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Moon Over Manifestby Clare Vanderpool
2011 Newberry Award
Synopses & Reviews
In West of the Moon, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Margi Preus expertly weaves original fiction with myth and folktale to tell the story of Astri, a young Norwegian girl desperate to join her father in America.
After being separated from her sister and sold to a cruel goat farmer, Astri makes a daring escape. She quickly retrieves her little sister, and, armed with a troll treasure, a book of spells and curses, and a possibly magic hairbrush, they set off for America. With a mysterious companion in tow and the malevolent andldquo;goatmanandrdquo; in pursuit, the girls head over the Norwegian mountains, through field and forest, and in and out of folktales and dreams as they steadily make their way east of the sun and west of the moon.
Praise for West of the Moon
FIVE STARRED REVIEWS
andquot;Like dun silk shot thought with gold, Preus interweaves the mesmerizing tale of Astriandrsquo;s treacherous and harrowing mid-nineteenth-century emigration to America with bewitching tales of magic. A fascinating authorandrsquo;s note only adds to the wonder.andquot;
--Booklist, starred review
andquot;Norwegian history, fiction and folklore intertwine seamlessly in this lively, fantastical adventure and moving coming-of-age story.andquot;
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
andquot;Enthralling and unflinching, this historical tale resonates with mythical undertones that will linger with readers after the final page is turned.andquot;
--School Library Journal, starred review
andquot;Astri is like a girl out of a fairy tale, and the native folktales that Preus weaves through the narrative serve as guides, lessons, and inspiration for her.andquot;
--Publishers Weekly, starred review
andquot;Several Norwegian folktales are seamlessly integrated into the fast-paced, lyrically narrated story, which features a protagonist as stalwart and fearless as any fairy-tale hero.andquot;
--The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
andquot;Itandrsquo;s Astriandrsquo;s voice, however, that is most appealing: her direct, no-nonsense narration has a sharp bite, yet it also reveals the vulnerable young girl whoandrsquo;s willing to continue to fight but is nonetheless exhausted by the weight of her struggle. The chapters have an episodic structure that makes this an ideal choice for readaloud or storytelling adaptations, while the mix of folklore, fact, and fantasy will please fans of Edith Patouandrsquo;s East.andquot;
--The Bulletin of The Center for Childrenandrsquo;s Books
"Set in 1936, this memorable coming-of-age story follows 12-year-old Abilene Tucker's unusual summer in her father's hometown of Manifest, Kans., while he's away on a railroad job. Having had an itinerant upbringing, Abilene is eager to connect to her father's childhood, a goal that proves difficult. The immigrant town has become rundown, but is populated with well-developed, idiosyncratic characters and has a dynamic past involving the KKK, an influenza scare, and a bootlegging operation. Manifest's history emerges in stories recounted by Miss Sadie (a Hungarian medium) and in news columns written in 1917 by Hattie Mae Harper, 'Reporter About Town.' With new friends Lettie and Ruthanne, Abilene pieces together the past, coming to understand, as Miss Sadie says, that 'maybe what you're looking for is not so much the mark your daddy made on this town, but the mark the town made on your daddy.' Witty, bold, and curious, Abilene is as unforgettable as the other residents of Manifest, and the variety of voices allows the town's small mysteries to bloom. Replete with historical details and surprises, Vanderpool's debut delights, while giving insight into family and community. Ages 9 — 12. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
“Some people won’t believe any of this story. You might be one of them. But every single word is true. Tony DiMarco does catch a murderer, solve a mystery, and find a treasure—all in the first few days after he moves, unexpectedly, to 13 Hangmen’s Court in Boston. The fact that he also turns thirteen at the same time is not a coincidence.”
So begins the story of Tony and his friends—five 13-year-old boys, all of whom are living in the same house in the same attic bedroom but at different times in history! None are ghosts, all are flesh and blood, and somehow all have come together in the attic room, visible only to one another. And all are somehow linked to a murder, a mystery, and a treasure.
Praise for 13 Hangmen
"Fascinating tale. Ghostly fun in old Boston."
"The book’s design nicely differentiates Tony’s story, set in 2009, from the past narratives. Recommend this engaging historical mystery to readers who devoured Dan Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventures series and are ready for a longer, more complex adventure."
"Corriveau merrily ransacks historical episodes and figures (e.g., the Great Molasses Flood, the Underground Railroad, Boston mayor John F. “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald) and spins, twists, and manipulates their stories to advance the DiMarco family mystery. The result is a novel that agilely balances humor and tension."
--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This is an exceptionally good story, with a wry, humorous tone that has particular boy appeal. It covers baseball, history, sibling rivalry, girls, and mystery, and folds in the space-time continuum."
--School Library Journal
and#160;In this action-packed adventure and coming-of-age story that finely weaves fact and fiction, thirteen-year-old Ming lives in a small village in Maoist China in the 1970s. His father is convinced that Emperor Qinand#8217;s tomband#151;and the life-size terra-cottaand#160;army created to serve and protect the emperor in the afterlifeand#151;lies hidden in the hills around them. But if Mingand#8217;s father doesnand#8217;t prove it soon, the townand#8217;s Political Officer willand#160;condemn him to the brutal labor camps. From the stories of a terra-cotta soldier who has survived through the centuries, Ming learns the history of Emperor Qin, known for building the Great Wall of China, and how and why the terra-cotta soldiers came to be. As their unlikely friendship develops, Ming experiences the mysterious tomb firsthand, braving deadly traps and witnessing the terra-cotta army in action. Most importantly, he comes to see how he can save both the terra-cotta soldiers and his father from the corrupt Political Officer and his Communist cronies.
The book is illustrated with photographs of Communist Chinese village life in the 1970s, the Great Wall, and, of course, the excavated tomb with its many terra-cotta soldiers.and#160;It also features a special recipe from the story.
Praise for Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier
"Historical photos and Indiana Jonesand#150;style adventure enrich this tale of an unusual meeting between the Qin Dynasty and the 20th century."
"Despite the hardships, both courageous characters work to uphold their respective duties: Shi to protect the tomb and Ming to protect the cultural legacy of Chinaand#8217;s people. With archival art, recipes, and end notes, this title is sure to be a hit in the classroom."
About the Author
Moon Over Manifest, Clare Vanderpool’s first novel, is set in the fictional small town of Manifest, Kansas, which is based on the real southeastern Kansas town of Frontenac, home of both of her maternal grandparents. Drawing on stories she heard as a child, along with research in town newspapers, yearbooks, and graveyards, Clare found a rich and colorful history for her story. Clare lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband and their four children.
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