Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Historical fiction for older elementary children, this book is set in 1936 with a back story that takes place during World War I. Twelve-year-old Abilene is left by her father to stay with a friend of his in his hometown of Manifest, Missouri. It is the Depression and times are tough, but Abilene can’t understand why her father went off without her. Over the course of the summer, Abilene and her friends investigate a mystery involving a box of keepsakes and old letters. Through this investigation, she uncovers truths about her father and helps the town’s residents to heal over past hurts that have been lingering for years. Lovely writing and memorable characters really bring this book to life. It won the Newbery Medal in 2011.