought processes of all of these orphans, and learn how their state affected them individually. It was hard to not root for and fall in love with each and every single character, even if they acted a little rash! You always understood their hardship, and it was a very heartwarming, classic story of the american dream coming to fruition. Definitely a must-read!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Forgetting Tabitha October 7, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Forgetting Tabitha threw me for a loop. The blurb described a touching portrait of a child's experiences on the orphan train when in truth Julie Dewey's story is a much stronger tale about both the immediate impact and long term repercussions endured by those entrusted to the care of the program.

Far from being a children's story, Forgetting Tabitha touches on some pretty heavy content including, but not limited to, the world's oldest profession. Now I don't much care one way or the other, but I will say I appreciate the courage Dewey exhibits in taking this story where she felt it needed to go and in no way criticize her for driving home the intensity of this awful reality in her narrative.

Similarly, Dewey's description of the Five Points is both bleak and violent. Overcrowded and poor, life in this section of the city was a daily struggle for its inhabitants and here again, I liked that Dewey wasn't intimidated by graphic subject matter or tempted to tone it down to make it more palatable for modern readers.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the sections that focused on the orphan train, but it was the idea that these kids were leaving difficult and dangerous circumstances and weren't always landing on their feet that captured my attention. Some were essentially hired hands, others little more than indentured servants, and while a fair few managed to find loving homes, their lives were often dogged by the shadow of the pasts. I knew the material fairly well going into this piece, but even so, was impressed with Dewey's treatment of it.

When all is said and done, Forgetting Tabitha is not a book to be judged by its cover. Heart-wrenchingly poignant, Tabitha's experiences along with those of the other orphan train riders are highly indicative of the history that inspired Dewey to put pen to paper and create this illuminating story of endurance, fortitude and hope.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By HBLB
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If zero stars would work that would be my rating I would describe this novel as ponographic Thought it would be a work of historical fiction about the orphan trains; instead just a vehicle for an x-rated "bodice ripper". The "SAMPLE" gives no indication of the kind of work this really is. I read til I realized there was no redeaming value here. Requested a refund for purchase price from Amazon.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of life!
This book was a nice, easy read. I read it in one evening. The characters are endearing. I would have given 5 stars, but the book suddenly changes almost mid way, dedicating... Read more
Published 2 days ago by MrsDoolin
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable book
the author has a good and unique storyline that truly could have occurred. the were areas that could have bee fleshed out more for character and story development.
Published 5 days ago by Danielle Rastetter
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!!!!!
I have enjoyed this wonderful story of love and faith. Few stories have touched my heart as much as "Mary's" life. Read more
Published 7 days ago by charlotte wimer
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining....
Ready to read next one:) simple reading but engaging. made me cry, laugh, and want to devour the story in one sitting...
Published 9 days ago by Carmen Arriaga
1.0 out of 5 stars Strange book.
Starts out interesting, but in the middle it becomes a diary of sexual trysts + infidelities, completely losing the original plot. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Linda Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I enjoyed this book even though it wasn't quite like the other orphan train books.
Published 20 days ago by Kathleen Troyer Coady
5.0 out of 5 stars Survival For One
Tabitha Colleen Salt was born of Irish immigrants on a spring morning, assisted by the combined efforts of her Mama and Da majoring so she might be. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Joyce Metzger
3.0 out of 5 stars Tabitha
Wonderful tale of a historic time in the history of new York and the struggles of the immigrants in the poor areas of the city. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Elizabeth Vaiaoga
4.0 out of 5 stars good
😊good book. Interesting story. I know orphan trains were very hard! Many children ended up on good situations, but many more did not.
Published 23 days ago by Cathy Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars So much happened to this little girl. You have to read it
I love historical books....this one gave me a very good idea of how things worked during the depression...fortunately not a time I lived through.... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Cass
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More About the Author

Julie Dewey is a novelist living in Central New York with her family. Her daughter is a Nashville crooner and her son is a boxer, her husband is an all around fabulous guy with gorgeous blue eyes that had her at first glance.

Julie enjoys anything creative, she loves to make jewelry and is passionate about gemstones. When she isn't writing, she can be found in her office decoupaging, stamping, knitting, working with metal, or scrapping.


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