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From Orphan Train to Manhood

In 1928, ten-year-old Lenvil O'Loughlin and his two younger brothers are picked up off the squalid streets of New York City and put on an orphan train headed west. Scared and fearful of what the future holds, Lenvil only hopes the three of them can stay together. When the train screeches to a halt in Lebanon, Missouri, Lenvil's brothers are selected by a childless couple. However, Lenvil is left to agonize over the separation and is put back on the train to go farther west. In Springfield, he is taken by Eldon Detherage, a cruel taskmaster who wants a boy for no other reason than to work on his farm. Fortunately, Lenvil has a champion in Eldon's wife, Velma, who treats him with the kindness he desperately needs. As the impact of the Great Depression spreads, everyone is struggling just to survive. As the years pass, Lenvil copes with the hardships of life on the farm as best he can, but he also makes himself a promise: someday he will find his brothers and make a better life for them all.
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