Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Carnival at Bray

by Jessie Ann Foley

When her mother falls in love, Maggie knows the cycle. It'll be great for a bit, but then the inevitable breakup occurs and after her mother falls apart and puts herself back together, life goes on. But this time her mother has gotten married and moved them from their hometown of Chicago to Bray, Ireland, a little town outside of Dublin. Now, away from everyone she has ever loved, especially her rocker uncle Kevin, Maggie might just learn something about love and loss herself.

Set in 1993, this book is a great illustration of both teenage life then and now. It was remarkable to me how little the book felt like it was set 20 years ago, before cell phones or the internet. The author does a great job of focusing on the characters and the interplay between them. Kurt Cobain might not be on too many teenage radars these days, but the book does a great job of illustrating just how important he was to many. Maggie's uncle's drug abuse is barely talked about, and his fairly horrid death is talked about briefly. It's suitable for slightly mature teens, and will mostly likely find it's main audience in older teens or adults.

Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Level: 9th Grade

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