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Making Manna

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Libby Thompson is just fourteen years old when she flees her abusive home with her newborn son, Angel. Now they must build a life for themselves on hard work and low wages, dealing with police who are sometimes helpful-but not always-and a drug dealer who is full of surprises. As Angel gets older, he begins asking questions about his family, and Libby's tenuous peace threa ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published June 20th 2014 by Brandylane Publishers, Inc.
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  28 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Justin Cole
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Making Manna is one of those rare books that draws you in and doesn't let you go. From the very start, you're immersed into a story that is jarring and unnerving, yet honest, raw, and authentic. It challenges everything you know and takes you on a journey of life below the poverty line.

Living for a year or so in Arlington, VA and walking past the service workers on my way to the metro as they packed their supplies into vans filled with other workers, the setting makes the story. Through the cha
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
To be honest, I really could not remember why I wanted to read this book after I got it. In fact, I put it aside with lackluster interest. Yet, when I picked it up I again had my mind made up instantly that I was not going to like this book at all. Wow, you really can not judge a book by its cover.

From the beginning I was drawn into the story and Libby. She is a fighter. She proves it over and over again. There was never a moment where she sat in sorrow and had people going "poor Libby". In fac
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book. I loved the characters. I want a sequel.
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Survival is intrinsic to human nature

This is a story, although about very simple people in dire circumstances, that drew me in until I couldn’t release the book until I finished it. There are only a few people in this world with the strength to fight to survive like Libby Thompson who is just fourteen years old when she bears an illegitimate son at home. Her mother is the midwife and keeps asking Libby who the father is and Libby won’t answer her, but after the baby boy is born, and her father c
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
A solid, well written, interesting story about what it's really like to grow up poor in America.
I liked it! What's great about this book is that it's not about the rich and famous, nor is it about the average American. This book helps us to see some of the cruel hypocracies of our justice system and to understand how good people can find themselves in very bad situations. The grit is very real. These protagonists are not people one would normally sympathize with - a drug dealer? It's a beautuful
Maryclaire Rochte
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just finished, Making Manna Eric Lotke. One of the best books I've read this year! This book schooled me in regards to life lived in poverty. What an excellent educational tool. This should be on the required reading list of every middle/high school in America. ...more
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Making Manna had me at "hello". It is a fantastic story from the opening line. Mr. Lotke does a fantastic job of character development, and story telling. I'd highly recommend this book! ...more
Emma Jones
Another book club choice

I really enjoyed this book. So many challenges. yet they persevered. Family reconciliation, Manna from heaven, Libby going to college, so many good things.
Leslie Lindsay
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was immediately drawn to the absolutely glittering prose in the first few lines of MAKING MANNA. And how I ached for the young girl giving birth in those opening pages. Something was decidedly "not right."

Within mere *pages,* we learn so much (I don't want to give it away here), but the pace is impeccable, covering a wide range of events and time.

Utlimately, MAKING MANNA is a story of courage, of the cruel hypocrisies of the justice system, about good people in harsh circumstances all agains
Bonnie Ferrante
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought I would read a chapter of Making Manna before sleeping but thirteen chapters later I was reluctant to close the book. It was only my aching eyes that made me stop. Eric Lotke is a master writer of character and situation. Not only do you care for these people, but you cringe and curse and cheer as they struggle through overwhelming events. This book is based on Lotke’s own experiences with the justice system and people struggling to survive in a cold, unfair, and prejudiced environment ...more
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In this beautifully written novel, a too-young mother called Libby needs a place to stay and a job –not easy without proof of citizenship and age. And next she needs food. Some fascinating lessons ensue on American poverty and the poverty of its legal system. But this is a novel that never stops too long to mourn, moving always forward with its characters ever determined, taking the positive road and living convincingly with pains of the past. It’s a fast-moving, absorbing tale, its voices, youn ...more
Charlie Sulivan
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Being faith-based people, we often say that God writes straight with crooked lines. After reading Making Manna, we would add that author Eric Lotke also writes straight with crooked lines. The main characters start off with incredible odds against being successful in life.

But, with steadfastness and bonding with others more or less "in the same boat", they emerge as role models for those in similar circumstances.

This is why as co-founders of an international prison reform organization, we have m
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing

This book was quick to read and superbly written. This book echoes so many thing from our every day lives, yet the characters are extraordinary. I was reminded of this book just the other day when visiting the Natural History Smithsonian museum. And then again when helping kids make a power point presentation. Lotke weaves these "i've been there!" scenes into something new and miraculous.
Jenni Gainsborough
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book on a flight from east to west coast and the journey has never gone faster. The characters draw you in right from the start and you keep hoping that all will go well for them eventually. None of them are angels -- they are real people coping with real problems as best they can. The book also paints a vivid picture of our criminal justice system and all that is wrong with it but the message never overwhelms the characters or the story. A great read!
Aug 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting story -- covers the life of a sexually abused 14 year old for the next 18 years. The writing was not spectacular, but the plot was interesting enough to keep me engaged. There were several aspects that I found not quite believable, and some plot lines a little trite, but over all a decent read.
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Eric Lotke
Jan 01, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)
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Eric Lotke has cooked in five-star restaurants and flushed every toilet in the Washington DC jail. He has filed headline public interest lawsuits and published headline research on crime, race and prisons. His most recent novel, Union Made, explores what union organizing means for the workplace, the economy and maybe even the organizer’s love life.

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