Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Random House, 2010
Newbery Medal, 2011
I listened to Moon over Manifest during a long road trip, and I can truly say that the story lapped up the miles. Justine Eyre reads the Listening Library edition with Cassandra Campbell and Kirby Heyborne. Twelve year-old Abilene Tucker and her whole adopted neighborhood of Manifest, Kansas come alive in their voices. I loved everything about this book and the recording.
Author Clare Vanderpool has created a tough but endearing character in Abilene, who is sent to her father’s boyhood town for the summer during the Great Depression and sets about uncovering who he was in order to understand him. Abilene pieces together fragments of conversations, old newspaper columns and her keen observations. Her dad’s history is entwined with that of the townsfolk she meets, but since no one is willing to give her direct answers to her questions, Abilene has to solve the mystery by herself. In doing so, she writes her own history, helps the town to renew old bonds and comes to a new understanding of her father.
I will not forget Abilene Tucker. Vanderpool has created a winner. She also blends two periods of history and makes her reader care about a long roster of characters. It is not hard to see why Moon Over Manifest was awarded the Newbery Medal. I highly recommend this book for ages 10 and up.
Visit Clare Vanderpools’s website.
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Award-Winning Book Challenge Status: 9/12