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Claire Vanderpool

Clare Vanderpool

Navigating Early book cover

Moon Over Manifest book cover

L'indimenticabile estate di Abilene Tucker book cover













Clare Vanderpool was born in Wichita in 1964. If you ask anyone who knows her, they will tell you that she has a very strong connection to place.  She lives in Wichita, Kansas, about four blocks from where she grew up, in an old neighborhood called College Hill.  From her house she can walk to her parents' house, her sister's house, the school she went to and where her kids also attended, the pool, the sledding hill, and two bookstores!
     She grew up reading many wonderful books in a lot of strange places.  Books like Harold and the Purple Crayon, Anne of Green Gables, and Island of the Blue Dolphins in places like dressing rooms, the bathroom, and church.  (Like you never read a book in church.)
     While she does have a college degree in English and Elementary Education, her best education has come from reading, listening to family stories, looking out the car window on road trips, pretending to be pirates with her brother, and just plain imagining.
     Besides writing she likes to go to the pool with her kids, browse at the bookstore, have a neighbor over for tea, watch re-runs of Monk, have a lot of kids at her house, and go out for dinner with her husband.  Life is good.

---From Clare's website

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Bibliography ( - housed in Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection)  



*Printz Honor Award (2014) - Navigating Early
Kansas Notable Book Selection (2014) - Navigating Early
*John Newbery Medal Winner (2011) - Moon Over Manifest
*Kansas Notable Book Selection (2011) - Moon Over Manifest
*Best Children's Book of the Year by Midwest Bookseller's Association (2011) - Moon Over Manifest
*New York Times Bestsellers - Moon Over Manifest and Navigating Early

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Writing Samples  

---From Moon Over Manifest p. 1

            The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby.  I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I knew only from stories.  The one just outside of town with big blue letters:  MANIFEST:  A TOWN WITH A RICH PAST AND A BRIGHT FUTURE.
            I thought about my daddy, Gideon Tucker.  He does his best talking in stories, but in recent weeks, those had become few and far between.  So on the occasion when he’d say to me, “Abilene, did I ever tell you ‘bout the time…?”  I’d get all quiet and listen real hard.  Mostly he’d tell stories about Manifest, the town where he’d lived once upon a time.


 ---From Navigating Early p. 126

            “How come Kansas doesn’t have any color?”
            “We have color.” 
            “No you don’t.” 
            “Yes, we—“  Oh, not that again.  “What makes you think we don’t have color?”
            “Because in The Wizard of Oz, Kansas is all in black and white and grays.  There’s no color until Dorothy gets to Oz.”
            “Oh,” I laughed.  “That’s only in the movies.  Kansas has plenty of color.  Especially in the fall.”  I allowed the memory of it to draw me back.  “The sky is a beautiful blue.”
            “Like the ocean?”
            “Kind of.  My mom says if the world ever got turned upside down, you could just dive right into the sky and swim in it.  And the wheat just before harvest is a golden blanket of waves and ripples.”
            “That’s nice.  What does it sound like:”
            “It’s just waving wheat.  It doesn’t make any noise.”  But then I thought about it.  “Well, I guess if you listen really hard, it makes a shooshing sound.”
            What if you listened harder?”
           “If I listened harder”—I closed my eyes as I kept rowing— “I suppose it would sound kind of happy and full, like Benny Goodman and his band playing ‘In the Mood.’  It would be music you’d want to dance to.”  I kept my eyes closed, trusting Early to guide me if I started rowing off course.         


---From Navigating Early p. 251

            The great black bear, awesome as Ursa Major, wagged her head from side to side, and her bellow shook the nearby passage of the Appalachian Trail.  I say her, but the truth is we had no way to tell.  There were no female markings.  No cubs in sight.  But I knew.  I knew her like I knew my own mother.  It was in her bearing—her absolute authority over us two boys locked in her gaze.  And it was in her unwavering will to keep us alive.
            She raised her body upright, to her full height.  MacScott shot again, hitting the dirt just in front of the bear’s massive paws.  He must’ve been shaken—he’d missed.  He cocked the gun on more time, took careful aim, and pulled the trigger.  It only clicked.  Empty.  

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Clare’s website

Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau

Interview with Washington Post (2011)

Interview with Literary Mama (2011)

Book Review by Kirkus

The Horn Book article

Prezi article

Banner interview (2013)

Kansas Notable Books of 2011


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