Skip to main content

Recommended For You


Shopping Cart

You're getting the VIP treatment!

Item(s) unavailable for purchase
Please review your cart. You can remove the unavailable item(s) now or we'll automatically remove it at Checkout.

Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.6 out of 5
5 Stars
49 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
19 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
5 reviews have 3 stars
2 Stars
0 reviews have 2 stars
1 Star
1 reviews have 1 stars

Share your thoughts

You've already shared your review for this item. Thanks!

We are currently reviewing your submission. Thanks!

Complete your review

All Book Reviews

  • Historical Fiction at its finest!

    Brilliant and powerful are two of the words that come to mind to try and describe what I just read! This is one of the best historical fiction books ever. The story takes place in Philadelphia in 1918 when the Spanish Flu is just getting started. Pia is a 13-year-old German girl who immigrated to the United States with her mother and father when she was 4 years old. She lives in a very poor neighborhood and has been subject to discrimination. She has twin brothers who are 3 months old when her father decides to join the service and fight for his new country. As the flu begins to take its toll, Pia is forced to leave her brothers home alone while she goes out in search of food. I hesitate to say any more because I do not want to ruin the story for anyone so I will just leave it here. This heart-wrenching story is full of hope and despair as it brings out the best and the worst of humanity. Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Books for the ARC of this riveting page-turner in exchange for an honest review.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Orphan Collector is a great story!

    This was surprisingly similar to what is going on, comparing the Spanish Influenza with this current Covid 19. Thankfully it is not as bad but it was cool to read about how people had to wear some sort of mask and were blocked from trolleys and such if they were not wearing one. The book view switches between 13 year old Pia and Bernice. Pia is an amazing character! Very resilient despite what is going on and determined to protect her twin brothers until their dad returns from the war. Berenice on the other hand... I hate her! I do not like her views and what she does to try to make the world more to her liking, including stealing Pia's brothers when Pia falls ill. Bernice does provide a good foil for Pia though. This is a good story and I found myself rooting for Pia through all of it. And I do adore the ending! I highly recommend it!

    Thanks for your feedback!

    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Beautiful historical fiction

    Content Rating: 18+ Genre: Historical Fiction Published: July 28, 2020, by Kensington Books Yes, we are in the grips of a present-day pandemic. That is why I think more than ever; we need a book like this to help remember our past. Knowledge of our history reminds us, our present and future are not immune to the past happening again. The Orphan Collector is the perfect title for this book, and believe it or not; it’s what drew me in to find out more about this book. When I found out The Orphan Collector was about the 1918 Spanish flu, I knew I had to read it. This time period holds an extraordinary place in my heart. In 1918 my grandfather was ten years old. His parents came over from Italy and settled in South Philadelphia. My grandfather survived the 1918 pandemic, or else I would not be writing this review. I must give high praise to Ms. Wiseman for her diligence and thorough research on this time period. I know firsthand from my grandfather’s stories that many of the things she describes in her book are correct. My grandfather told me that the doctor told his parents to give all the children one whiskey shot three times a day. He laughed and confessed that he was drunk for almost two weeks. On the sadder side, his younger sister did not survive. My grandfather described how his parents had to take her body out when the death cart came around. Till the day he died, at eighty-seven, he never knew where his sister was buried. Ms. Wiseman tells the story of the 1918 pandemic with great care and empathy. She helps the reader learn about this forgotten period and helps the reader connect with what it must have been like to live through it. Most importantly, she helps us understand what it was like to be a poor immigrant in 1918, Philadelphia. “The deadly virus stole unnoticed through the crowded cobblestone streets of Philadelphia on a sunny September day, unseen and unheard amidst the jubilant chaos of the Liberty Loan parade and the patriotic marches of John Phillips Sousa.” The Orphan Collector follows the life of a thirteen-year-old German immigrant, Pia Lang, during the pandemic. In 1918 when the flu strikes, Pia’s father is still overseas even as the war is coming to an end. Pia, her mother, and her twin baby brothers are now trying to survive. There is something special about Pia, but you will have to read the book to find out. Pia’s story is about love, the resilient human spirit, and the courage it takes to survive in the face of seemingly insurmountable hardship. However, The Orphan Collector gives us the evil side of what a pandemic like this can do to some people. Bernice Groves has lost her husband to the war and her infant son to the flu. Bernice blames immigrants for what has happened to her family, and she feels that they are not true Americans. Bernice is a woman filled with hate and makes it her mission to separate children from their parents. By doing so, she thinks she can help these children become true Americans. Ms. Wiseman shows the contrast between good vs. evil with each of these women’s stories. Both characters are well developed, and Wiseman’s exceptional writing has you loving one and loathing the other. Both of these characters will not soon be forgotten. Ms. Wiseman’s writing is brilliant and a joy to read. The imagery of the pictures she paints with her words puts you on those gritty streets of 1918, Philadelphia. She craftily weaves Pia’s story, Bernice’s story, and the horrific effect the pandemic has on Philadelphia seamlessly together in a novel that I couldn’t put down. The Orphan Collector is one of those books that will have you thinking about it long after finishing the last word. You will want to talk about it. So, you will tell all your friends to read it so you can talk about it. There are some similarities to the 2020 pandemic, but 1918 was a very different time and a very different pandemic. Ms. Wiseman has written an exceptional piece of historical fiction that you will not want to miss. I highly recommend this book, and I want to give it more than five stars. * Please note the quote in my review is subject to change once the book is published. * ** I kindly received this galley by way of NetGalley, Kensington Books, and Ellen Marie Wiseman. I was not contacted, asked, or required to leave a review. I received no compensation, financial or otherwise. I have voluntarily read this book, and this review is my honest opinion. **

    Thanks for your feedback!

    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Really interesting facts about the 1918 flu but the story narrative style unengaging.

    Good story but found myself swimming over parts to get to the end.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Historical Fiction America 1918

    Philadelphia 1918, Pia Lange attended the Liberty Loan Parade with her mother Amelia and she didn’t want to go as she hated big crowds and being too close to people. The family had no idea the Spanish influenza was about unleash its fury in Philadelphia, they called it the purple plague, and you could be perfectly fine in the morning and dead by nightfall. The flu was highly contagious with so many people living in packed squalid buildings, combined with poor sanitation and it spread very quickly. Within days the city was totally overwhelmed, thousands of people had died or were dying, hospitals were full, children orphaned and the city established a visiting Nurse Society. Women from the Red Cross or registered nurses checked apartment blocks, knocking on doors, assessing the sick and organizing to have dead corpses collected. Pia’s father Karl had recently joined the U.S. army, he’s a German immigrant and he wanted to fight in WW I for his new country. He left behind his wife, daughter, and twin baby son’s Oliver and Maxwell. When Amelia suddenly dies, Pia does her best to look after her baby brothers; she runs out of supplies and she ventures out in search of food. Pia has no idea living nearby is Bernice Groves a bitter horrible and nasty woman who has just lost her baby son Wallis, she also hates immigrants and when she sees Pia leaving she goes to the Lange’s apartment and takes the twin boys. Pia collapses in the street, she wakes up days later in some kind of medical facility, she tries to explain about her baby brothers being home alone and no one will listen. This is the beginning of Pia’s quest to find her brothers and no matter what hurdles are put in her way. Pia is horrified by the choices she made by leaving her baby brothers alone; she’s ashamed of what she did, scared, being a child herself she had no rights and before she knows it she’s living in an orphanage. Pia never gives up, she is determined to find her brothers, eventually she’s given the chance to leave the orphanage she not sure if she’s going to be mistreated again and she’s very nervous. She works as a nanny for Dr and Mrs. Hudson, two of the kindest people, eventually they and her friend Finn help her to try and find her brothers. They also uncover and illegal adoption ring, children being send on the orphan train west and they desperately try to find Oliver and Maxwell. I enjoyed The Orphan Collector, at times it seemed a little predictable but overall it was a timely book to read, considering the current situation with Covid 19 and I gave it four stars.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices:

  • IOS