2006: A Northern Light

A Northern LightThe Story

It is 1906 and Mattie Gokey is trying to learn how to stand up like a man — even though she’s a sixteen-year-old girl. At her summer job at a resort on Big Moose Lake in the Adirondack mountains, she will earn enough money to make something of her life. But Mattie’s worries and plans are cast into a cold light when the drowned body of Grace Brown turns up – a young woman who gave Mattie a packet of love letters, letters that convince Mattie that the drowning was no accident.

About the Author

Jennifer DJennifer Donnellyonnelly lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter and two greyhounds. Born in Port Chester, she grew up in New York State, and attended college at the University of Rochester. Having held jobs as an antiques dealer, journalist, and copywriter, she is currently a full time writer. As a child, she loved to write and often inflicted really dreadful poems and stories on her family and friends. She loved to read, too, and the high point of her grade-school week was a Saturday trip to the library.

With the publication of A Northern Light (published in Great Britain as A Gathering Light), Jennifer has achieved the distinction of being only the second American author awarded Great Britain’s prestigious Carnegie Medal for children’s literature.

Read The Daily News Profile Story on Jennifer Donnelly

2013 Update

In January 2014, Disney Publishing Worldwide announced a four-book deal with Donnelly for a new YA fantasy series featuring mermaids. “Deep Blue,” the first book in the Waterfire Saga, is scheduled for release May 6, 2014. The series will follow six mermaids on  a quest for talismans that will help them uncover a dark conspiracy and prevent a war between the Mer nations.
In May 2013, Donnelly received the Rip Van Winkle Award from the School Library Media Specialists of Southeastern New York. The award recognizes authors who have made outstanding contributions to the fields of children’s and young adult literature. Her most recent YA novel, “Revolution” (2010) was nominated for a California Young Readers Medal. The winner was Ally Condie (“Matched”). “Revolution” was published in Russia in December.

2011 Update

“Revolution,” a best-seller when it was released in fall 2010, but it really took off in 2011. The story of Andi and Alex, two teen girls centuries apart, made a number of year-end best lists and continued to garner awards and acclaim in 2011. The biggest honor came in November when “Revolution” was named to the long-list of finalists for the Carnegie Medal, one of the most prestigious awards in children’s literature.

In August, Donnelly’s “The Wild Rose” was released, concluding an epic trilogy that began a decade ago with her debut novel, “The Tea Rose.”

“Revolution” was released in the U.K. in October, where Donnelly says she “had the most wonderful book tour.”

Donnelly has also been busy advocating for young readers. She’s begun a campaign to get Fox TV to add a books category to its popular Teen Choice Awards. It’s also part of a longer-term goal to get more media to support the cause of teen reading, Donnelly says. Find out more atwww.justaddbooks.org .

Donnelly also has a new young adult novel underway. “Can’t talk about the details just yet,” she teases, “but I love the story and am so excited to be back at my desk writing again.”

Link to the Author’s site


Awards for A Northern Light

The Carnegie Medal (2003)
The L.A. Times Book Prize (2003)
The Borders Original Voices Prize (2004)
A Michael L. Printz Honor (2004)
The Charlotte Award (2006)

Other works by the Author:

The Tea Rose, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Humble Pie, illustrated by Stephen Gammell, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2002.
LIGHT’ STILL BRIGHT: Known as “A Gathering Light” in the United Kingdom, where it won a Carnegie Medal in 2003 for best children’s novel, Donnelly’s book was among 10 finalists for the Carnegie of Carnegie. The award celebrated the 70-year history of the Carnegie Medal (the winner was Philip Pullman’s “Northern Lights,” the novel that prompted the title change of Donnelly’s book.)
Gathering Light, nominated as an all time favorite book in 2007 by Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professional
The Winter Rose this is the second book in a planned trilogy The new book reunites readers with the Finnegan family. Beginning where “The Tea Rose” left off on the river Thames, the new novel follows the story of Charlie Finnegan – now notorious East London crime loard Sid Malone – and a new character, the crusading woman doctor Indian Selwyn Jones who saves Malone’s life.
Revolution, Ember Publishing, 2010
Wild Rose, Hyperion Press, 2011
Waterfire Saga, Book One: Deep Blue (A Waterfire Saga Novel), 2014
Waterfire Saga, Book Two:Rogue Wave (A Waterfire Saga Novel), 2015


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