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Moon Over Manifest

Moon Over Manifest [Kindle Edition]

Clare Vanderpool
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1487 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (12 Oct 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.ą r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003F3FJVE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,365 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Manifestly superb 13 Oct 2013
My daughter (aged 9) and I listened to the audio version of this on several long car journeys. It's absolutely gripping and beautifully written. The characters are extremely memorable, and the story covers interesting aspects of twentieth century history, including Prohibition and the flu epidemic which have led to lively discussions with my daughter. I thought the time-shifting and different storylines might be too complicated for her to follow but when I asked her to explain it she had understood it better than me. The main character is an adventurous young girl, who my daughter clearly identified with, and there are really strong male characters too. Everyone has secrets, and is complicated, and you just want to find out so much what happens. We have just started listening to it again, which I am really happy to do. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  236 reviews
133 of 137 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Newbery Surprise! 11 Jan 2011
By Cassondra Vick - Published on
Moon Over Manifest begins with rough-and-tumble, Depression-era stock heroine, Abilene Tucker, arriving in her father's hometown of Manifest, Kansas. She's used to hopping trains, poor living conditions, a rough life and being a little rough around the edges. You know the type. Her father has taken a railroad job in Iowa, and claiming that the situation isn't proper for a young lady, has sent her to spend the summer with his old friend, bootlegger-turned-pastor, Shady Howard. Or, at least, her father says it is only for the summer...

Looking for clues to her father's past, Abilene instead stumbles instead on a little tin filled with some keepsakes and letters, piquing her interest in a couple of young men named Ned and Jinx, and a spy called "the Rattler."

And this is where the story comes alive...

Through the recollections of an old Gypsy fortune teller, Abilene learns about the lives of Jinx, Ned, and about the once-lively town of Manifest, Kansas. Vanderpool manages to effortlessly weave in the stories of Manifest in 1918, on the brink of the Great War, with the Depression-era Manifest of 1939. Sometimes, stories with multiple narratives can be frustrating -- just as you start to get into one story, the author switches to the other -- but Vanderpool balances both very well, never sinking to obvious cliff-hangers nor spending too much time in one "place."

However, both places have their elements of excitement and mystery that keep you wanting to read about both. Best of all, both are full of some really great and memorable characters. This is one of those novels that is just chock full of people (there's even a handy character guide in the front of the book, but the characters are so vivid and real, you won't much need it) that really give the impression of, well, the life of a whole town.

Meanwhile, in terms of historical fiction writing, Vanderpool couldn't have picked a more exciting couple of decades to write about. There's war, depression, labor issues, prohibition, poor race-relations, orphan trains, immigration, and Hoovervilles. All of it filtered through the very relatable character of Abilene Tucker, who is, admittedly, still something of a stock heroine. However, she'll seem fresh enough to the younger set.

Overall, this is a fine novel that I really enjoyed reading, and it kept me interested enough to blow through it in less than 24-hours. Only time and a little perspective can really tell how a Newbery will do in the overall scheme of things, but I think that it is a fine choice, and congratulations to first-time author Clare Vanderpool, from whom I look forward to reading more.

A book about a girl I think you could get a boy to read, best for ages 10-14.
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A manifestly wonderful story. 14 Feb 2011
By Richard R. Sefi - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Written by a master. This book is as suitable for adults as for the listed age group. It is hauntingly enjoyable and unforgetable. It is one of those rarities that should enter the consciousness of all its readers, to be carried along with all the other stored memories of books we think of as important to us.
50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just For Tweens 12 Feb 2011
By Teresa Jeanne - Published on
I passed by purchasing this book once, as it was billed for tweens. But on an impulse I bought it. I wasn't sure how I was going to like it when the narrative switched from 1936 to 1918 and of course, the reader understood the connections between the eras before the protagonist did, but she did get it before the end. I liked that the connection was not the *surprise* ending. There are in fact three surprise endings, none of which the reader is fully prepared for. I did not find the character of Abiline to be underdeveloped. She is a tough nut to crack. She is not going to bare her soul to the reader anymore than she does to to the people of Manifest unless she gets the lay of the land. Unlike todays over emotive teenagers, she keeps her own counsel and dignity intact.

Although I was born sixteen years after the story begins, I can attest that the description of small towns in Kansas during the depression is completely accurate. The remmants of the mining in Southeast Kansas are there today. An added bonus to this book, was the author's postscript pointing out what was historically accurate and what was fiction.

If the author continues to write for this age group, more power to her. But I think she also has the talent to turn out a novel that will appeal to adults. Let us hope she keeps writing!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Your While to Read 28 Jan 2011
By Cilla - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As Abilene Tucker jumps from a train heading toward Manifest, Kansas in 1936 I felt as if I was heading back in time with her as the book intertwines between 1936 and 1917-1918. The book is based on historical fiction and reveals stories that take place during World War I and the Depression. Abilene is a 12 year old girl who has been sent to Manifest for the summer to live with a Pastor Shady, who is an old friend of her father. Abilene finds a cigar box of letters and mementos under a board in her new room. This discovery leads to more questions about the town, the people who live there now and those who pasted through years earlier, and the big question which is "How does my father fit into this town". As the hot, dry summer days drag on Abilene and two new friends start on a quest to unravel the mysteries of the past as they read the letters found in a cigar box between Ned and Jinx. Their "spy hunt" for the "RATTLER" eventually leads Abilene to Mrs. Sadie's house the "diviner" who begins to recall the past. While Abilene works her debt off the Mrs. Sadie she listens intently to the stories as she realizes that her tales are related to the cigar box full of letters and mementos. What Abilene uncovers helps to bring the town's bright future back as well as the answers to her questions that she spent her entire summer searching for. Abilene's first person narrative is intertwined with Mrs. Sadie's stories, the letters from Ted to Jinx, and a newspaper column. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction from fifth grade on because it recounts actual historical events through a fictional aspect. Everything about this book is realistic from the plot to the characters. A very intriguing book, which I would read again and again. This is why I give Moon Over Manifest five stars.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Newbery Winner 3 Mar 2011
By Heidi Grange - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Abilene Tucker, a twelve-year-old girl, who has lived most of the life on the move with her father, Gideon, arrives in Manifest, Kansas, her father's 'home town' very unsure about whether she wants to be there. While checking out the former saloon/church that she will be living in, she discovers a hiding place under the floorboards in her room. Inside the hiding place is an old cigar box containing some letters and a few odd objects of seemingly no value. When Sister Redempta, the local school teacher and midwife, assigns Abilene to write a story, due in the fall, Abilene has a hard time believing that this town is any different than the dozens of other towns she has past through. She soon learns differently. A run-in with the local Hungarian 'diviner' leads Abilene eighteen years into the town's past and into the life of a young boy named Jinx and his friend, Ned as well as a town full of people each with their own story to tell. A powerful story about the power of a story to connect people despite all their differences.

This book integrates present and past as smoothly as any I've ever read. In fact, the characters from the past almost overshadow the characters in the present. Almost, but not quite. This is very much Abilene's story about family and hope and community. The main theme, I felt, was about how human beings often make assumptions that prove to be incorrect and only by taking the time to look deeper can we truly get to know each other. The writing becomes secondary to the journey the reader makes, hoping, like Abilene, to find a place called home. I find this book very much worthy of the Newbery Medal that it received.
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