Ezra’s Story is the first in the Orphan Train Extras Collection. These short stories will come between the longer books in the Orphan Train Series to bring light to some of the characters that have more to say, yet not quite as much as others. I’ve read the first four books in the Orphan Train Series, of which there will be eighteen, so I knew quite a bit about Ezra’s brother and sister, but not much about him. This little man was a perfect choice for book number one in this new collection. The first paragraph will suck you in and you won’t crawl back out until you finish the last page.
Ezra’s Story will break your heart while filling it full of love at the same time. This young boy has the weight of the world on his shoulders. It’s 1915 and Ezra lives in an apartment with his family. His dad is a drunk who beats his mother and gambles the days away. His older sister ran away and he has no idea where she is. There isn’t enough food to fill their bellies, and the boys are perpetually scared of their father. Ezra feels responsible for his mother and younger brother, even though he is just a child.
After an intensive scene at his home, Ezra finds himself alone, still hungry and scared. He has the kindest heart which continues to increase in size when he meets a stranger who takes him under his wing.
I wanted to take him under my wing, the little whipper snapper. So young and going through so much; it brought tears to my eyes more than once. This young man deserved so much more than what he was dealt. Ezra is a tough and persistent lad. He cares deeply for others which helps him make his way through life.
I can’t imagine so many children left on their own, trying to survive without anyone to care for them. Thank goodness the Orphan Trains were there to help some of these lost souls. I am thrilled that Sherry chose to write about Ezra, as he had a story that needed to be told. Such a descriptive and touching look into the lives of New York’s orphans during a time when so many had so little. If you haven’t read the Orphan Train Series, do yourself a favor and dig in. Ezra’s Story can be read alone, but knowing some background beforehand adds to the overall experience.