Moon Over Manifest

I put my hand on his shoulder.  “That was a good service, Shady.”
“It was,” he agreed, but didn’t say more.
“Seems like everyone in this town’s got a story to tell.”
Shady nodded.  “I believe you’re right about that.  The Lord himself knew the power of a good story.  How it can reach out and wrap around a person like a warm blanket.”

And that is just what Clare Vanderpool’s story, Moon Over Manifest, does.  It wraps around you like a warm blanket.  The characters, the town, and most of all the writing just keeps you wanting more.  You are literally transported back to those lazy summer days when the heat and sun just forced you to move slower…do more thinking.  I really loved this book!  It is definitely worthy of the 2011 Newbery Award, and I am looking forward to more from this new author.  Here is a quick synopsis of the book…

“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 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 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. And as those secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.”

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