This past week I got to meet Kansan Newbery winner Clare Vanderpool, who wrote the lovely book, Moon Over Manifest (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2010). She shared with us how shocked she was when she got the call from the Newbery committee. Seeing her tears, her husband thought something was wrong! She said there's definitely a "before" and "after" when you win the Newbery. You can read more about what she thinks about the 2011 Newberry Award on her site. Click on the Upcoming Events tab to see where she's speaking.
Moon Over Manifest is a layered book with two time periods and two separate stories going on. It's a great story. The characters and place are so real.
It's 1936 and 12-year-old Abilene has been sent to live with her father's friend in Manifest, Kansas. No one there talks about her father, though she knows the town's people must have known him. But she's found something else to keep her occupied--a box with letters from 1918 and "treasures" under the floorboards in her bedroom. From info in those letters she and her friends decide to see if they can discover who the WWI spy is.
Not only did I have sympathy for Abilene separated from her father, but for Ned and Jinx and what they went through as revealed by the letters and the local diviner, Miss Sadie.
This is definitely a must read with a satisfying ending!