*Award Winner- Won the John Newbery Medal
Abilene Tucker has traveled the rails with her father, from job to job, town to town all of her twelve years. Then she develops an infection from a cut. For her safety, her father sends her on a train to the town, Manifest. Her father had lived in this town during his youth and was now entrusting her to a man named Shady whom he trusts and respects. Abilene feels abandoned but soon pursues investigating what her father was like in the 1917-1918's. Miss Sadie, the town's "diviner", shares stories with Abilene from that time period about two boys named Ned and Jinx, but never does she mention her father's name.
Lots of rich historical contexts and events. The author does a superb job of developing a setting (based on her family's home town in southeast Kansas) and creating intriguing characters.
This story really captured me.
Strategies: check for understanding/monitoring (the author switches back and forth between time periods-1917 and the current story time 1936); predicting; inferring
*Highly recommend but read the "points to discuss" below.
Points to discuss: World War I, speakeasies/making illegal alcohol; Jinx thinks he killed a man by accident; one phrase where one infers swearing "Get the "l" out of here."; Miss Sadie claims to be a diviner (but really she is observant and cares for people).
Guided Reading Level: U (5th)
*Highly recommend for junior high students.
-Borrowed from the library.