"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..."
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.
After years of riding the rails, Abilene Tucker's father suddenly decides she must spend the summer of 1936 with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, a town devastated by drought and the Great Depression. Amidst the heat and dust, Abilene discovers a mystery stretching back to 1918 that includes the town's coal mining legacy and the boys who went off to fight in World War I. Lamia expertly creates myriad voices for children and adults across Manifest's decades, with Heyborne and Campbell ably rounding out the supporting cast of this 2011 Newbery Award winner. Standard: Students will evaluate the credibility and perspective of a variety of sources such as biographies, diaries, journals, artifacts, eyewitness interviews, and other primary and secondary source materials. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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." Starred review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, September 27, 2010:
"Replete with historical details and surprises, Vanderpool's debut delights,
while giving insight into family and community." Review, THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS, November 2010:
"Ingeniously plotted and gracefully told."