A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

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Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has a word for everything, and big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. She collects words, stores them up as a way of fending off the hard truths of her life, the truths that she can't write down in stories.

The fresh pain of her mother's death. The burden of raising her sisters while her father struggles over his brokeback farm. The mad welter of feelings Mattie has for handsome but dull Royal Loomis, who says he wants to marry her. And the secret dreams that keep her going--visions of finishing high school, going to college in New York City, becoming a writer. Desperate for money, she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with the task of burning a secret bundle of letters. But when Grace's drowned body is fished from Big Moose Lake, Mattie discovers that the letters could reveal the grim truth behind a murder. Set in 1906 in the Adirondack Mountains, against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, this Printz Honor-winning coming-of-age novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, and real, and wholly original.

About Jennifer Donnelly

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Jennifer Donnelly is the author of two adult novels, The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose, as well as the young adult novel A Northern Light, winner of Britain's prestigious Carnegie Medal, the L.A. Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature, and a Michael L. Printz Honor Award. She lives and writes full-time in upstate New York. You can visit her at www.jenniferdonnelly.com.
Published April 1, 2003 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 401 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, History, Romance. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In this fictional rendition, 16-year-old farm girl Mattie Gokey is working for the summer at the hotel where the murdered woman has been staying and has given Mattie letters to burn.

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Publishers Weekly

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Readers soon discover that her teacher considers Mattie to be a gifted writer and, at the woman's urging, Mattie applies to Barnard College and receives a full scholarship.

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Suite 101

Due to be published in August 2012, Troon Harrison releases the first of an equine trilogy aimed at 8 - 12 year olds.

Jul 29 2011 | Read Full Review of A Northern Light

Kidz World

Mattie Gokey is 16 years old and she has a whole lot of responsibility.

Dec 27 2006 | Read Full Review of A Northern Light

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