Moon over Manifest

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Moon over Manifest

SummaryWhen Abilene becomes ill, her father, Gideon, sends her to his old town, Manifest, to stay with Pastor Shady Howard while Gideon works on a railroad job. Abilene uses her time in Gideon's home town to learn about her father and his childhood. While there, she listens to Miss Sadie's stories of Manifest in 1917, about 20 years in the past. Through these stories, Abilene hears about a spy from the past called the Rattler. While on a mysterious spy hunt to find the out the Rattler's true identity, Abilene learns more about her father than she ever thought she would, including how her father believed he was 'cursed'.

Literary Element #1 (character)The main character, Abilene, is brave, smart, and curious. She demonstrates bravery when she goes into the old house that everyone thinks is haunted. She says, "As I tiptoed up the rotting stairs, they creaked and groaned"(Vanderpool 53-54). Also, Abilene shows her curiousity when she asks everyone in town lots of questions about the past. Lastly, Abilene proves that she is smart when she uses handwriting to try to find the Rattler's identity.

Authors ThemeThe theme of this story is that "things are not always as they seem". In the story, this means don't judge people by your first impressions of them.For example, when Abilene first met Pastor Shady Howard, she thought he had been up all night drinking, but she found out he was helping homeless people during the night.

Literary Element #2 (setting)The story takes place in the town of Manifest, Kansas, during the summer of 1936. First, the town name is shown on the sign on which "all that was left read MANIFEST: A TOWN WITH A PAST" (Vanderpool 4). Also, the author shows that it is summertime when Abilene's teacher gives her "a special assignment to complete during the summer" (Vanderpool 31). Lastly, the writer tells the reader the time by dating each chapter.

Connection (self/world)The town of Manifest is similar to North Kingstown because both are small towns, which have barbershops and pharmacys, and most people seem to know each other. These towns are different because Manifest's main industry is mining, but North Kingstown is made up mostly of small businesses.

RecommendationI would recommend this book to readers who enjoy mysteries. The book is especially interesting because it is written with flashbacks to 20 years before, that tie in, usually in suprising ways, to the old letters and objects that Abilene finds. This book will always keep you in suspense.

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

By: Clare Vanderpool


Moon Over Manifest

346 pages


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