❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋Abilene has been sent to Manifest, Kansas by her father for the summer while he works a railroad job. She has few possessions and doesn't really know anyone in town. She has heard stories about the place and hopes to find out about her father when he was a boy. When she sees the town for the first time it doesn't live up to her expectations, but when she finds hidden treasures. Some of the letters included mention a spy called The Rattler and with her newfound friends she begins a spy hunt. She also learns tales from the past from a diviner named Miss Sadie as she works to pay off a debt. The more of the town history she hears the more she learns of her father's role in it and she also begins to make her own mark on the town.
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool is engaging and a beautifully written work of historical fiction. I love that the author so seamlessly integrates 1918 and 1936 into the narrative and added some flavor with the newspaper articles and advertisements. Abilene is a very likeable, relatable, and independent leading character and I just couldn't help but root for her over the course of the story. While the story features a compelling mystery, at heart it's really about family, home, past and future, love, loss, and redemption.
Excellent narration by Jenna Lamia with Cassandra Campbell and Kirby Heyborne. They really brought life into Vanderpool's words. I highly recommend this amazing Depression-era middle-grade book in print or audio!
I read this from September 12 - 17, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.