Abilene has always known where her home is: it is with her dad. In the 1930s United States, Abilene and her dad hop trains from town to town. Abilene's home is 'all over. My daddy says it's not down in any map. True places never are.' So when he sends her away from him to a town she's never known except through stories, Manifest, Kansas, to live with a man named Shady she's never met, Abilene is bewildered. On her first night there, searching for a hiding place for her treasured possessions, she stumbles upon a box with mementos and letters to a mysterious boy named Jinx. This discovery leads to a search for a spy, and Abilene finds more than she ever expected: the hidden past of Manifest, Kansas, a story that blends the history of a fortune teller, a boy running from the law after a murder, and the country in a time of war. As Abilene unravels the threads of the tale, she uncovers secrets that lead her back to the one place she hopes to be: home. Winner of the 2011 Newbery Medal, this book by first-time author Clare Vanderpool blends history, intrigue, and the love of families, both the ones we're given and the ones that choose us, into a tale that affirms the power of stories to heal, change, and bring people together.
Date read: 1/13/2011