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The Spell Book of Listen Taylor

By Jaclyn Moriarty


A fairy tale, a mystery, hot-air ballooning, and at least a few romances...

The Zing family lives in a world of misguided spell books, singular poetry, and state-of-the-art surveillance equipment. They use these things to protect the Zing Family Secret - one so huge it draws the family to the garden shed for meetings every Friday night, and sometimes involves breaking and entering.

Into their world comes Listen Taylor, inexplicably friendless, about to enter Junior High. Her father is dating a Zing, and she barely knows what she's getting into. Enter Cath Murphy, a young teacher at the elementary school that Cassie Zing attends, suffering from a broken heart.

How will the worlds of these two young women connect with the delightful madness that is the family Zing? Only the reader can know!


Reviews and Awards

"The novel demands careful reading (and even flipping back and re-reading) but amply rewards it. Moriarty’s book... is like Listen’s spell book: each requires a leap of faith, but each also possesses an intriguing mystery and an authoritative, immensely witty voice; and in both, the end result is magically uplifting." - Horn Book

“Moriarty’s light-hearted approach and brisk pace will keep readers wondering what will come next.... If readers can dig in and stick with the sometimes hard-to-follow story, this long, fun read will be worth the effort.” - Voice of Youth Advocates

"Moriarty uses an intricate arrangement of connections and viewpoints to tell this curious story; the narrative focuses on the adults, but Listen is the story’s prime mover. Her desperate efforts to disguise the fact that her friends have abandoned her are completely believable, and younger readers caught up in that issue may resent the additional story strands, such as the extramarital affairs of several adult characters. Other readers will like the clever plotting and be fascinated by the complexity of the adult relationships... Magic, mystery, and several love stories in a single package." - Booklist

"This novel from the popular Aussie author is absurdly preposterous, delightfully whimsical and funny, and replete with wacky characters.... A clever, fun romp." School Library Journal


Purchase Options
Indiebound • Amazon • Barnes & Noble


Fall 2007
Young Adult Fiction
ISBN: 0-439-84678-1
Price: $16.99/$20.99
Trim Size: 5 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Page Count: 496
Foreign Rights: Anderson Grindberg Literary Management
Translation Rights: Anderson Grindberg Literary Management
Rights Available? yes


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