Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

When Abilene travels to Manifest, Kansas, for the summer to stay with her father's friend, she thought she would find something about her father's boyhood.  But no one would tell her anything...

Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers sent me a hardcover copy for review (thank you).  This book is currently available for purchase in the market. 

The town of Manifest is fictional, but it's based on the real Kansas town of Frontenac which was home to the author's maternal grandparents.  The year is 1936, and Abilene didn't want to leave her father.  He had a railroad job, though, and she needed somewhere to stay.  She thought she would learn a lot about him from his friends, but he seemed to have no real friends.  And the town wasn't very exciting because it's a Depression town.

Ms. Vanderpool does an excellent job of creating characters of varied personalities and with different strengths that Abigail begins to know and understand after a time.  She also realizes there is some sort of secret the townfolk don't want to give away.  And she fears her father may be involved in it...

The story has the flavor of a simpler time, where people never had very much but made the most of what they did have.  It's also a story of a young girl coming of age and learning that things are not always what they seem to be.  It's written for ages 9-12 and offers a visit through the past.  The author's story flows well and she's created a strong young woman in Abigail.  Ms. Vanderpool also researched the history of the area to be accurate in her storytelling.

I found it an enjoyable read.  Why not pick up a copy for your home? 

Happy reading!

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