Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
2011 Winner of the Newbery Award
Recommended for the 2012-2013 Pikes Peak Area Battle of the Books List
From the back cover: The air in Miss Sadie’s parlor was hot and thick. I thought that sitting on one of those red velvety couches chock-full of fringy pillows was probably akin to suffocating. I took a deep breath and ventured around the room.
The double doors of the parlor whooshed open. A large fleshy woman stood before me in full regalia. Her eyes were all made up; her earrings and bracelets jangled. The sign in the window said Miss Sadie was a medium. From the look of her, I’d have said that was a bit wistful.
Thinking she hadn’t seen me, I turned to make a clean getaway.
“Sit down,” she said, her voice thick and savory, like goulash. She put her hands flat on the table. “Let us see if today the spirits are willing to speak.” Suddenly, it became clear: A diviner. A medium. This woman was a fortune-teller and a spirit conjurer. If you believed in that sort of thing.
What I liked about the book: This was an ok story. I liked the characters well enough, but I just didn’t think it was special enough to be a Newbery. In the last five years or so, I’ve had a hard time seeing what the committee members see in their selection.
What I didn’t like about the book: The story drug on on a little too long. There wasn’t enough excitement in the story to keep my interest for the entire book and I had to force myself to finish. If it had not won the Newbery I wouldn’t have bothered to finish it.
AR Level: 5.3
Recommended for 4th Grade and up.
Mrs. Archer’s (aka Booklady) rating: 3 of 5.