"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 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 dried-up, 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 all 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. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest's secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.
Powerful in its simplicity and rich in historical detail, Clare Vanderpool's debut is a gripping story of loss and redemption.
©2011 Clare Vanderpool (P)2011 Listening Library
"With believable dialogue, vocabulary and imagery appropriate to time and place, and well-developed characters, this rich and rewarding first novel is like sucking on a butterscotch. Smooth and sweet.'" (Booklist)
“Readers will cherish every word up to the heartbreaking yet hopeful and deeply gratifying ending.” (Kirkus)
"Replete with historical details and surprises, Vanderpool's debut delights, while giving insight into family and community.” (Publisher's Weekly)
I loved this book! Not only did it hold my interest, but it wove two stories into one in such a way that neither could exist without the other. I could hear the sounds and smell the aromas described in the book. The imagery was well done and so was the character development.
The fact that the audio book used multiple readers to tell the story really added to it as well. While it's won awards for juvenile fiction, the story of longing and love is appropriate for any aged reader.
I have read Water for Elephants, The Help, and the Secret Life of Bees and many similarly good books and I enjoyed this book equally as much!
Do yourself a favor---step back in time and enjoy getting to know Abilene, Jinx and Miss Shady. Moon Over Manifest is a fabulous book!
Librarian, Avid Reader, Audiobook Addict!
Abilene Tucker is a motherless child (well it is a Newbery winner and I think this is a requirement) her daddy has sent her to Manifest, Kansas where he used to live there she meets some great characters and sets out to find out more about her father as a young man. This book goes back and forth between Abilene’s story during the depression in 1936 and the story of a young man named Jinx and his best friend Ned in 1918.
This was a good coming of age story filled with quirky characters, and a bit of mystery and it gives you a feel of the times both stories are set in. I fell in love with Abilene and Jinx I ended up rooting for them both in their different time lines, the stories melded together very nicely. This was an uplifting story and has a feel good ending. I highly recommend this to the young and old alike it’s highly entertaining historical fiction for all ages.
All the narrators did a great job but with this group of people how could you go wrong!
4 ½ Stars
As an English teacher in High School, I am always looking for books that my students will enjoy. That being the case, I have listened to and read a great deal of Young Adult fiction, and have found that there are a few basic plot lines that most YA fiction novels follow. This book is one of the few that really breaks the mold. It was rich, entertaining, life-affirming, and very well performed. The story follows a young girl who is looking for her own place in the world. Along the way, she discovers the history of the town of Manifest, her father's history, and a rich cast of characters. Although the story follows a teenage girl, it has murder, bootlegging, spies and mystery and my male students liked it just as much as the girls did. I highly recommend this story, either as a novel or as an audio book for teens and adults.
From the moment I listened to the first free chapter, I knew that I had to read the whole book. The narrators brought the characters to life with all of the different accents. I couldn't wait to sneak in listening time for Moon Over Manifest.
Beside the fact that Jenna Lamia is my very favorite narrator, this was a wonderful listen. The switching back and forth between time periods, took a little getting used to, but it was worth it for the richness of the story.
I really enjoyed Moon Over Manifest. Jenna Lamia's narration was exceptional (I loved her in The Help). I especially appreciate how they chose to narrate this book. They used different narrators for the different parts, making the transition from main story to newspaper to letters seamless. When moving from past to present, the book always included the date, making it easy to follow along.
I was swept back to a simpler time where everything costs a dime, but a dime was hard to come by. While I am happy that I wasn't born in the depression, it was great to be able to experience just a taste of it with this book.
I like historical, southern books - southern accents, antiques - The Ole' West, Ghost Towns, Victorian Era, Southern Humor!!
Jenna has a voice that makes stories come to life! I enjoy listening to her. This book about Abilene takes some twists and turns and kept my attention. I like early 1900 books and the adventures the characters encounter.
This narrator I first encountered in The Help . she is delightful to listen to. I have enjoyed several of her performances. She has an innocent, soothing quality to her voice.
A really nice read. I truly enjoyed the perspective of a young girl as the main character. The author does a wonderful job of reminding us of the wildly unlimited imagination young people have. It was nostalgic to recall a time when we did not have all the distractions of modern social media to distract us and limit the freedoms of our creative, uncluttered imaginations. Don't misunderstand! I love the smart phone (it's how I listen to Audible!)
We listened to this as a family with our 13 year old daughter and 10 year old son and we all loved it. I particularly liked that the book was told as a story being told within the story -- with a person recalling events from fifteen or so years prior.
Newberry winners are always worth the read, even for adults, but this year's pick is especially adult fiction worthy. Clare Vanderpool reminded me of both Fannie Flagg and Billie Letts. Its a captivating story that weaves nostalgia, american history and family values with humor and mystery. It would make a great family vacation car ride listen even if you were alone in the car with Grandpa!
"Not my type of story"
I found this story a bit dull and slow moving, there were lots of details and not much action. For me, my ideal story is a bit faster moving with more action. I also found the narrators voice a bit dull - sorry! Jodie age 14
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