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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Moon over Manifest

The Newbery Medal Winner for 2011 is Clare Vanderpool’s Moon over Manifest. Initially, I listened to the audiobook version, but recommend reading the book instead. The storyline bounces back and forth from present day, 1936, and the past, 1917-18. It is told through dialogues, letters, and newspaper articles; thus, reading the actual book is so much better. Abilene Tucker has heard so many stories about Manifest, her father’s hometown settled by immigrants from different countries. At the beginning of the story, Abilene’s father, Gideon, sends her away to stay with a family friend, Pastor Shady Howard, in Manifest. While playing in an old tree fort outside of Shady’s home, Abilene finds a cigar box filled with a map, various mementos, and letters from a soldier named Ned addressed to someone named Jinx. Abilene is determined to find out about her father’s past. Maybe the box holds clues to just that. The first letter indicates that there is a spy, known as the Rattler, amongst the good people of Manifest. Abilene and her friends are on a mission to find out who the spy could be. With the help of a spiritual diviner and Hattie May’s newsletters, Abilene is determined to uncover the secrets that Manifest holds. This is another example of storytelling at its best!

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