Hamline News

Three MFAC Books Selected as Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2019


Publisher Weekly has just announced its 2019 Best Book List. Two MFAC faculty books and one alum book have been selected for the Best Middle Grade Book List and Best Young Adult Book List for 2019. 

MFAC faculty and National Book Award Finalist Laurel Snyder's My Jasper June has found its place on Publisher Weekly's Best Middle Grade Books of 2019. My Jasper June is one of two children's books Synder has published this year, the other a picture book titled Hungry Jim illustrated as a tribute to Chuck Groenink. My Jasper June been compared to Kathrine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia as its timeless themes of grief, friendship, and the magic of childhood are ever strong in this novel for young readers. 

MFAC faculty and National Book Award Finalist Anne Ursu's The Lost Girl has already garnered three starred reviews this year alongside the honor of being placed on Publisher Weekly's Best Middle Grade of 2019. The Lost Girl is one of two titles being adapted into an hour-long TV series produced by Drew Barrymore under Flower Films Production Company. 

MFAC 17' alumna Blair Thornburgh's newest YA novel Ordinary Girls has already received numerous starred reviews this year and has now found its place on Publisher Weekly's Best Young Adult Books of 2019. Ordinary Girls is Thornburgh's second YA novel and is a contemporary spin on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Ordinary Girls is one of two books Thornburgh has published for children this year. Her picture book Skulls! was released in July. Her second picture book Second Banana is set for publication in fall 2020. 

Hamline's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults Program (MFAC) has garnered incredible press this year with numerous faculty, alumni, and student publications finding their place as Best Books and finalists for the Kirkus Prize and the National Book Award! The program's community continues to gain attention as faculty and graduates continue to write nationally acclaimed books for young people.