Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jessie Ann Foley  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Young Adult;


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Illinois Connection

Foley is a native Chicagoan. She lives on the Northwest side of the city where she was born and raised.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jessie Ann Foley is a teacher and writer whose debut novel, ''The Carnival at Bray'', was named a Printz honor book by the American Library Association, shortlisted for YALSA's 2015 William C. Morris Award, and named a Top Ten Book of 2015 by YALSA and a Best Teen Book of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews.

A graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, she taught English at Chicago's Taft High School for ten years before becoming a full-time writer.


The Carnival at Bray

Printz Honor Book, 2014

Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Titlem YALSA, 2014

Best Books of the Year, Kirkus Reviews, 2014

Favorite book of the Year, New York Public Library, 2014

Best Books, Chicago Weekly, 2014

Helen Sheehan YA Book Prize, 2014

Finalist, William C. Morris Award for debut YA fiction

Finalist, Young Readers’ Choice Awards, Pennsylvania

TAYSHAS reading list selection, Texas Library Association

Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults, ALA, 2015

Finalist, Book of the Year Awards, Chicago Writer’s Association, 2015

Finalist, Housatonic Book Awards, 2015

ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2016

Neighborhood Girls

Best Books for Youth List, Booklist Editor's Choice, 2017

Best Fiction for Young Adults Title, YALSA, 2018

Starred Review, Booklist

Sorry for Your Loss

Starred Review, ALA Booklist

Finalist, Georgia Peach Book Awards

Maine North Star YA Award

Young People's Literature Award, Friends of American Writers

Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, 2019

Best Fiction for Young Adults Title, YALSA, 2020

ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2020

Sequoya Book Awards Masterlist Title, Oklahoma Library Association, 2021

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Selected Titles At Your Library

Neighborhood Girls
ISBN: 9780062571854. OCLC Number: 967057546

. .

When Wendy Boychuck's father, a Chicago cop, was escorted from their property in handcuffs, she knew her life would never be the same. Her father gets a years-long jail sentence, her family falls on hard times, and the whispers around their neighborhood are impossible to ignore. If that wasn't bad enough, she gets jumped walking home from a party one night. Wendy quickly realizes that in order to survive her father's reputation, she'll have to make one for herself. Then Wendy meets Kenzie Quintana, a foul-mouthed, Catholic uniform-skirt-hiking alpha, and she knows immediately that she's found her savior. Kenzie can provide Wendy with the kind of armor a girl needs when she's trying to outrun her father's past. Add two more mean girls to the mix-- Sapphire and Emily -- and Wendy has found herself in Academy of the Sacred Heart's most feared and revered clique. Makeover complete. But complete is far from what Wendy feels. Instead, she faces the highs and lows of a toxic friendship, the exhaustion that comes with keeping up appearances, and a shattering loss -- the only one that could hurt more than losing herself.

Sorry for your loss.
ISBN: 0062571915. OCLC Number: 1051081709

. .

From Printz Honor winner and Morris Award finalist Jessie Ann Foley comes a comitragic YA novel that will appeal to fans of Jandy Nelson and Jeff Zentner.

As the youngest of eight, painfully average Pup Flanagan is used to flying under the radar. He's barely passing his classes. He lets his longtime crush walk all over him. And he's in no hurry to decide on a college path.

The only person who ever made him think he could be more was his older brother Patrick. But that was before Patrick died suddenly, leaving Pup with a family who won't talk about it and acquaintances who just keep saying, "sorry for your loss."

When Pup excels at a photography assignment he thought he'd bomb, things start to come into focus. His dream girl shows her true colors. An unexpected friend exposes Pup to a whole new world, right under his nose.

And the photograph that was supposed to show Pup a way out of his grief ultimately reveals someone else who is still stuck in their own. Someone with a secret regret Pup never could have imagined.

The Carnival at Bray :
ISBN: 9781480678293. OCLC Number: 883649915

. .

It's 1993, and Generation X pulses to the beat of Kurt Cobain and the grunge movement. Sixteen-year-old Maggie Lynch is uprooted from big-city Chicago to a windswept town on the Irish Sea. Surviving on 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 first love and sudden death simultaneously strike, a naive but determined Maggie embarks on a forbidden pilgrimage that will take her to a seedy part of Dublin and on to a life-altering night in Rome to fulfill a dying wish. Through it all, Maggie discovers an untapped inner strength to do the most difficult but rewarding thing of all--live.--

ISBN: 0062957082. OCLC Number: 1136960458

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