The Carnival at Bray

The Carnival at Bray

eBook - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Winner of the 2014 Helen Sheehan YA Book Prize It''s 1993, and the Teen Spirit Generation pulses to the hum of the grunge movement. Sixteen-year-old Maggie Lynch is plucked from her blue-collar Chicago neighborhood to a small town on the Irish Sea. Surviving off 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 tragedy and first love simultaneously strike, Maggie embarks upon a forbidden quest to fulfill a dying wish. Her pilgrimage takes her from the coastal town of Bray to a dodgy youth hostel in Dubl
Publisher: Ashford, Connecticut : Elephant Rock Productions, Inc., 2014.
ISBN: 9780989515542
Characteristics: 1 online resource (265 p.)


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

AL_TIEGAN Nov 01, 2017

Set in 1993-1994, this book follows Maggie, who is uprooted from her home in Chicago when her mother remarries and has everyone move to Ireland so her new husband can help with his family's business. Maggie has a close relationship with her uncle, who is ten years older than her. He guides her towards all the best books and music, even sending her tickets to see Nirvana in Rome. Maggie struggles to fit in, but starts to figure things out by discovering what she doesn't want to be and meeting the amazing boy who works at the Quayside. This was a pretty fun book, looking back at teenage life in the 90s, before technology essentially connected everyone. It was amazing to virtually live the after concert experience in Rome - as I was only 1-2 years old at this time I didn't even know who Nirvana was yet, so I really missed out on something great. It's also pretty cool to have the book set in Ireland and have a great character like Dan Sean who is 100 years old and is the bridge to old Ireland and where Ireland is now (in the 90s).

LPL_MollyW Dec 29, 2014

Maggie moves from Chicago, where she attends Smashing Pumpkin concerts with her 26-year-old uncle, to live in a small town outside Dublin, Ireland, when her mom remarries. A year in the seaside town brings a close friendship with her 99-year-old neighbor, first love, and a daring adventure to see Nirvana in Rome, the perfect grunge rock pilgrimage. But what really makes this novel stand out is the family dynamics. Maggie's complicated relationship with her mother, sister, grandmother, and uncle are ones any teenager can relate to. With excellent writing and character development, it's obvious why this debut novel was nominated for the Morris Award. While I'm generally skeptical of novels for teens that are set during the time period the author was a teen, rather than present day, this story will appeal to today's teens as well as those who can read it for the nostalgia of the grunge rock 90s.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top