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Wichita author Clare Vanderpool calls Newbery Medal "great honor"

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Jan. 10, 2011, at 11 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, at 11:52 p.m.

WICHITA — Wichita author Clare Vanderpool won the John Newbery Medal for children's literature today.

The Newbery, given by the American Library Association, is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

"There are a lot of good books out there, so for mine to be selected in this way is a great honor," said Vanderpool, who lives in College Hill with her husband and four children.

Vanderpool won the award for her first book, "Moon Over Manifest." The story, set in southeast Kansas, is about a young girl named Abilene who has never stayed in the same place for too long.

Abilene is on the road with her father. He sends her to Manifest, Kansas, while he works a railroad job. There she makes friends and uncovers stories about the town, all while trying to determine whether her father is coming back.

"I have a very clear idea of what home is for me," Vanderpool said. "It's all about the neighbors, the stories you remember and your experiences from one place.

"I started to wonder what home would be for a girl who's lived on the road and never had the experience of living on one place for too long."

According to the American Library Association's website, the Newbery Award was the first children's book award in history. It is the most well known children's book award in the country.

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