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Moon Over Manifest

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  31,846 ratings  ·  4,714 reviews
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 works a railroad job. Armed only with
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  31,846 ratings  ·  4,714 reviews

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Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-reviewed
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Moon Over Manifest, Clare Vanderpool

The main character in the book is Abilene Tucker, a nice, adventurous girl from 1936. Her father sent her to a small town called Manifest, Kansas while he worked a railroad job somewhere else. She arrived there to find that it was run-down and greatly affected by the Great Depression. A pastor took her in, and in that house, she discovered a box of mementos and letters stashed away under a floorboard.

One letter mentioned the "Rattler," someone Abilene and her
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazing-audio
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
Lars Guthrie
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
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
May 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
A charming book, and I can see why it won the Newbery. It has the feel of a classic, like something that I would have read (and that would have won the award) when I was a kid. The writing is gorgeous, and the characters are instantly real and appealing. As the book moved back and forth between 1936 and 1917, at first I was more invested in the 1917 storyline, because I knew that it would be the key to what was happening in 1936, but then I also got caught up in seeing how people had changed in ...more
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
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to TL by: Random pick ob Overdrive app
A wonderful and charming book, I fell in love with everything about it.. didn't want to leave these people.

Revelations and secrets abound in this book and are no always what you think they will be.

Quick review since I gotta work but highly recommend!
Julie  Durnell
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: southern
Great coming of age story. Abilene makes the best of being left with Shady in the town of Manifest. The cast of characters in the present time of Abilene in 1938 and twenty years earlier were wonderfully written. Abilene and her two new friends make great girl detectives in tracing how her father, Gideon, played into the towns history. The melting pot of immigrants that lived in this small town was a small subplot of the whole story.
Jan 13, 2011 rated it liked it
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).
Kezzy Sparks
A phenomenal, very adulty, story written in the eyes of twelve-year-old Aibelene Tucker, who's digging into secrets she perhaps shouldn't be. Author Clare Vanderpool does a wonderful job in this masterpiece, and I couldn't put the book down.
Events of World War 1 are woven into Depression America, and the struggles of a prohibition era midwestern town are brought to the forefront by the masterful pen of Clare's. Definitely a five-star read.
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: newberry
Why did The Hunger Games get so much hype? Moon Over Manifest should be getting the hype. This book was an absolute pleasure (I cannot say that strongly enough!) to read. I honestly loved, loved, loved it. And I don't gush often! Many books for middle age readers are either too simple or try to focus on adult-themed subjects, but this book is a true gem which drew me in from the very beginning. It is definitely going to be one of my favorite books and one which I recommend often to young and old ...more
Loved this historical fiction! I listened to this on audio and the narrator was fantastic. Really brings you back to the times. Highly recommend for all ages!!
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
Marjorie Ingall
Feb 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-9-12
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
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
***reread 2021:

Man what a good book.

Clare Vanderpool really is a genius at foreshadowing. There is no detail left behind.

I noticed this time around that Abilene = Ned in some significant ways. (Oh Abilene. Oh Ned. Oh Jinx. All three of you need hugs.) (And I still want to be Hattie Mae.)

***initial thoughts 2018:

Oh my goodness, it was beautiful!

Where to start? The colorful characters? The masterfully-drawn historical settings? The unique way of switching back and forth between 1918 and 1936?
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At some point, this book wasn’t a Newberry Winner, but a great story, well written. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story has a ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ feel to it, but the book has it’s own charm. It’s great there are still great writers for young people. Enjoy!
Jan 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Frances W.
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
1918 war, disease, runaways, Klu Klux Klan, and hard times. The people of Manifest go through all of this yet they manage to stay positive. They care for one another, and have each others back. However, fast forward to 1936, and things have changed. Manifest is dull and people just mind their own business. Until one little girl comes to town and starts to stir up trouble. Clare Vanderpool pulls you into the story and really makes you feel the happiness, sadness, hate, frustration, and hope that ...more
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: newbery
A girl arrives to the small town where his father grew up to spend the summer of 1936. She starts simultaneously learning about the current dwellers, and her father's past years in it. But she does it like solving a mystery, by finding clues, and you don't want to stop reading to find out the next discovery.

The way in which Abilene and her friends piece together what happened in the past reminded me of a book by Maria Gripe (Los escarabajos vuelan al atardecer), which I read as a teen and left m
Sarah Ramsey
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t often cry over a book but this one got me. “Who would dream that one can love without being crushed under the weight of it?” I love this story and the story with the story.
Wonderfully enjoyable. Covers two time periods...1918 and 1936 in a little town in Kansas. Newberry Medal winner 2011.
LOVED this depression era coming-of-age story of sweet, imaginative Abilene, who has been sent to her father’s hometown for the summer while he looks for work. Her longing for her daddy and fear that he will not return drive her to research the town’s history for some glimpse of her elusive father. Fortunately, she has landed among townsfolk as kind as they are colorful. And through Abilene’s research we enjoy stories from the early 1900’s---how the founding immigrants of the town fight the mini ...more
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
Linda Lipko
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Rosalyn Eves
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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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.

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