Moon Over Manifest
by Clare Vanderpool
* * * * * Stars (Amazing!)
12-year-old Abilene Tucker’s father has raised her “on the rails”, but now he has chosen to abandon her in the town of Manifest where he spent his youth, as he heads back to his wanderer’s life. Abilene discovers a hidden box of keepsakes, which leads her and her new friends on a search for a spy. The objects in the box, (a fishing lure, a silver dollar, a skeleton key among other items), help illuminate the often humorous, occasionally sorrowful stories of Manifest in the year 1918 and bring Abilene closer than ever to her father. Manifest is full of deep secrets and richly portrayed characters including Shady, a sometimes barkeep and preacher; Hattie Mae Harper, the “reporter about town”; and Miss Sadie, gypsy woman and Diviner. The unforgettable story of Abilene and how she accepts the people of Manifest as family, and how the town embraces both her and her father as their own, is splendidly told and a pleasure to read. Recommended for ages 9 and up. Lexile 800.
Reviewed by Anne Kunzen, Youth Services Staff