The Carnival At Bray, Jessie Ann Foley

YA Fiction

The Carnival at Bray

By Jessie Ann Foley

“Powerfully evocative.” Kirkus, Starred Review

Printz Honor winner, a William C. Morris Debut Award finalist, a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults title, and a Kirkus Best Teen Book 

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The Carnival at Bray is an electrifying story of loss and triumph, family and adventure, and of the earth-shattering power of music and love from award-winning author Jessie Ann Foley.

It’s 1993, and Generation X pulses to the beat of Kurt Cobain and the grunge movement. Sixteen-year-old Maggie Lynch is uprooted from big-city Chicago to a windswept town on the Irish Sea. Surviving on care packages of Spin magazine and Twizzlers from her rocker uncle Kevin, she wonders if she’ll ever find her place in this new world. When first love and sudden death simultaneously strike, a naive but determined Maggie embarks on a forbidden pilgrimage that will take her to a seedy part of Dublin and on to a life-altering night in Rome to fulfill a dying wish. Through it all, Maggie discovers an untapped inner strength to do the most difficult but rewarding thing of all—live.

Binding: Paper
ISBN: 9780989515597
Pages: 240
Price: $12.95
Age: 14 and up
Book Playlist: Wicked Cool 

Praise & Reviews


Jessie Ann Foley

Jessie Ann Foley is a Chicago Public Schools English teacher. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago. The Carnival at Bray is her first book. Neighborhood Girls, her second book, was published in September 2017.

Jessie’s Website

Read Chapter 1

 For Educators

Includes an early draft of a chapter, prompts, exercises, and more.

Interviews & Cool Postings

YALSA’s The Hub Interview – Book breakdown & teen advice
Chicago Tribune – Book press & profile
Chicago Literati Interview – Nirvana, writing, and bad wedding songs
Iowa City Book Festival – Jessie representing ERB
Wandering Educators – Stellar review, interview, and Bray photos
Dear Teen Me – Jessie’s letter to teen self
Fiction Writers Review Interview – In-depth discussion from great site