Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, YR, 2011, Ebook, 384p, My Rating=5
Source: borrowed from library through Overdrive
Newbery Award Winner 2011
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.
It took me over a week to read this because my kids had so much going on (practices, concerts, boy scouts, activity days, etc.) that I had very little time to read. Usually late at night when everyone's asleep but by that time, I was so tired that I couldn't keep my eyes open. Anyway, few pages here and there made for a very long read but I enjoyed the story so much that in reflection, it was like I was savoring it, so yay! Indeed, this rich historical fiction kept my interest. I like the small town history and its simple and fascinating culture. The mysterious weaving of the plot certainly was what set this to high standards for me. It had sassy characters and heart touching story of family ancestry, love, fellowship, and fitting in. Speaking of characters. I love the names of the characters in this novel, particularly, Jinx. Can you guess why? Hehehe, my close friends call me that. Anyhow, well done, Ms Vanderpool! I'm one satisfied and happy bookworm.