Reviews for Moon over Manifest

Horn Book
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It's 1936 and Abilene's father, himself looking for work, sends her to his hometown of Manifest, Kansas, to live with Pastor Shady, a bootlegger-turned-preacher. There Abilene uncovers secrets about her family and the entire community. The setting jumps between the Depression era and WWI; mysterious letters and enlightening newspaper articles help set the scene for this captivating tale. (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
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In Clare Vanderpool's captivating Newbery Medal-winning novel (Delacorte, 2010), Abilene spends the summer in Manifest, KS, her father's hometown. With the help of an interim pastor and Miss Sadie, a diviner, Abilene makes friends and discovers the community's secrets. She finds a box of treasures, and the stories behind them (told by Miss Sadie and through columns in the local newspaper) offer insights into the town's citizens and answer Abilene's questions about her father. Jenna Lamia's narration is spot-on, adroitly capturing Abilene in a tale that jumps back and forth between 1918 and 1936. Kirby Heyborne and Cassandra Campbell capably recount the letters of a young soldier serving in France during World War I and narrate the newspaper stories. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

When 12-year-old Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kan., in 1936 to stay with her father's boyhood friend, little does she know her sojourn will take her back, via mesmerizing tales, newspaper clippings, curious mementoes and World War I letters, to Manifest as it was in 1918and into the life of the mysterious boy nicknamed Jinx. This young con man effected extraordinary change in the lives of the mostly immigrant residents and the fortunes of the mining town in that year. Abilene and readers get so caught up in the past in this richly detailed, splendidly written novel that they easily make the transition between the Depression and WWI eras and long to learn more about the town that once was. Readers will love guessing how Abilene's dad fits into all the stories and townspeople's memories. The absolute necessity of story as a way to redemption and healing past wounds is at the heart of this beautiful debut, and readers will cherish every word up to the heartbreaking yet hopeful and deeply gratifying ending. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


School Library Journal
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Gr 5-8-Clare Vanderpool's captivating novel (Delacorte, 2010) begins with a melody of railroad travelers evoking the spirit of the 1930's Depression era. Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker, the daughter of restless railroad worker Gideon Tucker, has been sent to Manifest, Kansas, for the summer. Manifest was her father's home for a time during his boyhood. With the help of Shady, the "interim pastor," and Miss Sadie, the diviner, Abilene makes friends and discovers the town's secrets as well as those her father has left behind. She finds a box of treasures, and their stories fill in the details about Manifest's citizens and answer Abilene's questions about her father.ĊJenna Lamia, the main narrator, provides an engaging presentation of the story that jumps back and forth between 1918 and 1936. She adroitly voices Abilene. Narrators Kirby Heyborne and Cassandra Campbell capably read the letters written by Ned Gillen, a young soldier from Manifest serving in France during World War I, and the clippings from Manifest Herald. The narration's pace and emotion are spot-on. Action scenes move along quickly, while Abilene's inner monologues over Miss Sadie's stories and the information she has gained are measured and thoughtful. A rewarding listen.-Ann Brownson, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 5-8-History and fiction marry beautifully in this lively debut novel. It's as if readers jump off the train in Manifest, KS, in 1936 with Abilene Tucker, 12, the feisty, likable, and perceptive narrator. She is there to live with Pastor Shady Howard, her father's friend, while her father works on the railroad back in Iowa. An equally important story set during World War I is artfully intertwined. Since her mother went off on her own 10 years earlier, Abilene and Gideon have been alone. Though their life together is unsettled, their bond is strong. Shady's place is shabby, but he is welcoming. The mystery about Manifest and Gideon unfolds after Abilene finds a box filled with intriguing keepsakes. It includes a letter dated 1917 to someone named Jinx from Ned Gillen that has a warning, "THE RATTLER is watching." This starts Abilene, with the help of new friends Ruthanne and Lettie, on a search to learn the identity of the pair. The story cleverly shifts back and forth between the two eras. Abilene becomes connected to Miss Sadie, a "diviner" who slowly leads her through the story of Ned and Jinx. Though the girl is lonely, she adjusts to her new life, feeling sure that her father will come for her at summer's end. The Ku Klux Klan and its campaign against the many immigrants working in the coal mines and the deplorable conditions and exploitation of these men provide important background. This thoroughly enjoyable, unique page-turner is a definite winner.-Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* 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 well-developed characters, this rich and rewarding first novel is like sucking on a butterscotch. Smooth and sweet. --Isaacs, Kathleen Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
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Set in 1936, this memorable coming-of-age story follows 12-year-old Abilene Tucker's unusual summer in her father's hometown of Manifest, Kans., while he's away on a railroad job. Having had an itinerant upbringing, Abilene is eager to connect to her father's childhood, a goal that proves difficult. The immigrant town has become rundown, but is populated with well-developed, idiosyncratic characters and has a dynamic past involving the KKK, an influenza scare, and a bootlegging operation. Manifest's history emerges in stories recounted by Miss Sadie (a Hungarian medium) and in news columns written in 1917 by Hattie Mae Harper, "Reporter About Town." With new friends Lettie and Ruthanne, Abilene pieces together the past, coming to understand, as Miss Sadie says, that "maybe what you're looking for is not so much the mark your daddy made on this town, but the mark the town made on your daddy." Witty, bold, and curious, Abilene is as unforgettable as the other residents of Manifest, and the variety of voices allows the town's small mysteries to bloom. Replete with historical details and surprises, Vanderpool's debut delights, while giving insight into family and community. Ages 9-12. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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