Moon Over Manifest by Claire Vanderpool is a good book–winning the Newbery Medal for 2011, it has to be, right?–but the last four chapters are what take the cake. More than just tying up the loose plot threads, these chapters delve deep into what home means and the importance of story in creating a sense of belonging.
With a large cast of characters, the list at the front of the book is essential, separating the heroes of 1918 and 1936, the two time periods in which the story is told. Standout characters include Shady, a bootlegging pastor, and Miss Sadie, a diviner who lives on the outskirts of society at the end of “The Road to Perdition”.
For a discussion guide, try http://www.midwestbooksellers.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/MoonManifest_MidCon_ReadGd_WEB.pdf and to look up more information on Kansas, go to http://www.50states.com/kansas.htm.