- Paperback: 1 pages
- Publisher: RH USA JUVENILE - MASS MARKET; 1 edition (1 March 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375858296
- ISBN-13: 978-0375858291
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 281 g
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Moon Over Manifest Paperback – 1 Mar 2012
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Starred review, BOOKLIST, October 15, 2010:
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 welldeveloped characters, this rich and rewarding first novel is "like sucking on a butterscotch. Smooth and sweet."
"Readers will cherish every word up to the heartbreaking yet hopeful
and deeply gratifying ending." Starred review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, September 27, 2010:
"Replete with historical details and surprises, Vanderpool's debut delights,
while giving insight into family and community." Review, THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS, November 2010:
"Ingeniously plotted and gracefully told."
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|4 star 15% (15%)||15%|
|3 star 6% (6%)||6%|
|2 star 1% (1%)||1%|
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Top international reviews
This novel is not about humor, but I believe authors of good novels I had read always seemed to exude something like that only for me in their writings, or any genres of novels. And every time I feel it, I believe the authors have breathed life into their novels, or they have been not just conscientious for every single word in their writings, but they have been tripping the light fantastic in their heart while writing.
Once my daughter was done with the book, my husband and I devoured it. We couldn't put it down! It was a great chance to talk to our daughter about what we would call "Americana" of earlier time periods, as older cultural contributions relate to the story line: Burl Ives and his song "The Big Rock Candy Mountain", and Tennessee Ernie Ford's "16 tons." HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
There are plenty of reviews detailing the plot, so I’m not going to ramble about that. Plain and simple, this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Middle schooler, young adult, older fart like me … give it a shot. It’s unforgettable.
I’ve read lots of books that I’ve thought – as I’m reading them – “this could be one of my all-time favorites.” And then … the ending: either “meh” or flat-out “what was she thinking?” From beginning to end, this one does not disappoint. And while other authors struggle (in my little opinion) with clarity and/or flow as they switch from one time period to another, Vanderpool’s flow and beauty as she melds the historical periods with letters and other trinkets leaves her readers in awe.
Thanks, Clare. You’ve written something quite special. It’s a shame it took me a while to find this, but I’ve now downloaded “Navigating Early” and I will be impatiently looking forward to your next novel!
The writing is solid, the characters believable, and the story is engaging. Vanderpool develops her characters through dialogue and action and less through direct description. The book is aimed at young adults, but the content matter and writing easily engages adults. All in all, an excellent read!
The story starts with young Abilene Tucker, a motherless girl sent by her father Gideon to stay in the Town of Manifest, Kansas while he pursues employment in Des Moines, Iowa. In her father's absence, Abilene realizes how little she really knows about Gideon. She hopes to fill that hole (and the matching hole in her heart) by "finding" him in Manifest, because she knows the town holds special connection for Gideon, although what that connection is seems to be awfully elusive.
The first hopeful hint comes in the form of a box Abilene discovers beneath the floorboards in the room she occupies in Pastor Shady Howard's place - a place that is part saloon, part church. The box contains several trinkets and a package of letters from Private Ned Gillen to "Jinx". Abilene is a bit disappointed, as she thought the box might have been Gideon's. Nevertheless, along with newfound friends Lettie and Ruthann, she begins tracking down the various mysteries presented in the letters - starting with the identity of "The Rattler - and piecing together stories of Manifest's past through local residents and through reporter Hattie Mae's "News Auxiliary" articles from the year 1918. But the townspeople are a little - or a lot - closed-lipped. Even Shady is a bit slippery, and there's only so much to be learned from the brief news articles. It's not until Abilene finds herself on the "Path to Perdition" to Miss Sadie's Divining Parlor that she really begins to put the pieces together.
Much to Abilene's dismay, Miss Sadie tells her the story of Jinx, not the story of Gideon. Despite herself, however, Abilene (and her friends) soon becomes hooked on the story of the mysterious, affable yet hapless youth who made his appearance in Manifest in 1918. The book alternates between Abilene narrating events of the present, Miss Sadie narrating events of 1918, clips from Hattie Mae's "News Auxiliary" and letters from Ned to Jinx, each new piece giving us tantalizing new pieces of the puzzle of the relationship between the two boys, the connection to the Town of Manifest, and the relevancy to her own life.
Ms. Vanderpool has created a masterpiece of a narrative. The book is engaging from page one. Manifest is an enticing mystery - one that we want to peel back layer by layer and savor like a butter-soaked artichoke. Before the book opens, there is a list of characters - those from 1918 and those from 1936. From this list we learn that in 1918 Shady Howard was a saloon owner and bootlegger, and by 1936 he is Pastor Shady Howard, "still a little shady". From the beginning he is one of the most intriguing characters and perhaps the key to this town that is more than it appears to be on the outside.
The story itself is a heartwarming tale full of hope, as the town comes together to loosen the stranglehold of greedy mine owner Arthur Devlin. It is also the story of the tragedy that corrupts that newfound solidarity. It is a tale of suspicion of outsiders and provincialism. It's a tale of love and loss. And it's a tale of the rekindling of hope that just one young girl can spark.
While there are plenty of suspicions and accusations, there aren't any real villains to this story (with the possible exception of Arthur Devlin, but even he's just a businessman doing business), and there are no heroes. All the characters have their faults and warts, but deep down, they're just people, mostly decent people, just trying to make it in the world. It's only when they rise above their suspicions and fears that they become more than the sum of their parts. Their faults turn to assets and their decency rises to the fore.
The realism of this book is also helped by the way Ms. Vanderpool weaves in actual historical events, including the "Great War" and the 1918 flu epidemic. All the elements, historical and fictional, weave together to create a truly satisfying tale complete with adventure, schemes, love, loss, tragedy, redemption and people you can love. You might just find yourself wanting to move to Manifest. Highly recommended for kids age 8 to 108.
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.
This is not an amazing "new" story-- the plot itself is not what's extraordinary. Rather, it is the storytelling itself that is delightful. Clare Vanderpool is an impressive wordsmith. While reading, I highlighted my favorite lines just so I could return to revel in them. For example:
"There wasn't an ounce of bustling to be had. Just a few tired souls holding up a doorway here and there."
"A typewriter sat on a cluttered desk, its keys splayed open with some scattered on the desk like it tried to spell explosion and the explosion happened."
Moon Over Manifest is historical fiction, and Vanderpool did what I thought was a big no-no in the world of children's lit: she wove together two separate stories in two separate times. This is a tried-and-true adult novel technique, but I always understood that kids couldn't follow the back-and-forth of it all. Well, the Newberry committee begged to differ (and before that, an editor and a publisher).
The story follows a young girl named Abilene Tucker. She is wandering Depression era America with her lost soul of a father, hopping trains, stopping at un-named towns filled with god-knows-who, doing god-knows-what. Survival is the name of the game. When Abilene turns 12, her father seems to feel that a life of blowing in the wind isn't for a young lady, so he sends her to the only town he stayed in long enough to call "home": Manifest. And this story is all about that theme: Home. Where do we belong? Who do we call family, and what are the stories they tell? When the people of Manifest gradually reveal their histories, Abilene discovers her own narrative tucked away in the far corners of Manifest's forgotten past.
But again, it was Vanderpool's wonderful storytelling that kept me clicking on my Kindle's "next" button. After all, this story is laced with multiple characters telling their own stories, so I guess you better be a good teller of tales yourself. So here's some more of my favorite lines, as a tribute to the Storyteller in all of us (and because I like re-reading them, too):
"He tried to gather up some papers and scraps of wood, as if there were traces of his mismatched life that he hadn't wanted me to see."
"My heart sunk like a five-gallon bucket of disappointment."
"He says that places not that far west of here are so dry people shrivel up like November leaves and blow all the way to California."
"As I tiptoed up the rotting stairs, they creaked and groaned, cussing me for stepping on their aching backs."
"'Sit down,' she said, her voice thick and savory like goulash." (describing a Hungarian fortune teller)
"Memories were like sunshine. They warmed you up and left a pleasant glow, but you couldn't hold them."
"There followed a most painful silence that hovered like hot, moist air before a big rain."
Clare Vanderpool is the Queen of Simile and Metaphor. I like that. And I definitely like returning to some of her better literary creations just to savor them. Her words and phrases are like a collection of spices that transform a potentially pedestrian meal into a food lover's delight.
So, Bon Appetit!
Laura's News Auxiliary
April 27, 2012
I hope all of you are enjoying a glorious day today and are celebrating the joys of Spring. The News Auxiliary of the Manifest Herald is taking a break from talking about the news around town to tell you all about Moon Over Manifest, the most recent Newberry Prize winner. I am just tickled pink and knew you would be interested in reading all about it.
Abilene is as sweet as pie and she just arrived here in Manifest, Kansas in 1936. Her daddy decided to send her for the summer and so she is staying over at Shady's place. I heard she found a hidden box in her room containing all sorts of mementos and letters and she is looking for someone called the Rattler. Abilene's favorite thing is a compass that her father gave her, but one night, while out spying with her friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, she lost it. Doesn't that just stink.
Well I want to tell you first off that Abilene found her compass hanging off a porch on the Path to Perdition. She was so scared but she knew she had to get her compass back and so Abilene approached Miss Sadie's Divining Parlor. Well divining is hard work, as you well know, so Abilene was committed to helping out around the house. Lucky for her, Miss Sadie was a great story teller and told Abilene about Manifest during World War I. He stories mainly focused around the two boys Jinx and Ned and their adventures about town in 1917. Ned, like many of the boys in town, signed up and went off to fight in the trenches of the War leaving Jinx brokenhearted and without a friend. Well adventure always finds someone and Jinx got caught up in plenty of fun for the times.
I really enjoyed reading the letters Ned sent home and the News Auxiliary from 1917. I loved the characters and there semi-southern feel. So much has changed since then and it is like stepping into a time capsule and trying to solve the mystery of who is the Rattler and who Abilene's father. Why reading this book is almost like taking a step back through time.
Well there you have it folks. I hope you visit (I mean read) Moon over Manifest real soon.
Moon Over Manifest is a page turner that will leave readers guessing the next turn in the story until the very end. Abilene Tucker is used to life of a wayfarer hopping from one train to the next with her father until she is sent to Manifest to live with Shady the summer of 1936. There she begins to dig into the past to find some mark left behind from her father's younger days and to discern the identity of "The Rattler." Uncovering letters from Ned Gillen, a soldier during World War I, to his buddy in Manifest known only as "Jinx," Abilene begins to unravel the history of town whose hope has died. It is a sad, but enduring tale of hardship, hope, and discovering one's identity filled with murder, bootlegging, unsuspected twists, and unusual characters. But, who is "The Rattler?" And what mark did Abilene's father leave in Manifest?
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.
The book is a historical fiction, taking place in 1936 Kansas, with flashbacks to events in the town in 1918. The earlier story is revealed through letters and stories told by Miss Sadie, a diviner. Everything in the novel happens for a reason so you can challenge the readers to try to think about why the author might have certain people eating together, or why Miss Sadie has a painful sore, or why did the author choose the names for the characters or do you think Lettie really had extra gingersnaps?. The story wraps up beautifully, too.
We also get to tie in some things from social studies--prohibition, the Klan, World War I, the depression, the dust bowl, orphan trains, to mention a few.
I knew fairly early on that when the book was done, I'd be sad to say goodbye to the characters. I think my girls now know that the author writes everything for a reason--not just random thoughts like the 2,000 texts they send every month.