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The Carnival at Bray

Written by: Jessie Ann Foley
Narrated by: Erin Moon
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Publisher's Summary

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. The Carnival at Bray is an evocative ode to the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" generation and a heartfelt exploration of tragedy, first love, and the transformative power of music. The book won the 2014 Helen Sheehan YA Book Prize.

©2014 Jessie Ann Foley (P)2015 Recorded Books

What the critics say

  • Printz Honor Book, 2015

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  • Melissa MAhoney
  • 2020-12-11


This book is amazing! I listen in entirety within two days. I’m 43 and it brought back the feelings of being a teenager with family and school issues in the 90s. I felt sadness, anxiety, shame, and love in ways only a teen can while listening. It is very well written and read. I have listened to over 400 books since 2012. This is by far my favorite.

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