A boy from New York is sent west on an "orphan train" to Illinois, where he becomes an indentured servant to a family who teaches him how to be a farmer.
After his father is killed in the Civil War, Alex Kopsky travels to Michigan from the only home he has known in Massachusetts to start a new life with his new family. Alex travels on an orphan train and is chosen by a young couple, the O'Learys. He later learns that Mr. O'Leary paid to have someone else fight for him during the war.
Unhappy living on a plantation after being sent to Virginia in 1858 on an "orphan train," Danny Murphy decides to return to New York City and accompanies two runaway slave children on their dangerous journey north.
Arriving in Texas on an "orphan train," Hannah Green is taken in by a husband and wife who need help on their ranch, and Hannah begins to learn the skills necessary to be a veterinarian.
Sent west on an "orphan train" when their mother can no longer care for them, Emily and her brother, James, are separated in Omaha, but Emily is befriended by a hobo who helps her find her way back to Omaha to look for James.
Fourteen-year-old Jonathan receives a message from a fish while diving in Hawaii and becomes concerned about ocean pollution.
After being adopted by Michael's family and moving from Mexico to Dallas, Javier tries to adapt to life in the United States but realizes he misses his old life in Vera Cruz, Mexico.