Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Literary Tourism - Kansas

And back to the Midwest we go.  I used the website that I like to see what it offered for Kansas, but didn't get very far.  The Wizard of Oz takes place in more of a fantasy land than the state.  Then I remembered Sarah, Plain and Tall.  I was almost positive it took place in Kansas.  I reread it and discovered that it never actually mentions the state it takes place in.

I googled a few lists and found a bunch of rural horror novels which are seriously not my thing.  Then I found a list reminding me that, indeed, I had read a book set in Kansas.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool - Because I like historical fiction I enjoyed this book.  I don't think I would have liked it otherwise.  It tells the story of Abilene who is sent to Manifest, Kansas to live with her father's friends.  Flashbacks and a little mystery help intertwine Abilene's and her father's stories.  This is my review from Goodreads a couple years agao.

"This was a lovely historical fiction story of how a girl finds home and family. It expertly weaves the stories of father and daughter together. Abilene has a very strong voice and the flashbacks were well put together and emotional. While the outset of the story did not seem unique, many of the plot elements made this story unusual for children's literature. My one complaint is that it was very slow. It took me forever to read."

Honorable Mention 

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlin - While a number of websites list the setting of this book in Kansas, it is never explicitly stated in this book.  It may be revealed in the sequels, but I don't remember.  It deserves mention because I LOVE THIS BOOK.  I read it for the first time in third grade and the teacher who shared it with us brought it to life.  I think I felt connected to Sarah because she is originally from Maine.  It's a simple story about finding family and love.  An adult could easily read it in one sitting.  But it is packed full of emotion and meaning and strong characters.  I'm gushing I know, but seriously everyone should read this book.

"I just know that mommy's going to make me read this book."

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