Award-Winning Author and Journalist Andrea Warren to Speak at 21st Annual Orphan Train Rider Celebration

Andrea Warren
Andrea Warren

Special presenter Andrea Warren will share “The Stories Behind My Two Orphan Train Books: Potholes Along the Path to Publication” on Friday, June 7th at 1:30 pm during the National Orphan Train Complex's 21st Annual Celebration of Orphan Train Riders.  The presentation will be held in the Warehouse 315 on West Fifth Street in Concordia.

Andrea Warren’s career has encompassed teaching, reporting, magazine writing, and editorial work.  For the past two decades she has merged her passion for children and education with her love of history and story to write narrative nonfiction books for young readers.  In each, she features a brave, resilient young person living through a historically significant—and sometimes cataclysmic—event.  All nine books remain in print and are used in schools throughout the country and abroad.

Warren’s many writing honors have included the Thorpe Menn Award, the William Allen White Award, the Robert F Sibert Honor Award, and numerous “best book” designations from the American Library Association.  Most recently she gave an invited lecture at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, and was interviewed in a live audience event by the executive director of the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History.

“Orphan Train Rider: One Boy’s True Story,” published in 1996 by Houghton MIfflin Harcourt, was her first nonfiction book for young readers and won the prestigious Boston Globe-Horn Book Award.  It was followed in 2001 by ”We Rode the Orphan Trains,” also published by HMH.  Together the two books have introduced the story of the orphan trains to countless students and have helped preserve this important—but often overlooked—chapter in our history and its impact on the development of the child welfare system in America.

Warren is a Nebraska native and a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  She completed a master’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in literature and another in journalism at the University of Kansas.  She lived in Lawrence, Kansas for ten years and then settled into the Kansas City area where she still lives.  More information on her books can be found at

A complete schedule of events for the 21st Annual Celebration of Orphan Train Riders is available at