I read Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool this weekend. It won the Newbery a few years ago, and the title keeps appearing on book suggestion lists I receive, so I had it in my pile of to-reads. There are multiple characters and flashbacks, so you have to stay on your reading toes (and probably be at least a 6th or 7th grader). It has a style and setting that remind me of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters also came to mind while I read.
The main character, Abilene Tucker, is sent to live with a family friend in a small town during the Depression. The town is chock full of quirky characters who are more interesting to me than Abilene. The minor characters are the reason I like the book. It took several chapters before the story grabbed me, but I loved the twist at the end during the courthouse scene– it was worth the wait.
Moon Over Manifest kick-started a new list of books that are set in small towns with memorable side characters. Do you ever read books and get caught up with the stories of the extra characters more than the protagonist? What other books have great quirky characters?
- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
- A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff
- A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
- Danny Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
- Hound Dog True by Linda Urban
- Pie by Sarah Weeks
- Remarkable by Lizzie K. Foley
- Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
- The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
- Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm