Moon Over Manifest Wins 2011 Newbery Medal for First Time Novelist, Clare Vanderpool   2 comments

Moon Over Manifest, the debut novel by Clare Vanderpool, just won the Newbery Medal.  According to the website for Newbery, “[the medal] is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”

From the description on Clare’s site about the book:

Eleven-year-old Abilene Tucker, the only daughter of a drifter, and therefore a drifter in her own right, has just arrived in Manifest, Kansas during the Depression while her father works a railroad job back in Iowa.  Having heard her father, Gideon’s stories of the town in its 1918 hey-day, Abilene looks for the sign with big blue letters but finds the sign shot up so bad, all that was left read: “Manifest – A town with a past.”   She is disappointed to find that Manifest is just dingy and dried up like most other towns.  But her disappointment quickly turns to intrigue when she discovers a hidden cigar box that contains old letters, a collection of mementos, and mention of a spy known as The Rattler.

Abilene and her friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, embark on an honest to goodness spyhunt that ends up with someone leaving a note on their treehouse cautioning them to Leave Well Enough Alone.  But Abilene sets caution aside when she ventures down the mysterious Path to Perdition and ends up at Miss Sadie’s Divining Parlor.  Abilene isn’t sure if the Hungarian woman is really a diviner or just an old woman who tells stories of the past.  But through Miss Sadie’s stories, Abilene searches for the boy her father once was and the meaning of home.

Clare is a mother of four children.  The book took five years to write, and now she’s in the New York Times talking about it.

“Ms. Vanderpool, the Newbery winner, said she wrote “Moon Over Manifest” over five years, beginning in 2001, stealing bits of time while raising her four children.

“I would write during nap times, during ‘Sesame Street,’ that kind of stuff,” said Ms. Vanderpool, 46, by telephone from her home in Wichita, Kan., where she was born and reared. “It was just a nice little escape, a nice hobby. Then fortunately this year it got published.”

This particular Newbery winner means a lot to me because Clare is my friend.

I told Clare that I’d be cashing in all my “I knew her when” chips now!   Here I was scanning the New York Times and saw that the Newbery Medal was out, and WHOP!  I jumped up from the couch and said, “The NEWBERY!  SHE WON THE NEWBERY!!”

I met Clare at the Milton Center writing workshops sponsored by Newman College, now Newman University, back in 1996.   We were both working on novels and just trying to find their directions.  The workshop was made up of teachers and area writers, usually a buttload of journalists, me the science fiction writer, and Clare, one of two children’s writers.  Everyone worked on some writing project and I think we looked at one or two works a week.  She was working on a novel set in Ireland.  She loved kids’ books.  I remember her bringing in this book about a boy wizard and saying, “This is really, really good.”  She was into Rowling before any of us knew who Rowling was.  She knew it would go places.

There’s a bookstore, Watermark Books, on the East side of Wichita that she and I would go to and chat and have coffee.  They serve sandwiches and coffee, and you can walk into the bookstore and browse around.  We were in a young adult book club and each got to choose a book for the others to read.  She made me read a kid’s novel about Poland–The Trumpeter of Krakow.  It was the 1929 Newberry Award winner.  I don’t remember what I made her read, but I liked the Trumpeter of Krakow.

We traded chapters of our novels back and forth and she read and critiqued my chapters about talking polar bears in West Texas (she was very open-minded), and I hers about Ireland.  I left Wichita in 1999.  I don’t doubt that the novel she worked on then will be published one day too.  I value her as a friend and critic.  She saw what my chapters needed.  And she was thorough.  And she always told me what her reading experience was like when she read my chapter.

I saw her again when I went through Wichita on my way up to Canada to settle in 2007.  We had coffee and we talked about everything that had happened since we last saw each other, sitting outside at a table at Watermark.   I’d come out to her–only a few people at that time knew.  She was encouraging.  She called me once here in Whitehorse to tell me that she’d sold her book to Random House, and she sent me a beautiful postcard of the October book launch, “not that I’m expecting you to make it–it’s a long way.”  She held it in Watermark Books, where we used to read other people’s cool books.  I sent an email the night of the launch, the best I could do.  (Must work on teleportation device this month…)

It’s wonderful that Clare won the 2011 Newbery Medal.  She’s an awesome writer and a great ambassador for Newbery.  Newberys get read in schools.  I remember lots of Newbery books growing up because our teachers read them out loud to us.  In fact, libraries had bookmarks with the Newberys from every year on them.

Look at these books, Clare.  Look at them.  (Yeah, I’m talking to you!)

Newbery Medal Winners, 1922 – Present (from the Newbery Medal Site)

2010: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)
2009: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Dave McKean (HarperCollins)
2008: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick)
2007: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illus. by Matt Phelan (Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson)
2006: Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins)
2005: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
2004: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press)
2003: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (Hyperion Books for Children)
2002: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park(Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin)
2001: A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck (Dial)
2000: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Delacorte)
1999: Holes by Louis Sachar (Frances Foster)
1998: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (Scholastic)
1997: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (Jean Karl/Atheneum)
1996: The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman (Clarion)
1995: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (HarperCollins)
1994: The Giver by Lois Lowry(Houghton)
1993: Missing May by Cynthia Rylant (Jackson/Orchard)
1992: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Atheneum)
1991: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (Little, Brown)
1990: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Houghton)
1989: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman (Harper)
1988: Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman (Clarion)
1987: The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (Greenwillow)
1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (Harper)
1985: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (Greenwillow)
1984: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (Morrow)
1983: Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt (Atheneum)
1982: A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard (Harcourt)
1981: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)
1980: A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos (Scribner)
1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Dutton)
1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)
1977: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (Dial)
1976: The Grey King by Susan Cooper (McElderry/Atheneum)
1975: M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton (Macmillan)
1974: The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox (Bradbury)
1973: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (Harper)
1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien (Atheneum)
1971: Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars (Viking)
1970: Sounder by William H. Armstrong (Harper)
1969: The High King by Lloyd Alexander (Holt)
1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (Atheneum)
1967: Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt (Follett)
1966: I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino (Farrar)
1965: Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska (Atheneum)
1964: It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville (Harper)
1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (Farrar)
1962: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton)
1961: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (Houghton)
1960: Onion John by Joseph Krumgold (Crowell)
1959: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton)
1958: Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith (Crowell)
1957: Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen (Harcourt)
1956: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (Houghton)
1955: The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong (Harper)
1954: …And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold (Crowell)
1953: Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark (Viking)
1952: Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (Harcourt)
1951: Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (Dutton)
1950: The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli (Doubleday)
1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (Rand McNally)
1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois (Viking)
1947: Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey (Viking)
1946: Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski (Lippincott)
1945: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson (Viking)
1944: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (Houghton)
1943: Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray (Viking)
1942: The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds (Dodd)
1941: Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry (Macmillan)
1940: Daniel Boone by James Daugherty (Viking)
1939: Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright (Rinehart)
1938: The White Stag by Kate Seredy (Viking)
1937: Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer (Viking)
1936: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink (Macmillan)
1935: Dobry by Monica Shannon (Viking)
1934: Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women by Cornelia Meigs (Little, Brown)
1933: Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis (Winston)
1932: Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer (Longmans)
1931: The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth (Macmillan)
1930: Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field (Macmillan)
1929: The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly (Macmillan)
1928: Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji (Dutton)
1927: Smoky, the Cowhorse by Will James (Scribner)
1926: Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman (Dutton)
1925: Tales from Silver Lands by Charles Finger (Doubleday)
1924: The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes (Little, Brown)
1923: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (Stokes)
1922: The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon (Liveright)

________

Some of these books were my FAVORITE books growing up:  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Bridge to Terabithia, Jacob Have I Loved, The Door in the Wall, The High King, The Giver, A Wrinkle in Time, Julie of the Wolves, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Rabbit Hill, and the Voyages of Doctor Dolittle.  And now one of my favorite people, and good friends, gets to be placed at the TOP of that list of great books.

Congratulations, Clare!  While raising four kids, you wrote, and you stayed writing, and you stuck it out.  You started one novel and you wrote for five years, and then tried to get it published and it took you four more years.  Today, for that hard work, you are this year’s most “distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”  Ain’t that a hoot!

Schools will be reading you.  Mothers and book clubs this year will be sitting around talking about your book, and maybe, when their kids are napping, they’ll be tapping away at a sweet novel of their own.

For more about Moon Over Manifest, visit Clare’s site (if you go soon, you’ll catch her before she puts up the Newbery!)

2 responses to “Moon Over Manifest Wins 2011 Newbery Medal for First Time Novelist, Clare Vanderpool

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. That’s what is so awesome about writers in general: When someone we know gets an award, we are all stoked about their success. And now that I know that Clare is your friend, I feel stoked by proxy. I am going to help celebrate her success in our most time honored tradition: I’ll buy her book and read it!

  2. DASHCOM websites are springing up throughout
    the world. Instant availability is precisely what is triggering ebook piracy
    too. Body Language is nonverbal, usually unconscious,
    communication by using postures, gestures, and facial expressions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 69 other followers

%d bloggers like this: