It falls into the rare category of "Books that make me cry"
and less rare, "Books that make me laugh."
Also my favorite category, "Good Historical Fiction."
Clare Vanderpool is a first-time author, and she snagged the 2011 Newbery Medal with this story.
Abilene Tucker is the female main character, but happily male readers have an equally captivating main character in Jinx. I was pulled right in when 12-year-old Abilene is sent, alone, to Manifest, Kansas by her father. What leads a man to abandon his daughter like that? Thus the colorful and secretive story that is wound both from the past (Jinx's 1918) and the present (Abilene's 1936). It was the perfect "next book" for me, jumping right back into America's fascinating Immigrant History and the amazing stories that have shaped America's Heartland. If you read one book this year, let it be this one.
How did I find it?
Her review sums it up nicely.
She blew briefly into Boston and then left for Austin.
Lucky for me, I made her acquaintance in between, and she remains a go-to source for book selections.
P.S. Reserve your library's copy TODAY! And if they don't have one yet, insist that they purchase it.