Hamline News

CWP Alums on Kirkus Best of 2016

Kirkus Best of 2016 375

Learn more about the three books from CWP alums that made the Kirkus Best of 2016 list. Congratulations to Jane O'Reilly, Brian Farrey, and JJ Austrian!  


Best Middle Grade books of 2016

The Secret of Goldenrod
by Jane O'Reilly (MFAC ’09)

Fantasy; ages 8-12
Released October 1, 2016
Published by Carolrhoda 

When almost-11-year-old Trina Maxwell’s father takes a job to restore a decrepit Queen Anne mansion known as Goldenrod on the outskirts of New Royal, Iowa (population 397), Trina isn’t thrilled.

This solid middle-grade book shines with wisdom and compassion. Full Kirkus Review   

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse
by Brian Farrey (MFA ’12)

Fantasy; ages 10-14
Released April 19, 2016
Published by Algonquin

The queen is dying, a strange menace lures townspeople to places unknown, and Princess Jeniah's only hope for saving her monarchy lies in the one place prophesied to bring about its destruction.

Heart-rending and genuine, this magical coming-of-age story is not to be missed. Full Kirkus Review  


Best Picture Books OF 2016

Worm Loves Worm 
by JJ Austrian (MFAC ’12)

Picture Book; ages 3-8
Released January 5, 2016
Published by Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins

Austrian and Curato (illustrator) turn the simple wedding of two worms into a three-ring circus that slyly turns the whole controversy over same-sex versus heterosexual marriage on its head. 

As in life, love conquers all. Full Kirkus Review