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Moon Over Manifest
by Clare Vanderpool
Moon Over Manifest Chapters 4-5 Summary
Chapter 4 First Morning, May 28, 1936 Hey, it's Abilene's first day of school. Hey, it's Abilene's last day of school, too. Shady has made her some (only slightly burnt) breakfast, which makes her feel like she's at a fancy hotel. She eats next to him as he works on fixing Hattie Mae's typewriter, and they trade some totally corny puns about the letters on the broken keys. Then she heads out to school. Chapter 5 Sacred Heart of the Holy Redeemer Elementary School, May 28, 1936 Abilene's got a theory about schools. She's been in and out of so many that she feels like she knows what the kids here will be like before she even meets them. She says kids are universals. Say what? It's like, there are always certain types of kids in each class, you know? The snobby ones, the poor ones, the nice ones… The kids start in on her right away, asking if she's an orphan. Her response? She tells them that her mom's in a better place. Of course, they all think that she died, but that's just Abilene's way of saying she ran off and left her and her dad to join a dance troupe in New Orleans. A better place, eh? But then she tells them she has a daddy, and that he's just sent her here for the summer. Some kids—Lettie, Ruthanne, and Billy—want to get to know her, but one of those pesky universals—a snobby snob named Charlotte—starts snobbing it up. She doesn't want to talk to someone who lives in a saloon right nearby Miss Sadie's Divining Parlor. So that's why that gate said Perdition. It belongs to a fortune teller. Suddenly, the teacher, Sister Redempta, comes in. She gives out everyone's report cards and then gives Abilene a summertime assignment. Awww man. She's supposed to write a story, and Sister asks for some volunteers from the class to help her out. (Well, that's not so bad…) You know how everyone avoids eye contact with a teacher when she asks for volunteers? Well, Lettie brushes away a fly, so that gets her noticed. Then Ruthanne laughs at her, and she wins the job of second volunteer. Ha. Finally, snobby Charlotte offers to help her… get some nicer clothes. Sister tells her not to bother. As Abilene puts it, "Snooty rich girl. A universal" (5.53).
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