Books by Carolyn MacCullough

Carolyn MacCullough’s first book, Falling Through Darkness, praised as “a promising debut” by The Horn Book, was a New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age. In its starred review of Stealing Henry, Booklist noted the “flawless” dialogue. She liv

ALWAYS A WITCH by Carolyn MacCullough
Released: Aug. 1, 2011

"Readers unfamiliar with the first book should check it out before they tackle this one; that background under their belt, this proves to be an enjoyable magical adventure. (Urban fantasy. 12 & up) "
How does one go about saving one's family from history? Read full book review >
ONCE A WITCH by Carolyn MacCullough
Released: Sept. 14, 2009

Growing up Talentless in a family of witches has been hard on Tamsin, particularly since her older, perfect sister Rowena oozes Talent. When a mysterious, handsome stranger mistakes her for Rowena and asks her to "find" something his family lost, is it so awful that she doesn't correct him and accepts the challenge? Well, yes, of course. Her very Talented childhood friend Gabriel has moved back from the West Coast to attend Juilliard, and, in addition to being totally hot, he's willing to help her. Together Gabriel and Tamsin Travel to the past to recover the lost object, an action that lands Rowena in the clutches of the stranger and threatens Tamsin's whole family—and the rest of humanity to boot. While MacCullough's setup and plot may not shake the world with their originality, she has created an enormously sympathetic character in Tamsin, whose itchy relationship with her family will resonate with teens struggling to define themselves. Characters, setting, conflict—all develop nicely to create a light urban fantasy that goes down easy and will have readers asking for its sequel. (Fantasy. 12 & up)Read full book review >
DRAWING THE OCEAN by Carolyn MacCullough
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

In lyrical, sweetly unhurried prose, MacCullough paints Sadie, a 16-year-old artist newly transplanted to the east coast from California. Sadie's twin brother Ollie died when they were 12 and reappears to her on a regular basis; they have conversations. At her new school, Sadie wants to be normal. A sharp-edged but loyal friend comes along, attaching herself to Sadie and bringing along a small social group, including a gorgeous, magnetic boyfriend. Sadie sketches and paints constantly, both for herself (she always did) and because she promised Ollie she'd draw him the ocean. A tentative friendship with school outcast Ryan is vaguely hostile, but not in a problematic way. Sadie slowly navigates that friendship, forbidden at school, and hesitantly confronts her own desire to learn how to drive, prohibited by her frightened mother because Ollie died in a car accident. MacCullough's subtle use of present tense and visually evocative writing create an eloquent portrait. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
STEALING HENRY by Carolyn MacCullough
Released: April 1, 2005

"The night Savannah brains her stepfather with the frying pan is the night she decides to leave home for good," begins this finely crafted fiction about running away in desperation. For years, Savannah and her single mother lived nomadically and companionably, traveling by car, not always having enough to eat. Flashbacks from that period of time and from the year 18-year-old Alice got pregnant with Savannah alternate with Savannah's current story: Seventeen and unable to bear her violent stepfather any longer, she grabs her little brother Henry and runs away. MacCullough doesn't spell everything out; instead, she skillfully uses actions and memories to let loneliness and hurt show themselves in their own way. The resolution is neither perfect nor entirely hopeless: Alice catches up with them and takes Henry home without Savannah, but people from Alice's earlier life intersect bittersweetly (and surprisingly) with Savannah's new home. Plainspoken, lyrical and sad. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

This emotional page-turner uses present tense to create a sense of immediacy—and to mirror 17-year-old Ginny's frame of mind as she refuses to think about the past. Four months ago, a car accident left her boyfriend Aidan dead. Ginny knows that she was in the car when it happened, but the nuances and dangers of their secretly abusive relationship are too painful, so she lets her mind float away into spacey distraction whenever feelings or memories threaten to overflow. Her bland façade conceals an expertly written shakiness until she opens up to her father's tenant, Caleb. Caleb, himself traumatized by the death of his young son, is much older than Ginny and an inappropriate object for the intimacy she calls love. No false cheer at the end, but a sliver of hopefulness as Ginny begins to gain clarity and decides to tell her father the complicated truth. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >