‘Orphan Train’ author Baker Kline’s visit to Sarasota kicks off February events

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‘Orphan Train’ author Baker Kline’s visit to Sarasota kicks off February events  

SARASOTA COUNTY – Fresh off a huge turnout for two presentations featuring author Christina Baker Kline and her book, “Orphan Train,” Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources has more than a month of related programs planned as part of its 2015 One Book One Community event.

Nearly 1,500 people attended Christina Baker Kline’s two presentations on Friday, Jan.16, about her book, which was released in 2013 and has spent more than 52 consecutive weeks in the top five of the New York Times’ best-seller list for paperbacks.


Best-selling author Christina Baker Kline signs a copy of “Orphan Train” for a guest at one of her recent Sarasota County appearances.

“We realized that we had picked the perfect ‘One Book’ when all of the seats at both the Venice Community Performing Arts Center and at the Selby Library had been reserved to maximum capacity weeks before Christina’s visit,” said Barbara McDonald, outreach coordinator for the Sarasota County Library System. “We understood that ‘Orphan Train’ is popular in the U.S., and worldwide, yet we were amazed to discover that this novel really resonates with the people in our community.”


The mission of One Book One Community is to bring people together to discuss the selected book, and Baker Kline’s visit was only the curtain-raiser to more than a month of programs related to “Orphan Train” and its subject matter. The upcoming schedule includes:

  • “Beginning Family Genealogy” by Nancy Johnson, president, Genealogical Society of Sarasota County;
  • “Cleaning Attics and Closets, Downsizing and Rightsizing: An Expert’s Tips” by Wendy Wicks, president, TLC Senior Move Experts, Inc.;
  • “The Orphan Trains” by Jane Glennan, outreach coordinator, Historic Spanish Point;
  • “The History of the Venice Train Depot as it relates to the Growth and Development of the Local Area” by George Miller, treasurer, Historic Venice Train Depot;
  • “Changing the End of the Story: What Happens in our Local Foster Care System” presented by representatives of the Safe Children Coalition, Guardian Ad Litem, Children’s Guardian Fund, and the Heart Gallery of Sarasota;
  • “Total Impact: New College’s Foster Student Tutoring Program Reveals Life Changing Effects in Life Challenging Situations” presented by New College students and staff, students in foster care, and the Guardian Ad Litem staff; and
  • “The Orphan Trains: A review and panel discussion of the current best-seller by Christina Baker Kline and its relevance to families in crisis” presented by students at University South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee Campus.

These programs are being offered free and open to the public in coordination with the presenters’ affiliated organizations, Sarasota County’s nine public libraries, New College of Florida, and the University South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee Campus. For the dates and times, and to reserve seats, go to the Events tab at onebooksarasota.com or to the Sarasota County Library System website calendar at www.scgov.net/Library.


For more information about the upcoming “One Book One Community” events and how to participate, visit www.onebooksarasota.com or call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.




This is the 12th year the Sarasota County Library System has participated in the “One Book One Community” program, which started in 1996 in Seattle to help foster the expression of ideas within the community through the shared love of reading. A Book Selection Committee of volunteers spends many weeks reading and reviewing books before making its selection. Book discussions, companion films and other themed events are held throughout the month of February after the author’s visit to Sarasota County.




Christina Baker Kline has published four other novels and four non-fiction books. She resides in New Jersey and has a home in Maine with her husband and three sons. Ms. Kline is a graduate of Yale, Cambridge, and University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow in Fiction Writing. She has taught at numerous institutions, including Fordham University, Yale University, New York University, Drew University, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her previous novels include “Bird in Hand,” “The Way Life Should Be,” “Desire Lines” and “Sweet Water.” Visit www.christinabakerkline.com for more information.

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