Authors of award-winning children’s novels will be visiting Kansas at two different events. The Kansas Book Festival will be held at the Kansas Museum of History on Saturday, September 24, 2011 and features Kansas authors of books for children and adults. Clare Vanderpool, the winner of the 2011 Newbery Medal for children’s fiction for her book Moon Over Manifest, will be a guest speaker at this event.
“Moon Over Manifest” by Clare Vanderpool, Delacorte Press, 2010, 351 pages. Ages 9 and up.
Manifest, Kansas, a fictional town based on the real town of Frontenac, Kansas, is Abilene Tucker’s new home for the summer. Although she would rather be with her father, Abilene decides to become friends with two young girls who agree to help her solve the mystery of the box full of trinkets she found under the floorboard. Set during the 1930’s, readers find a story within the story, as one of the townsfolk befriends Abilene and tells her adventure stories about two older boys from almost 20 years ago. Through these stories and the girls’ sleuthing, Abilene begins to piece together the mystery of the trinkets and some mysteries about her own life.
The William Allen White Children’s Book Award, voted on each year by the school children of Kansas, is given to one children’s book for grades 3-5 and one for grades 6-8. This year’s awards ceremony will be held at Emporia State University on Saturday, September 24, where the award winning authors will be on hand to sign copies of their books and to speak at the ceremony.
“Eleven” by Patricia Reilly Giff, Yearling, 2009, 179 pages. Ages 9-12.
On the night before his eleventh birthday, Sam sneaks up into the attic in search of the secret hiding place for his birthday present. Instead, Sam finds a box of memorabilia which leads him to question his connection to the only family and friends he has ever known. Through the help of a new friend, Sam pieces together the story of the sailboat, the sweater, and the grandfather who raised him.
“The Boy Who Dared” by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Scholastic, 2008, 192 pages. Ages 9-12.
Helmuth is a boy of seventeen, imprisoned by the Nazis, and awaiting his execution. Flashbacks take the reader through the series of personal choices and events which brought Helmuth to this treacherous point. Although historical fiction, this story is based on the life of a German boy who, along with his family and friends, lived during a time of horrendous persecution, violence, and stifling of civil liberties; yet Helmuth spoke out for the truth.