Sunday, May 22, 2011

Moon Over Manifest

Moon Over ManifestMoon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's easy to see why this is a 2011 Newberry Award winner, but difficult to credit as Vanderpool's *debut* novel. The plot is cleverly complex with a pervasive air of mystery; the voices of the characters are clear and distinctive; the 1936 town and its 1918 incarnation come alive; and the whole thing is written with a steady hand. Please, please don't dismiss a book because it is labeled as a children's or YA book. There is plenty of substance in there for us big people. There are many nuances and undercurrents, and imho many under age 15 would not "get it" and may find it slow & boring. (If you want to get teens to read, give them Printz Award winners.) That being said, this is a beautiful coming of age story about a girl finding out about herself and the world around her. It is an absolute gem.

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