This book was all right. It was a fast read, obviously, being juvenile, but I wasn't overly attracted to the characters or the situation. Rodzina is a 12 year old girl who reluctantly boards an orphan train heading west, believing firmly that she would be handed over to someone who would want her for a slave. Rodzina is twice selected by a family at the stops the train makes along the way, and both times, it turns out that she was pretty much right in assuming that these people would want something a bit less (more?) than a child to welcome into their families.
Two old women want her to wash their feet and do their laundry, and Rodzina convinces them that she is lazy so quickly that they never even make it home before they turn their wagon around. Then a family with a multitude of unwashed children select her, and it turns out that the mother of those children is dying, and that the father intends to make Rodzina his wife--and to bed her before the mother takes her last breath.
Rodzina escapes that situation as well, and ends up being adopted by the woman doctor who has been playing nursemaid to the children along the way.
The story is a sad one, with an ending that should leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. It doesn't, though. The narrative just doesn't tug your heartstrings in the way you'd expect. I think that partly has to do with the character whose POV we're reading from, because Rodzina is not an overly emotional girl, but I think that there's a way to make it clear that this stolid child is wounded, and Cushman fails in that.