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Moon Over Manifest

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  19,696 ratings  ·  3,417 reviews
Winner of the 2011 Newbery Award.

The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—A Town with a rich past and a bright future.

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 work
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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The Giver by Lois LowryHoles by Louis SacharA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleNumber the Stars by Lois LowryBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Most Deserving Newbery
41st out of 99 books — 2,311 voters
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. DraperMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsOne Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-GarciaCountdown by Deborah WilesMockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Newbery 2011
18th out of 147 books — 514 voters

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Community Reviews

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My only regret after finishing Moon Over Manifest is that I didn't read it while sitting on a gently swaying porch swing, sipping ice-cold lemonade, swatting away the occasional mosquito as a harmonica played and a steam engine sounded its passing in the distance. Reading this book is like stepping back in time, and as I came to the last lines, it was bittersweet to know that I was about to leave that world behind.

Moon Over Manifest is the story of tough and independent Abilene Tucker. At the be
There are no words that could adequately express the love I feel for Clare Vanderpool’s Newberry Award winning debut, Moon Over Manifest. I very rarely post any but the most basic thoughts about a book on Goodreads right after finishing it, and most often wait until I have had time to collect my thoughts and put them down in some coherent form. With Moon Over Manifest, I immediately posted the following:

This book gets ALL THE STARS.

Seriously…it has:

The Great Depression
World War
Hmm. This is a tough one. Moon Over Manifest just won the Newbery which is why I picked it up. The book is 279 pages long and I didn't start getting really into it until around page 210. The writing is artful enough. My issue with the book is the threading together of all the different pieces. Reflecting on what I mean by different pieces I realize I am referring to the characters in the different timelines. They don't flow together very smoothely and they feel somehow mismatched.

There are two
Lars Guthrie
A nice safe choice for the Newbery people, but not one that knocked my socks off.

The best historical novels, of course, trick you into learning about their periods. The reader never notices he’s sitting still for a history seminar, but is swept up in a story that happens in history. Vanderpool’s intention to teach World War I, the Spanish Flu pandemic, the Great Depression, is quite transparent.

Not to mention her desire to impart a feel-good messages about diversity (that is, the diversity of
Because it won the Newbery, I read it with a more critical eye and was occasionally bothered by prose that seemed to be trying too hard. The 1936 storyline is a bit overshadowed by the 1918 chapters, and I thought we could have gotten to know Abilene a bit better. Still, very enjoyable and I always wanted to pick it up and continue reading.
Sadly, the only reason I read this book was because it won the Newbery in 2011, and because it won the Newbery, it already had to dig its way out of a 'high-expectations' hole.

The writing is dusty and atmospheric, quaint in a kind of old-town way. During the Great Depression, Abilene's father sends her to live in his old hometown of Manifest. She searches for hints and stories of her father around town, to no avail, but in the meantime, she starts piecing together Miss Sadie's stories, newspape
Just finished Moon Over Manifest and my thoughts are, in one word, mixed.

Really enjoyed the concept and the themes broached by author Clare Vanderpool. The life of immigrants and how they adjusted to their new country, and how their new country adjusted to them, is a subject I’ve always been fascinated by. I’ve always been intrigued by my own ancestor’s story, so I could easily identify with Abilene’s quest to unearth Manifest’s, and her own, history. I also really liked the parallel storylines
Marjorie Ingall
Ahaha, when I typed "Moon Over Manifest" into Goodreads's search box, it asked, "Did you mean 'Barf Manifesto'?"

It's not THAT bad.

It's actually pretty good, if slow and schematic. I'd have given it 3.5 stars if I could. Yes, the seams show. Yes, it reads like a debut novel. But it's so sweet, heartfelt and sincere, it's hard to be too down on it. The descriptions of the small-town Kansas setting, life riding the rails, the hardships of the Depression and WWI (yes, the Depression AND WWI; the m
Frances W.
I am reading the book Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. So far the book has been about a new girl named Abilene who is staying with a pastor. Where she is sleeping she finds a note about the rattler! She and her friends try to find the rattler, in the process Abilene meets a fortune teller who tells some stuff about her dad! When I read this book it feels serious and attention grabbing. I never want to stop reading it. I feel as though I'm in the book and living it. I am really looking for ...more
One Sentence Review: A nice enough quirky town book that contains at least one honest surprise at the end (though it probably could have been edited down a smidge).
Erin Reilly-Sanders
While I enjoyed Moon Over Manifest and thought it was well written, I did have a couple concerns about it. The Newbery award isn't given to a book based on appeal and I think that several factors will effect this one's likability and usability with kids. In general, it's a little long and complicated for a the age it seems to be intended for. With a 12-yr-old heroine, this book might appeal best to kids a couple years younger, say 9-12-yr-olds. However, at 368 pages and with the story told throu ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: I am reading all the Newbery winners.

Simple perfection. When I see that Newbery sticker on a book, this is what I expect. A book that truly is a wonderful story that will appeal to kids. A story that catches your attention from the first chapter. One with characters who are interesting, unique and you either love from the start or they eventually win you over at some part. I truly enjoyed every minute of this book and was sad when it came time to close the book on Abilene, Ji
I'm not a fan of the ingenuous, folksy narrator. I'm not particularly enamored of the rural Depression setting, as it's been done so many times as to be stale. The ways of the Newbery committee are often opaque to me. All of which is to say that I didn't expect to love this book, but I didn't expect to hate it.

Maybe hate is too strong, but to my eyes it's clearly a first novel, and not particularly strong. There are dangling ends everywhere, and much of the plot seemed either nonsensical or it s
Category: middle grade
Author: Clare Vanderpool
Title: Moon Over Manifest
Publisher: 2010 by Delacorte Books
ISBN: 0385738838 (ISBN13: 9780385738835)
Genre: fiction, historical
Reading level: grade 5 and up
Awards: Newbery Medal (2011)

I read this book because it won the Newbery this year. Other reviewers have found it to be slow but I enjoyed the pace of this novel. The main character is a motherless young girl, Abilene Tucker, whose wandering father has sent her to Manifest, Kansas to live for a time.
Moon Over Manifest is a story I think I would have enjoyed more as a child; I could feel my younger self identifying with the tomboyish protagonist, the people of the town as they're described in the story, and the history, as it related to what I was learning in Social Studies. As an adult, I can see some weaknesses in the story, which when combined make it feel a bit contrived, but yes: me as a kid would have read the heck out of this.

The book cleverly combines 1936 Depression-era Kansas with
I have mixed feelings about this year's Newbery winner. On the one hand, it has a rich plot, and I did connect to Abilene Tucker, who gets sent to her father's hometown without knowing whether she will ever see her father again. She makes friends, and begins to learn that there are many secrets in the town of Manifest that she hopes to "manifest." She is helped along by her caretaker, Shady, and especially the Hungarian "gypsy" neighbor, Miss Sadie and her Divining Parlor. The town has many inte ...more
Jul 12, 2012 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with a pulse
Recommended to Jennifer by: Julie
My grandmother would have loved and recommended this book to me enthusiastically if it had been published when I was a kid; it's historical fiction (on multiple levels) and a story with a strong female protagonist. It's partly the story of Abilene, who has been riding the rails with her father, Gideon, since she could remember, but who has been left behind for the summer of 1936 in the town of Manifest, Kansas, to stay with Shady Howard, a preacher of sorts and the local moonshiner. Abilene fear ...more
It's clear from the start of Moon Over Manifest that Clare Vanderpool loves history--that the interplay and influence of the past on the the present fascinates her. And that interplay does work. Vanderpool's use of World War I and the Depression is interesting, as she manages to make early 20th century America bright and vivid. And I applaud that she values curiosity and story-telling, making that the impetus of her story.
The main character, Abilene, is shipped off to the town of Manifest by he
Rosalyn Eves
I thought this was a charming novel--I can understand why this won last year's Newberry Award. The writing was good, the characters were interesting and had real depth, and the story managed just the right balance of small-town wholesomeness and intrigue. Vanderpool has clearly done her research--she managed to convey a distinct flavor both for the 1936 where the story takes place, and the 1918 that shows up in the town's memories.

The story follows Abilene Tucker, a 12-year-old girl whose fathe
Maybe 2.5. I wouldn't have finished it if it hadn't won the Newbery. I really, really want to know who championed this and WHY. I thought the story was interesting enough, but it wasn't at all distinguished and was very much a debut novel. The best bits for me were Abilene and her friends playing and prowling around town. The mystery was weak, the characters were weak and the plot didn't make much sense, either. I also never got any sense of setting or 1936, and 1918 was only marginally better.

Chock full of characters and she's makes you care about all of them. I was skeptical at first of the whole "little girl arrives in a small dusty town" thing, but it was beautiful. Clare Vanderpool is a splendid storyteller.
Moon Over Manifest is a rare type of book; it mesmerised me, played with my emotions, and managed to reduce me to tears. The characters, even those who appear boring, all hold a symbolic presence, and every small detail is wound into the storyline so cleverly that without one realising, it becomes an important thing. It plays with the reader's emotions; just when one can let out a sigh that the worst is over, an eloquent warning is given that the situation is dire. Words cannot describe what an ...more
Wonderful characterization must be what earned this book its Newbery Award. Abilene, Jinx, Shady, Ned, Miss Sadie, Lettie & Ruthanne, and even Mrs. Eudora Larkin came alive vividly for me as I made my way through the pages. In my mind, Manifest looked a lot like the small town I'm from (although here the mine would be the cotton gin). Creative plot with funny and clever plot twists and turns. But still, I cared about the characters, and that's what kept me turning pages.

I may need to reread
I've had this book recommended to me many times, and it DID win the Newbery in 2011 (although that is not always a recommendation in my opinion), but I had not yet had the chance to read it. Then I heard Clare Vanderpool speak at the Books for Young Readers Symposium last week and she was hilarious, delightful, insightful, down-to-earth, and I had to read this book immediately. And I think it deserves 10 Newberys! All at once. In her presentation, she spoke about the book is based on a small Kan ...more
Claire H
Grade/interest level: Middle School
Reading level: 800
Genre: Historical Fiction
Main Characters: Abilene Tucker, Jinx, Ned, Shady, Ruthanne, Lettie
Setting: Manifest, Kansas; 1917-1918 & 1936
POV: Third person
When Abilene Tucker's father drops her off at his old town of Manifest so he can go work on the railroad, Abilene is none too pleased. She feels unloved, abandoned, and confused, but she decides to make something of her short stay. Abilene knows hardly anything about her daddy's past, so sh
Apr 09, 2013 Natalie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Natalie by: Newbery Award Winning book
Shelves: childrens
I've made good on my goal to read Clare Vanderpool's 2011 Newbery award winning Moon Over Manifest.

I bought Moon Over Manifest simply because for the first time in like 11 years, in Jan 2011 The Today Show blew off the year's Caldecott and Newbery Award winners and interviewed Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi instead? What is up with that?!

The narrative voice in Manifest belongs to a young girl who's been riding the rails with her dad until she is sent away to live with a stranger in a town he once calle
Linda Lipko
This is the first book for the author and how very fortunate she is to win the highly prestigious Newbery medal. I confess, while I'm on a quest to read all the Newbery books, and I've read many, I'm certainly not an expert. But, I can say in comparison to other medal winners, this mediocre book leaves me puzzled regarding the choice for the medal.

Both 2011 honor books I've read recently, namely One Crazy Summer and Turtle in Paradise, were richer in plot and character development.

While original
Barb Middleton
My best friend and I had sleepovers where we would sneak out of the house in the middle of the night. My friend got hung up on the windowsill with her head in the bathroom and the feet dangling outside. I reached up, grabbed her feet which were above my head, and yanked with all my strength. She sailed backward taking the screen with her and crashing loudly on top of me. We smothered our hysterical laughter and took off running.

Moon Over Manifest, by Clare Vanderpool, reminds me of the ways we e
ATOS Book Level: 5.3
Interest Level: Middle Grades (MG 4-8)
AR Points: 12.0
Lexile 800
Word Count: 81369

I've never tried to figure out how the people on the Newbery committee come up with their books but I suspect it has nothing to do with what makes a book hit the best seller list and more to do with how well the book is written. Well they are spot on again with this years selection and I'm sure that with their selection of this book it will reach the audience that it deserves but may not otherwise
Plot intro from Booklist:
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, Kansas, a town he left years earlier; but over the summer she pieces together his story.

Well I had to drop everything and read this year's Newbery Award winner. This is a heart-tugging story set in the dusty days of the depression in a small town called Manifest (slogan: "A town with a rich past, and a bright futur
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Clare Vanderpool, recipient of the 2011 Newbery Award, is a resident of Wichita, Kansas. She has a degree in English and Elementary Education and enjoys reading, going to the pool with her children, the television show Monk, and visiting the bookstores in her town.
More about Clare Vanderpool...
Navigating Early L'indimenticabile estate di Abilene Tucker

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“Memories were like sunshine. They warmed you up and left a pleasant glow, but you couldn't hold them.” 71 likes
“Who would dream that one can love without being crushed under the weight of it?” 40 likes
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