Monday, January 30, 2012
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
This book won the Newbery Medal last year and I finally read it one year later. It's a historical fiction book about a girl named Abilene who is sent to Manifest, Kansas by her father who spent some of his childhood there. While her father is off working a railroad job, Abilene moves in with Shady, a local character who is a minister and appears to be a moonshiner. When she finds a box of mementos and letters she and two new friends set off on a quest to find a spy known as the "rattler." Along the way they discover stories about two long-gone local boys, one of whom went off to fight in World War I while the other stayed back in Manifest. They also discover how the town full of immigrants once stood up to the owner of a local mine and demanded better conditions for the local workers. Abilene's journey is one of self-discovery and along the way she helps the town of Manifest remember its past and look to the future. The story is a little bit complicated so I would recommend it to good readers who like historical fiction and appreciate a more complex plot.