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The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I'd seen only in Gideon's stories: Manifest - a town with a rich past and a bright future.

Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.

Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it's just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to "Leave Well Enough Alone."

Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest's history is full of colorful and shadowy characters - and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest's secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.

Powerful in its simplicity and rich in historical detail, Clare Vanderpool's debut is a gripping story of loss and redemption.

About the Author

Clare Vanderpool

Clare Vanderpool is the author of Newbery Medal winner "Moon Over Manifest" and Printz Honor book "Navigating Early. She has lived in one zip code but has traveled through many others. As a kid she went on summer trips with her family in a Holiday Rambler travel trailer, touring every state in the continental U.S. On these trips Clare heeded her mother's advice to, "Look up!" and "Pay attention." Being a lifelong observer has provided much of the inspiration for voice, place, and characters in her books. She still lives in she same Kansas zip code with her husband and their four children. To learn more log onto www.clarevanderpool.com.

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