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Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
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Moon Over Manifest (2010)

by Clare Vanderpool

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The 2011 Newbery Medalist, Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool was a joy to read. In a down-home, folksy manner, we are given two storylines, set 20 years apart, that weave together to make one cohesive narrative. In 1936 Abilene Tucker arrives in Manifest, Kansas to spend the summer where her father also spent time in his youth. She feel abandoned as he has never sent her away from him before, and she decides to spend the summer learning about her father’s boyhood in this same small town. Her digging is rewarded with a mystery to track down and the second storyline, set in 1917 tells of two boys and their adventures. These stories also encompass the history of the town and many of it’s residents.

First and foremost this is a story about community and belonging. There are some very interesting and colorful characters that people Manifest; from Abilene’s guardian, bartender and minister, Shady; the warm hearted newspaper woman, Hattie Mae; and on to the mysterious fortune teller, Miss Sadie. Through listening to the tales of the townspeople, Abilene learns, not just about her father, but what it means to have friends who care for each other, and a place to call home.

Like many Newbery winners, there is a lot going on in the story and subtle lessons to be learned that the author has cleverly laid between the lines. Written with sincerity and charm, Moon Over Manifest delivers an appealing story of a quaint little town that is rich in it’s diversity and it’s history. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Mar 17, 2017 |
Abilene is sent to Manifest by her father. They were a pair of grifters, but now she is living in a town with a mystery to solve.
  edwardcandler | Feb 12, 2017 |
I just reread the book after reading this summer and I really liked it so much better this time. The plot is very intricate so you have to pay attention. The plots move from 1918 to 1936 and back and the characters are so well developed. I do hurt for Abilene as she wants to know more about her father's past. ( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
This is a historical fiction story set in 1936 about a young girl named Abilene Tucker who travels to the town where her father grew up for the summer while he is away working on the railroad. During the summer spent in her father's hometown, she learns a lot about the past through the town fortune teller, Miss Sadie's stories. Abilene keeps herself busy by trying to solve a mystery with her friends Ruthanne and Lettie. Split up into multiple stories that all tie together in the end, this is a story about survival during the Great Depression and learning about yourself.

Teaching Connections: character study, historical fiction genre study (background information on the era of the Great Depression), making predictions, making connections, summarizing, making inferences, visualizing ( )
  EmmaNicolazzo | Dec 15, 2016 |
An excellent story, well written, entertaining and enlightening for it's historical context of the depression, prohibition and WW1. ( )
  trezzadude | Sep 7, 2016 |
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To Mother and Daddy,
for loving a good story, and a good laugh,
and for giving me a good life
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The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385738838, Hardcover)

The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—a town with a rich past and a bright future.
 
Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.

Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”

Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.
 
Powerful in its simplicity and rich in historical detail, Clare Vanderpool’s debut is a gripping story of loss and redemption.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:16 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past.

» see all 3 descriptions

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