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About Alison McGhee
Alison McGhee writes for all ages and in all forms. Her most popular books include the bestselling novel Shadow Baby, which was a Today Show Book Club pick, and Someday, the #1 New York Times bestselling picture book for adults. 2020 will see the publication of The Opposite of Fate, a new novel for adults, and World So Wide, a picture book for all ages. She lives in Minneapolis and southern California. You can find her at alisonmcghee.com, @alisonmcghee, and #alisonmcghee. She loves hearing from readers and tries to respond quickly.
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Books By Alison McGhee
“Firefly Hollow will set your heart aglow” (ALA Booklist, starred review).
Firefly doesn’t merely want to fly, she wants to touch the moon. Cricket doesn’t merely want to sing about baseball, he wants to catch. When these two little creatures with big dreams wander out of Firefly Hollow, refusing to listen to their elders, they find themselves face-to-face with the one creature they were always told to stay away from…a giant.
But Peter is a Miniature Giant. They’ve always been told that a Miniature Giant is nothing but a Future Giant, but this one just isn’t quite as big or as scary as the other Giants. Peter has a dream of his own, as well as memories to escape. He is overwhelmed with sadness, and a summer with his new unlikely friends Firefly and Cricket might be just what he needs. Can these friends’ dreams help them overcome the past?
Firefly Hollow is nothing short of enchanting, reminding us all that the very best friend is the one who encourages you to achieve your dreams. Full-color tip-in illustrations and dozens of black-and-white drawings provide added glow.
Eleven-year-old Clara is struggling to find the truth about her missing father and grandfather and her twin sister, dead at birth, but her mother steadfastly refuses to talk about these people who are lost to her daughter. When Clara begins interviewing Georg Kominsky, a lone old man, for a school biography assignment, she finds that he is equally reticent about his own concealed history. Precocious and imaginative, the girl invents version upon version of Mr. Kominsky's past, just as she invents lives for the people missing from her own shadowy past.
The journey of discovery that these two oddly matched people embark upon is at the heart of this beautiful story about friendship and communion, about discovering what matters most in life, and about the search to find the missing pieces of ourselves. McGhee's prose glistens with shrewd truth and wild imaginings, creating a novel that will reverberate in the hearts and minds of readers long after the book is finished.
"Utterly chuckle-worthy, charming, and (thank goodness) still refreshing." — Kirkus Reviews
The state fair is in town, and now Bink and Gollie - utter opposites and best friends extraordinaire - must use teamwork and their gray matter while navigating its many wonders. Will the energetic Bink win the world's largest donut in the Whack-a-Duck game? Will the artistic Gollie wow the crowd in the talent show? As the undaunted duo steps into the mysterious tent of fortune-teller Madame Prunely, one prediction is crystal clear: this unlikely pair will always be the closest of pals. Get ready for more laughs in this wry, warmhearted sequel to the New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book Bink and Gollie, written by the award-winning, best-selling Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee and featuring the exuberant visual humor of illustrator Tony Fucile.
“If James Marshall's George and Martha were not hippos and were both girls, they would be much like best friends Bink and Gollie. . . . More, please!” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Meet Bink and Gollie, two precocious little girls — one tiny, one tall, and both utterly irrepressible. Setting out from their super-deluxe tree house and powered by plenty of peanut butter (for Bink) and pancakes (for Gollie), they share three comical adventures involving painfully bright socks, an impromptu trek to the Andes, and a most unlikely marvelous companion. Full of quick-witted repartee, this brainchild of Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and award-winning author Alison McGhee is a hilarious ode to exuberance and camaraderie, imagination and adventure, brought to life through the delightfully kinetic images of Tony Fucile.
When Clara Winter left her rural Adirondack town for college, she never looked back. Her mother, Tamar, a fiercely independent but loving woman who raised Clara on her own, all but pushed her out the door, forcing Clara to build a new life for herself, far from her roots, far from her high school boyfriend, far from the life she had always known. Now more than a decade has passed, and Clara, a successful writer, has been summoned home. Tamar has become increasingly forgetful and can no longer live on her own. But just as her mother’s memory is beginning to slip away, Clara’s questions are building. Why was Tamar so insistent that Clara leave home all those years ago? Just what secrets was she hiding? In this “quietly powerful” (Booklist) and “luminous novel” (Kirkus Reviews), Alison McGhee tells the story of a young woman finding her way in life, determined to know her mother—and by extension herself—before it’s too late.
“A deeply moving exploration of growing up and growing old, and the ties that bind parents and children—and the mysteries that sometimes keep us apart.”—Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author of The Red Lotus
“An intimate and painfully aware portrait of the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s on its victims as well as the people who must watch their tormented loved ones tumble into the disease’s terrible abyss.”—Star Tribune
Perfect for trick-or-treaters of all ages, A Very Brave Witch makes for a playful read-aloud that takes the scariness out of the holiday.
A celebration of a child’s wonder-filled first experiences, and the love between parents and child, from a Pulitzer Prize–nominated, New York Times bestselling author and a talented illustrator.
Somewhere in the world
the world so far
the world so wide
someone is the youngest person alive.
What will be the first sights they see?
Sun and moon and sky…
the love in someone’s eye?
From the magic of a baby’s first sights and sounds to a wish for a far-off day, evocative text and gorgeous illustrations are imbued with the tenderness felt between parents and child. A perfect gift for new mothers and fathers and anyone who cherishes those unforgettable moments—or dreams of a time when their children will see their own little ones smile at them for the first time.
“Haunting, introspective.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Emotionally raw…[A] piercing narrative.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“McGhee artfully illustrates the tangled web wherein grief intertwines with the mundane.” —BCCB
After his dad dies of suicide, Will tries to overcome his own misery by secretly helping the people around him in this exquisitely crafted story made up of one hundred chapters of one hundred words each, by award-winning and bestselling author Alison McGhee.
Sixteen-year-old Will spends most of his days the same way: Working at the Dollar Only store, trying to replicate his late father’s famous cornbread recipe, and walking the streets of Los Angeles. Will started walking after his father committed suicide, and three years later he hasn’t stopped. But there are some places Will can’t walk by: The blessings store with the chest of 100 Chinese blessings in the back, the bridge on Fourth Street where his father died, and his childhood friend Playa’s house.
When Will learns Playa was raped at a party—a party he was at, where he saw Playa, and where he believes he could have stopped the worst from happening if he hadn’t left early—it spurs Will to stop being complacent in his own sadness and do some good in the world. He begins to leave small gifts for everyone in his life, from Superman the homeless guy he passes on his way to work, to the Little Butterfly Dude he walks by on the way home, to Playa herself. And it is through those acts of kindness that Will is finally able to push past his own trauma and truly begin to live his life again. Oh, and discover the truth about that cornbread.
Plus, this is the fixed-format version, which looks almost identical to the print edition!
Sylvie and Jules, Jules and Sylvie. Better than just sisters, more than best friends, they’d be identical twins if only they’d been born in the same year. And if only Sylvie wasn’t such a fast—faster than fast—runner. But Sylvie is too fast, and when she runs to the river they’re not supposed to go anywhere near to throw a wish rock just before the school bus comes on a snowy morning, she runs so fast that no one sees what happens…and no one ever sees her again. Jules is devastated, but she refuses to believe what all the others believe, that—like their mother—her sister is gone forever.
At the very same time, in the shadow world, a shadow fox is born—half of the spirit world, half of the animal world. She too is fast—faster than fast—and she senses danger. She’s too young to know exactly what she senses, but she knows something is very wrong. And when Jules believes one last wish rock for Sylvie needs to be thrown into the river, the human and shadow worlds collide.
Writing in alternate voices—one Jules’s, the other the fox’s—Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee tell the searingly beautiful tale of one small family’s moment of heartbreak, a moment that unfolds into one that is epic, mythic, shimmering, and most of all, hopeful.
The angels are aflutter: a baby is soon to be born! One small angel can tell this baby is especially special by the way the other angels are dashing and fussing about. And holy moly, are their presents extraordinary. The little angel wants to give a present too, but, what could she possibly offer that is as worthy as the others’ gifts?
At a loss for original ideas, she peeks over the side of her platform and spies something going on in the desert—a caravan of kings on camels, lost in the dark. And suddenly she knows she most do something, and does the only thing she can. Because the greatest gift of all? It can’t be wrapped. It can’t be bought. It can only be selflessly, joyfully given. And it ends up being the perfect gift for that little baby…the shiningest gift at all.
It’s Halloween night, and one very brave witch has decided to teach her little sister all about humans and what they enjoy, including some yucky stuff called “candy.” But when it seems the little Witchling thinks candy is yum, her big sister flies off to set her straight—and then she gets stuck in a tree! Good thing the little Witchling isn’t afraid to be brave!
This delightful Halloween tale perfectly pairs with A Very Brave Witch.
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