is a fascinating look into a lesser talked about chapter of the nation's history."
—Midwest Book Review
"As I read through Mail-Order Kid
it was like Jessie Teresa Martin was sitting on the couch with me telling the story of her life. It is so real. I knew Jessie Teresa personally. In fact, she stayed in our home attending one of OTHSA’s reunions of Orphan Train Riders. She sat in the yard swing; her feet in the air because she was so short, and laughed as she told me about flirting with the doctors and how she loved to dance. She showed me her Star of David and told how she came to have it. Her remark was that she had all her bases covered with her Catholic upbringing and her Jewish genetics.
"Everyone who met her loved her. She was just that kind of person and Marilyn Coffey has caught the real Jessie Teresa on the pages of this book. In 1993, Jessie Teresa’s story was written by her family and submitted for publication in "Orphan Train Riders: Their Own Stories Vol. 2," however, she always wanted her story told in more detail and called me when she knew Marilyn Coffey was writing it for her. This book fulfills her desire to have her very own life story told in a way that people can understand what it meant to her to be a ‘orphan.’ I wish she had lived long enough to autograph my copy of her book."
—Mary Ellen Johnson,
Founder and Executive Director, Orphan Train Heritage Society
of America, Inc.
"Quite fascinating, a new and unusual look at the Orphan Train experience."
performer "The Orphan Train," One’s Company Productions
publisher, River Junction Press
“Congratulations for your well-deserved best seller. The reading experience was exciting because I didn't hear the usual dry 'just the fact, Mam' tone of a journalist; but also the style of a poet using analogy, alliteration, etc. This blend of journalistic and poetic styles as well as your compassionate tone for your subject, Teresa, suggested a whole new writing genre to me. Capote tried years ago with his 'true novel' to blend structure, but he never succeeded at style in the way you did for me. Again, bravo!"
former faculty member, Interlochen Arts Academy
"An excellent job of bringing to life a little-known part of our country's history."
"I am about halfway through Mail-Order Kid
and love it. It was so well-written...This book is a triumph, after all of the years you spent finding your way, balancing between simply telling Teresa's story and using it as a litmus paper against which to describe the experiences of all OT riders. I see Teresa in the words on each page...You tell her story as she would, but give us the coloring, fill in the blanks, through your research and close friendship with her, that we would have lacked, had Teresa written the story herself. You got it just right. Bravo.”
Executive Director at McPherson [Kansas] Museum & Arts Foundation
"This book absolutely captivated me and I had it read within 24 hours. Marilyn Coffey did a wonderful job!"
"I found it hard to put Mail-Order Kid down. It was a sublime experience to read and a story wonderfully told. Thank you a thousand times for writing this!"