Renée Wendinger is from southern Minnesota and is the youngest of five children. Her mother, Sophia (Kaminsky) Hillesheim, 1917 orphan train rider, was one of the children of the orphan trains taking part in a phenomenal journey from New York City to the Midwest. As an avid historian, Renée has researched the epoch of the largest mass migration of children to occur in American history for years. Inspired by her mother, Renée's book embraces authoritive research with compelling stories from the people who “made history” aboard the orphan trains of New York.
Renée’s writing style functions in concert with authentic photography reaching across the spectrum of academic and universal readership. The chronicles of the children of the train and newsboys (who were collectively known as street children, orphans, urchins, waifs and the dangerous classes) impart a skillful arrangement within a solitary volume. The fascination of this book can not be realized until this reserve is in the readers hands.
Renée is a speaker on the subject of the orphan trains and immigration experience offering a historical slide symposium to educators and schools, community and civic organizations, and libraries and historical centers.
President of Orphan Train Riders of New York Organization.
Recipient of the New York Foundling award acknowledged by the Orphan Train Heritage Society of America for history preservation.
Recipient of The Founders Award presented by the National Orphan Train Complex
Minnesota Historical Society winning essayist awards.
2010 and 2011 Winner of the National Indie Excellence Award in History for winning book award of excellence. The National Indie Excellence Awards is a leading book competition for small presses and independent publishers shining a spotlight on books that demonstrate excellence. Judging professionals from all aspects of the book industry take in book cover and interior designers and professional copywriters to publishers, writers, editors and more. Book award winners and finalists are based on overall excellence of presentation. The NIEA emblem on a cover lets people know Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York is a book that meets the highest standards of independent publishing.
A concentrated graduate level study course has been developed by professors of Brooklyn College built on Wendinger’s book.
Click here to visit The National Orphan Train Complex website.
Click here to visit Orphan Train Riders of New York website.