Moon Over Manifest

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Moon Over Manifest

by Clare Vanderpool

Random House Children's Books | October 12, 2010 | Hardcover

Moon Over Manifest is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 4.
Winner of the 2011 Newbery Award.

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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8.53 × 6.19 × 1.23 in

Published: October 12, 2010

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385738838

ISBN - 13: 9780385738835

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Things weren't simpler then... Here is an award-winning young readers fictional book (ages 9-12). The book is part murder mystery, adventure, and historical/educational drama which flips between the years 1918 and 1936 in rural Kansas. Abilene, a 12 yr old girl, is sent to a small town for the Summer months while her dad works a railroad job and she learns long-buried secrets of this towns past-- secrets that may have been better left forgotten. Definitely a good choice for grade school book reports!
Date published: 2012-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Newbery Winner Worthy of the Prize Reason for Reading: I am reading all the Newbery winners. Simple perfection. When I see that Newbery sticker on a book, this is what I expect. A book that truly is a wonderful story that will appeal to kids. A story that catches your attention from the first chapter. One with characters who are interesting, unique and you either love from the start or they eventually win you over at some part. I truly enjoyed every minute of this book and was sad when it came time to close the book on Abilene, Jinx, Miss Sadie and all the rest of the characters in Manifest, Kansas. Set in 1936, Abilene Tucker, who has grown up as a vagrant train rider with her father, is upset when he sends her to Manifest, a town he spent a spell in his youth to stay with a friend for the summer while he supposedly works a job, not appropriate for a young lady to be around, now that Abilene has turned twelve. Here Abilene makes two friends and finds a hidden cigar box with mementos and letters from 1918 under the floor boards. One is a map of Manifest, there is mention of a spy and the girls set about to find out who the spy was in their town back during WWI and if they are still here. They also come upon the legend of "The Rattler" who wanders the dark forest at night. Is the Rattler the spy, or someone/thing else? As the girls read the letters we are transported back to 1918 on the war front in France as the letters are from a local boy to a friend named 'Jinx'. We also are taken back to 1918 on the home-front through Miss Sadie, a diviner, as she tells Abilene stories when she comes over to work her garden to repay a large pot she broke snooping about one night. The story switches perspective between the present, 1936, through the first person narrative of Abilene and the past, 1918, through Miss Sadie's stories, a newspaper column and the letters. A rich engaging story that while not directly linked to any historical events does place one smack dab in the past and creates a good vision of living in a small town during the depression and during World War I, along with an impression of what it was like for a young soldier in the trench warfare of France. Topped off with a large cast of eccentric characters this is a gem of a story. This will be one of the rare modern Newbery's that I think will still be read decades down the road like perennial favourites "Caddie Woodlawn" and "Sounder".
Date published: 2011-04-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Complex Writing, Great Ending This year's Newbery medal winner is a delightful small town story set during WWI and also during the Depression years of WWII. A young girl named Abilene is new in the poor Kansas town and finds herself unearthing a mystery from nearly 20 years before. It might be a challenge for younger readers due to the switching writing between time periods, letters, stories, and even newpaper articles but older readers will enjoy the complex writing techniques and the feisty Abilene. Another solid Newbery winner.
Date published: 2011-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Don't Judge the Book By This Cover. It's Wonderful! If I hadn't been assigned to review this book by my editor, I would never have picked it up. The cover doesn't do it any justice. It's a wonderful, indepth portrayal of the 1918 and 1936, swapping between two connecting storylines. It's one of those books you hold onto because you know you're going to want to read again. It deserves to win an award.
Date published: 2010-12-22

– More About This Product –

Moon Over Manifest

by Clare Vanderpool

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8.53 × 6.19 × 1.23 in

Published: October 12, 2010

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385738838

ISBN - 13: 9780385738835

About the Book

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.

Read from the Book

Santa Fe Railway     Southeast Kansas     MAY 27, 1936     The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I knew only from stories. The one just outside of town with big blue letters: manifest: a town with a rich past and a bright future.   I thought about my daddy, Gideon Tucker. He does his best talking in stories, but in recent weeks, those had become few and far between. So on the occasion when he''d say to me, "Abilene, did I ever tell you ''bout the time . . . ?" I''d get all quiet and listen real hard. Mostly he''d tell stories about Manifest, the town where he''d lived once upon a time.   His words drew pictures of brightly painted storefronts and bustling townsfolk. Hearing Gideon tell about it was like sucking on butterscotch. Smooth and sweet. And when he''d go back to not saying much, I''d try recalling what it tasted like. Maybe that was how I found comfort just then, even with him being so far away. By remembering the flavor of his words. But mostly, I could taste the sadness in his voice when he told me I couldn''t stay with him for the summer while he worked a railroad job back in Iowa. Something had changed in him. It started the day I got a cut on my knee. It got bad and I got real sick with infection. The doctors said I was lucky to come out of it. But it was like Gideon had gotten a wound in him too. Only he didn''
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From the Publisher

Winner of the 2011 Newbery Award.

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.

About the Author

Moon Over Manifest, Clare Vanderpool’s first novel, is set in the fictional small town of Manifest, Kansas, which is based on the real southeastern Kansas town of Frontenac, home of both of her maternal grandparents. Drawing on stories she heard as a child, along with research in town newspapers, yearbooks, and graveyards, Clare found a rich and colorful history for her story. Clare lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband and their four children.

Editorial Reviews

Starred review, BOOKLIST, October 15, 2010: After a life of riding the rails with her father, 12-year-old Abilene can’t understand why he has sent her away to stay with Pastor Shady Howard in Manifest, Missouri, a town he left years earlier; but over the summer she pieces together his story. In 1936, Manifest is a town worn down by sadness, drought, and the Depression, but it is more welcoming to newcomers than it was in 1918, when it was a conglomeration of coal-mining immigrants who were kept apart by habit, company practice, and prejudice. Abilene quickly finds friends and uncovers a local mystery. Their summerlong “spy hunt” reveals deep-seated secrets and helps restore residents’ faith in the bright future once promised on the town’s sign. Abilene’s first-person narrative is intertwined with newspaper columns from 1917 to 1918 and stories told by a diviner, Miss Sadie, while letters home from a soldier fighting in WWI add yet another narrative layer. Vanderpool weaves humor and sorrow into a complex tale involving murders, orphans, bootlegging, and a mother in hiding. With believable dialogue, vocabulary and imagery appropriate to time and place, and welldeveloped characters, this rich and rewarding first novel is “like sucking on a butterscotch. Smooth and sweet.” Starred review, KIRKUS REVIEWS, September 15, 2010: “Readers will cherish every word up to the heartbreaking yet hopeful and deeply gratifying ending.&rdqu
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Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

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