Monday, March 21, 2011

Bibliophile's Corner

Moon Over Manifest
by Clare Vanderpool

Back Cover description:
     The air in Miss Sadie's parlor was hot and thick. I thought that sitting on one of those red velvety couches chock-full of fringy pillows was akin to suffocating. I took a deep breath and ventured around the room.
     The double doors of the parlor whooshed open. A large fleshy woman stood before me in full regalia. Her eyes were all made up; her earrings and bracelets jangled. The sign in the window said Miss Sadie was a medium. From the look of her, that was a bit wishful.
     Thinking she hadn't seen me, I turned to make a clean getaway.
     "Sit down," she said, her voice thick and savory, like goulash. She put her hands flat on the table. "Let us see if today the spirits are willing to speak." Suddenly, it became clear: A diviner. A medium. This woman was a fortune-teller and a spirit conjurer. If you believed in that sort of thing.

My thoughts:
Moon Over Manifest has been high on my list of books to read since it was announced as this year's Newbery Medal Award winner in January. This is Clare Vanderpool's first published book - what a beginning! This middle grade historical fiction novel contains: beautiful, skillful writing; great character development & voice; and wonderful descriptions of the American Depression Era - complete with "down-home" anecdotal advertisements that are hilarious! The author weaves a tale of small town middle America through the eyes of the young girl, Abilene Tucker. The town of Manifest has many secrets that are revealed through a tapestry of colorful characters; chief among them, Miss Sadie - the town fortune-teller. The twists and turns of this story will hold you captive until the last page. Congratulations, Clare Vanderpool!

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