Books by Jaclyn Moriarty

THE WHISPERING WARS by Jaclyn Moriarty
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2019

"This jam-packed, imaginative adventure is magically immersive and entertaining. (Fantasy. 9-12)"
Young people from two schools in the town of Spindrift form an alliance to save children pressed into creating magical weapons for the enemy as war breaks out. Read full book review >
GRAVITY IS THE THING by Jaclyn Moriarty
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 23, 2019

"Quirky and beguiling, this witty quest for the truth will delight anyone mending their own broken life."
At 15, Abigail Sorensen lost her brother, Robert, and someone started mailing her chapters of a curious book called The Guidebook. But what is it guiding her toward? Read full book review >
THE EXTREMELY INCONVENIENT ADVENTURES OF BRONTE METTLESTONE by Jaclyn Moriarty
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 9, 2018

"Imaginative but not fully realized. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
The stipulations of her parents' will send Bronte Mettlestone on a quest throughout Kingdoms and Empires. Read full book review >
A TANGLE OF GOLD by Jaclyn Moriarty
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 29, 2016

"Colorful and madcap, a veritable 'whirlshine' of sparkle, with a side of tears: deeply satisfying, perfectly ended. (Fantasy. 12 & up)"
A grand finale to a grand adventure, complete with truly startling revelations. Read full book review >
THE CRACKS IN THE KINGDOM by Jaclyn Moriarty
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 25, 2014

"Not for the impatient or new reader, but otherwise even better than the first. (Fantasy. 12 & up)"
Moriarty's latest draws this world and Cello ever closer. Read full book review >
A CORNER OF WHITE by Jaclyn Moriarty
YOUNG ADULT
Released: April 1, 2013

"Quirky, charming, funny, sad: another winner from this always-surprising author. (Fantasy. 12 & up)"
Another one of a kind from the inimitable Moriarty, this time, a barely epistolary fantasy series opener unlike anything else out there. Read full book review >
THE GHOSTS OF ASHBURY HIGH by Jaclyn Moriarty
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2010

Moriarty has done it again. Fourth in the loose Brookfield-Ashbury saga (Feeling Sorry for Celia, 2001; The Year of Secret Assignments, 2004; The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, 2006), this Australian import uses multiple formats (journals, exam essays, letters, transcripts) to relate the events of senior year at Ashbury, when two scholarship students with dark pasts and astounding talents shake up the lives of characters who will be familiar to fans. Quirky, comic and self-referential—exam questions about Gothic novels highlight the novel's own gothic elements; weather then plays a crucial role in a climactic, possibly supernatural finale—this romp explores serious issues (especially class and privilege). No one is exactly who you think, and figuring out just what is going on is much of the fun. The author effortlessly employs multiple voices and narrative devices for maximum effect, and each member of the ensemble comes across loud and clear. Despite the heavy underpinnings, the focus is the redemptive power of friendship. Another winner, sure to please old fans and create new ones. (historical note) (Epistolary dramedy. YA)Read full book review >
THE SPELL BOOK OF LISTEN TAYLOR by Jaclyn Moriarty
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

Adult crossover that doesn't. This revised version of an Australian adult novel displays Moriarty's engagingly quirky writing, but unlike her previous U.S. publications (The Year of Secret Assignments, 2004; The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, 2006), this one lacks teen appeal. The "Zing Family Secret" necessitates weekly meetings in the garden shed, and the story follows several of the Zings and their associates through the year when the secret (mildly anticlimactic after the immense build-up) finally comes out. Seven-year-old Cassie and 12-year-old Listen are the only non-adult characters in an ensemble cast, and while Listen's (lonely and unpleasant) experiences in seventh grade do provide the catalyst for many plot developments, she is overshadowed by the adults. Most of the novel concerns secrets and infidelity; three separate affairs plus one imagined and their repercussions occupy center stage, and Moriarty skillfully examines desire, longing and forgiveness. Chick-lit-reading older teens might be willing to give this a try, but the focus on marriage and parenthood make it more likely to appeal to their mothers. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
THE MURDER OF BINDY MACKENZIE by Jaclyn Moriarty
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Told in emails, transcripts, memos and other musings, Bindy records the eventful start of Year 11 at Ashbury, an Australian private school Moriarty has portrayed in her previous work. Bindy is an overachiever who thinks her classmates, teachers and even the School Board are desperately in need of her input. The FAD ("Friendship and Development") group, a new class taught by Try Montaine, really needs her help. Bindy's hair, worn in two long braids rolled on the sides of her head, becomes symbolic of her rigid, uncool, uptight existence. The murder of Bindy seems impossible, as she is the main character, and Bindy is unaware of her ability to cause enmity with that level of vitriol, being more comfy with just being irritating. Yet upon becoming aware of her own failings, she's equally committed to atoning completely. Bindy's unreliable narration provides most of the humor and suspense, hitting all the typical buttons Moriarty fans have come to expect, including a strange family life and an over-the-top dénouement. As memorably unique as Bindy herself. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
THE YEAR OF SECRET ASSIGNMENTS* by Jaclyn Moriarty
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

Like the namesake in Moriarty's bestselling Feeling Sorry for Celia (many clever references creep in), three more Aussie teens must establish pen pals at a rival public high school. This time risk-taker Lydia, self-assured Emily, and grieving, inhibited Cassie are all matched with boys who take an interest in them, resulting in dating lessons and plenty of covert operations. While Emily and Lydia's correspondence leads to romantic involvements, Cassie's mysterious, narcissistic pen pal turns cruel. It takes drastic measures, like secret assignments, to rescue Cassie from plummeting self-esteem and teach her pen pal a lesson in respect. This year of letter writing not only strengthens the girls' friendship, but also guides them to find their own resolve. This story does not feel as fresh as the author's debut, as it borrows too much from Celia, such as a variety of writing formats (letters, diaries, e-mails, guided writings in the Notebook™, etc.), a parody of lawyers instead of ad executives, and madcap adventures with equally zany resolutions. But who can resist Moriarty's biting humor? (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >
FEELING SORRY FOR CELIA by Jaclyn Moriarty
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2001

"Adolescence, zits and all, described with wit and empathy. "
When a teenager acquires a pen-pal and a life, highs and lows alternate as dizzily as adolescent hormone levels in this engaging Australian debut. Read full book review >