I was in the room when the Newbery Award winner was announced this year. With my head filled with my favorites from the year, I was stunned into silence when I heard this title booming across the room. I had never heard of it. What was the committee thinking? I left feeling let down and disappointed sure that this title I had not picked up would be a Newbery disappointment. Still, I had to read the winner, so I put my new Kindle to use and downloaded the title on the spot and started to read. I'll be the first to admit I could not have been more wrong. This is a fabulous title - perhaps my favorite winner in decades. I love this many-leveled tale of 12-year old Abilene Tucker who is sent by her roaming father to live with his old friend in Manifest, Kansas in 1936. There, Abilene longs for stories of her father's youth, longs for a connection to the town, and longs to be reunited with the man she so loves. The author deftly merges Abilene's story with the history of the town and the mystery of her father. In these pages, readers will find a real winner - not to be missed!