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

-- Best Books, Chicago Weekly, 2014
-- Winner, Michael L. Printz Honor Award
-- Winner, 2014 Helen Sheehan YA Book Prize
-- Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014
-- Finalist, William C. Morris Award
-- ALA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults
-- 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
-- Nominee Best Fiction for Young Adults, YALSA, 2019
-- Junior Library Guild Selection, 2019

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

. .

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.--