Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Moon Over Manifest

Vanderpool, Clare. 2010. MOON OVER MANIFEST. New York: Random House. ISBN 0385738838 [Suggest Grade Levels 5-8]

Abilene has heard stories about Manifest, Kansas, for many years now. It’s the town where her father grew up. But now that her father has sent her there for the foreseeable future, Abilene is finding one mystery after another to solve. How much does she really know about her father? How much does she really know about the town? She’s always believed that home can’t be found on a map, but is that true? Is Manifest the home she’s been (secretly) craving for years?

Rich in quirky characters, rich in historical mystery, MOON OVER MANIFEST is a wonderfully charming novel. Through stories, letters, and newspaper articles, a young girl pieces together a part of her past—and the town’s past. Alternately set during the Depression and World War I, it’s quite a coming-of-age story.

Discuss how secrets and stories shape the characters in MOON OVER MANIFEST. Which story do you think is the most difficult for Abilene to hear?

Children can choose a scene from the novel to dramatize or create a video book trailer for the novel.

Invite children to interview a grandparent (or great-aunt, great-uncle, aunt, uncle. etc.) to learn a few stories about their own parents.

Other historical novels set during World War I:
Frost, Helen. CROSSING STONES. ISBN 0374316538
Levine, Kristin. BEST BAD LUCK I EVER HAD. ISBN 0142416487
Moss, Jenny. WINNIE’S WAR. ISBN 0802798195

Other historical novels set during the Depression:
Banks, Sara. THE EVERLASTING NOW. ISBN 1561455253
Peck, Richard. A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO. ISBN 0142401102
Peck, Richard. A YEAR DOWN YONDER. ISBN 0142300705

By Becky Laney

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