Moon over Manifest - Clare Vanderpool

Title: Moon over Manifest
Author: Clare Vanderpool
Pages: 315
Published: 2010
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction, Historical Fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: 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. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I had higher expectations for this book, primarily being that it won a Newbery Award, but was a bit disappointed with the book.

Even though I was disappointed with the book overall, I did like the atmosphere that the author created of what it may have been like in a central Kansas town in the 1930s.

Bottom line: This probably will appeal to those middle grade readers that are starting to transition into middle grade reads, but it may also appeal to older middle grade readers that enjoy historical fiction.  Recommended.

Rating: 3.1/5


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