Abilene Tucker has only known life on the road. She and her daddy followed the railways, living in camps while her daddy worked odd jobs to keep them fed. Then one day, her daddy sent her away to live in Manifest, Kansas.
Manifest, Kansas. Why there? Why now? Abilene feels abandoned. She knows how to take care of herself, but misses her daddy something fierce.
When she finds the box of mementos and letters under the floorboard of her room, she can’t help but start investigating. Who were these people? More importantly, who was the Rattler, the spy in the woods?
When Abilene loses her most treasured possession, she finds herself at the diviner’s house, trying to get it back. Instead of getting her compass, she is forced to help Miss Sadie with work around the house and grounds. Miss Sadie starts telling her stories about the town’s history, stories that feature the letters and the mementos Abilene had discovered in her room.
As Abilene discovers more about Manifest and its people, she discovers more about herself, and her father. And her journey of discovery brings healing – both to herself and the town she’s comes to love.
Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool is beautifully interwoven story of the past and present of a town which had forgotten its history and its identity.
Highly recommended for ages 8 and up.