I wasnt swept away by MOON OVER MANIFEST the way I want books, especially Newbery Prize-winning ones, to do to me. In some ways, this is an odd book: the 1936 plotline mingles with the 1917-1918 plotline thats told through stories, and for some reason or another I found the 1918 plotline so much more interesting than the 1936 plotline. I actually have to shake my head a little at how its possible for the 1936 plotline to be so dull. But there you have it: what could have been a charming plotline about Abilene Tucker arriving at Manifest, getting to know the towns quirky residents, and digging into its secrets turned into a snoozefest in which Abilene runs around town with all the productivity of one of those annoying little dogs that always have so much energy and yet are so stupid, has placeholder conversations with the townspeople and eats their food, and purportedly has adventures with her two friends (whom I couldnt pick out of a three-person lineup if I tried, they were so uncharacterized) without actually doing anything that was actually worth writing 350+ pages about.
That was a bit harsh of me. I like clever books that surprise and outsmart me, and the revelation at MOON OVER MANIFESTs ending did that, and even brought out some tears in me. However, under no circumstances can I wholeheartedly recommend a book just for its good ending if I felt the rest of it was just average. And, yeah, I felt MOON OVER MANIFEST was just average. Its clever, the way the two storylines finally connected, but thats not enough to overcome average characters and a slow plot. If I was inclined to put it down several times in the middle, how do you think a middle-grade audience would feel?
I loved this book. The story is enthralling, the characters and setting lovely, and the performance is perfect. The voice actors match one's idea of each character perfectly, and the narrator's voice is pleasant and her cadence is just right. I loved this book, and I couldn't wait to get to the last CD just to see how the story would end. And it had a perfect ending. All in all, a most enjoyable audiobook.
I read the Newbery winners every year and I wasn't very impressed with Moon Over Manifest. Often, while reading, I felt that the author could have developed the plot and/or characters more fully. The story was interesting at points and I found myself rooting for Abilene to find the answers she was seeking, but this book will not find its way to my "re-read" pile.
Great historical fiction. It's easy to connect with this world from the early 1900s. It shows that history can be interesting and some things don't change. Family, friends and community will always be important.
This book kept me reading. You want to know what happened in Manifest in 1918 as well as what happened in 1936. Good story and would recommend it to fourth grade through middle school students to adults who enjoy reading light books.