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Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, Newbery Medal, Great Depression, WWI

Kids Wings
Grade Levels
6th - 9th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
103 including an Interactive Jeopardy-type game
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Kids Wings


12-year-old Abilene Tucker wonders why her father put her on a train by herself to travel to the place where he grew up, but where she has never been, a Missouri town called Manifest. Her many questions about his past swirl in her head, but she still finds comfort in the memory of the stories he told. Over the summer of 1936, Abilene will piece together the puzzle of the life of her daddy, Gideon Tucker.

When her train nears the town, she jumps off to get a secret view of the person who is expecting her, Reverend Shady Howard. The town, in the vice of the Great Depression, seems to be sitting upon secrets, her father's secrets, but friendly enough. There is the sadness of drought and poverty that mutes its voices, but it is, nevertheless, more friendly to strangers in 1936 than it was in 1918 when it was filled with coal-mining immigrants.

Information about Manifest and those who lived there comes to Abilene through narrative layers: newspaper articles from 1917 and 1918, stories told by a fortune-teller, and 18-year old letters from a soldier fighting in World War I.

Making friends, Abilene discovers a local mystery and begins a summerlong spy hunt that uncovers secrets that are the key to restoring the residents' faith in a bright future and revealing the truth about the sadness binding her own father.

This beautifully told story weaves together happiness and sadness of the Great Depression along with the influence of the events of World War I. Well-developed characters, time, and place described through rich language, carry the reader back in time when bootlegging, prejudice, murder, war, friendship, and compassion weave a story that gently transforms the reader into a participant. Intricate details masterfully weave multiple stories together to define literary treasure!

The Kids Wings Literature Guide written by Z.J Humbach and Suzy Red comes to you in both PowerPoint and PDF formats. The Activities include:

Table of Contents

Pre-Reading Discussion Cards

Anticipation Guide

Preparing Your Intellectual Tools: Dialectical Journal

2 -Page Readers’ Theater Introduction

Vocabulary List

Your Character Assignment (Including Who Am I; Imagine This; In My Time; My Character Study, Compare Characters)

Making Connections: Before Reading Quick Writes and Predict/Read/Confirm Chapter Questions

Where in the World? Map Study

Crossword Puzzle--Word Sleuth

Multiple Choice and Short Answer Comprehension Activities

Faulty Logic

You're the Editor

Fireworks For Sale

Life Lesson

The Spy Map

True/False Check up

Take a Second Look, Analyzing Assumptions

Dollars and Cents

An Author's Tricks of the Trade

Numerous Comprehension Checks

Comparing Then and Now--Venn Diagram Pages

Research: Historical Happenings

Writing Prompts

Answer Keys

Plus, an interactive Jeopardy-type game in PowerPoint format!


PLEASE NOTE: Kids Wings materials are written by highly experienced master teachers. We hire professional proof readers who are also master educators. We do our best to be sure each of our literature guides is top quality and error free, and classroom tested, but if you think we can do better, we welcome your input. If you find an error in our materials, please email us at suzy@suzyred.com so we can make corrections. After it is revised, we will invite you to download a newly polished copy and will probably attach a surprise to our reply as a thank-you!

If you like our materials, we would be very grateful if you would follow us, give us some stars, and let us and others know!

Total Pages
103 including an Interactive Jeopardy-type game
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 months
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