The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—a town with a rich past and a bright future.

Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.

Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”

Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.

Powerful in its simplicity and rich in historical detail, Clare Vanderpool’s debut is a gripping story of loss and redemption.
Paperback
Published on March 1, 2012 by Random House Inc
22 Book Reviews
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  • lovetolearn
    lovetolearnSunday, July 16, 2017 at 12:55 am55 stars
    Great book, especially if you love historical fiction! I loved watching Abilene unravel the history of Manifest and learn more about herself in the process.
    • runnergirl123
      runnergirl123Friday, November 18, 2016 at 9:55 am44 stars
      This book has a very good beginning and the setting in in the 1920s. Which I think is really cool. If you like action books this book is not for you. I hope you enjoy!
      • skateboard55
        skateboard55Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 8:40 am
        I'm reading this book and now I know that Manifest was a place in Kansas
        • memoose
          memooseSunday, March 6, 2016 at 6:01 pm55 stars
          One of the best books I've ever read!
          • skateboard55
            skateboard55Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 8:40 am
            I hope I like it
          • booknutjob
            booknutjobFriday, February 5, 2016 at 12:42 pm55 stars
            This is one of those books where you start out --- eh, you could do without it. Then by the end, you're in love. Amazing book!!!
            • cezarregalaMonday, December 21, 2015 at 7:04 am
              best book i've ever read!
              • ejvarga
                ejvargaMonday, June 22, 2015 at 3:50 pm
                This book looks really good.
                • asma234
                  asma234Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 6:12 am55 stars
                  I read this book about a year ago,and I remember very little about it.I do know I was glued into the book like it was a good movie.It was full of mystery,and had me running back to the book every chance I had.I do have my own copy,but I just have to find it so I can read the book again.I loved it.5 stars from me.
                  • 25
                    Heidi BranzSunday, October 19, 2014 at 7:45 pm55 stars
                    Moon Over Manifest is a tale of community, understanding, and family, with a little bit of mystery mixed in. Strange people and events become less strange as this well-crafted puzzle comes together by the end of the novel. At the beginning of the book, Abilene's dad sends her away for the summer to live with an old friend in Manifest, a town he lived in for some of his childhood. Abilene does not have high hopes for the summer. She is unsure of why her father sent her and feels all alone. When Abilene discovers a hidden box of old letters and mementos, Abilene finds new purpose. She attempts to solve a small town mystery with a couple of new friends. As she begins to uncover pieces of the puzzle, she finds herself digging deeper and deeper into the history of the town of Manifest. Questions arise about about her own family history, and curiosity about her father leads Abilene to continue her search for truth and understanding. This is a great book for middle-grade readers. I enjoyed the complex characters and the idea that people, places, and stories are not always as they seem.
                    • emmabookworm5
                      emmabookworm5Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 10:58 am55 stars
                      This book was wonderful! I loved how it went back and forth in time every time that she found out something!

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