I love to read…always have, always will.
But for the last six years the majority of books that I read are the ones my kids pick out. Now I’m not saying that’s at all bad. It just makes for interesting conversation when another adult asks you about the latest book you’ve read or “Eat, Pray, Love” is all the rage on Oprah and you can barely recognize what the cover looks like.
So in 2011 I vowed that I would start whittling away at the list of “books I’d love to read” and the stacks lining my bookshelf (gathering dust) and start making time to read something I picked out just for myself. I know it isn’t going to be an easy challenge because I’m the type of reader who gets so wrapped up in what she’s reading that she sneaks every spare moment (like sitting in the car waiting to pick up my son from school) to read just one more paragraph.
But I am pleased to report that I have managed to read three books so far in the new year.
They are…in a particular order…
Front Page Face Off by Jo Whittemore
The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
and Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
(OK, so I never said anything about reading books for adults! These are just ones I can’t read out loud to my kindergartner and three-year-old.)
Anyway, I enjoyed all three books but I must say that I am simply blown away by the story Ms. Vanderpool has created in “Moon Over Manifest.” This books is truly magnificent and worthy of the recently awarded 2011 Newbery Award.
It tells the story of 12-year-old Abilene Tucker who in 1936 arrives in the town of Manifest, Kansas by jumping from the back of a train. But in telling Abilene’s story this book intertwines the stories and lives of all the people of Manifest–past and present. There is a whole host of colorful and endearing characters. There’s mystery and adventure and history all rolled into one. I chuckled as I read. I marveled at Clare Vanderpool’s story weaving. And I cried because I could feel the pain and sadness of the characters.
When I finished the book (really just a few minutes ago…I wanted to shout from the rooftops about its wonderfulness!) I had that smile on my face of satisfaction. That reading this book…knowing these characters and their stories…has made my life richer.
I actually read the book on my iPhone (a new endeavor we can address another time here) through kobo. And I’ll be going to the bookstore later this week to buy a hard copy. This is a book I want to have on my bookshelf for when my kiddos are old enough to read the books they’ve chosen for themselves.
Even if you wouldn’t normally chose a book written for children to add to your “must read” list, “Moon Over Manifest” should be an exception.
It is an excpetional read!