Moon Over Manifest – REVIEW

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Moon Over Manifest – REVIEW

Mariah T., Reporter

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Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool is a Y/A historical fiction book that in my opinion is ethereal. It takes place during The Great Depression (1936) and World War I (1917-1918),  according to GoodReads.

During World War I you follow the characters Jinx and Ned as Jinx tries to help the miners and Ned serves as a guide and a friend. During 1936 you follow main character Abilene Tucker and her friends Ruthanne and Lettie as they piece together old letters and a box of old clues to figure out more about the ‘The Rattler’ and the past. Abilene has to go on a train ride to Manifest Kansas alone. Manifest Kansas is the town where her father, Gideon, grew up and has some people that are strange.

The plot or idea of the story is Abilene, Ruthanne and Lettie unlocking the past of Manifest by looking for ‘The Rattler.’ The storyline of Jinx is helping the town ending mistreatment and Ned’s letters of the war.

It was published in 2010 by Delacorte Press and was awarded the John Newbery Medal in 2011. The book has around 300 pages. This book is a young adult book so I would say it can be fit for the 11-14 age range, according to Wikipedia.

I read this book for a book project a few years ago when my teacher picked it out. I ended up reading the entire book very happily. I could easily picture detailed characters and settings from the descriptions given. When describing Manifest it flowed and the fictional town was so real in my mind it resembled memories.

When I asked around about people that have read it, only one person said they had. I think that this book is well written and not enough people have read it. It’s a balance of mystery and drama and has some comedy in it.

The characters are written in a very realistic way reacting to things the way normal people would. The plot is put together well and I didn’t find any plot holes. The author did a wonderful job at making everything seem so real as if it could have really happened and at the same time make it seem so mystical in a way that it feels like nothing near this could ever occur. A subplot that I’m fond of is the friendship between the characters. The ‘present day’ (1936) children and ‘past’ (1917/1918) characters have such a good bond with each other and learn to resolve issues in, once again, a realistic way.  For example, Jinx reacts to Ned in a way that most children his age would, rather than in a forced way. The sentences are written in a very homey and casually old fashioned way, and the general vocabulary make it seem so much more pretty to read in ‘present day’ and realistic for the past.

I rate this book a 5 out of 5, because of the great descriptions, well thought out plot and the realism of how the characters act.

Moon Over Manifest by  Victoria via is used under Fair Use

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