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  • Published: 4 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9781760899547
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $21.00

A Glasshouse of Stars




An exquisite, heartbreakingly beautiful gem of a novel for anyone who loved Wonder, Lenny's Book of Everything, A Monster Calls or When You Reach Me.

'Heart-twisting and hopeful, bursting with big feelings and gentle magic. This is a special book from a powerful, compassionate new voice in children’s literature, destined to be read and loved for generations and held close in many hearts (including mine).' – Jessica Townsend, New York Times bestselling author of the Nevermoor series

Meixing Lim and her family have arrived at the New House in the New Land, inherited from First Uncle who died tragically and unexpectedly while picking oranges in the backyard. Everything is vast and unknown to Meixing and not in a good way, including the house she has dubbed Big Scary. She is embarrassed by the second-hand shoes given to her by the kind neighbours, has trouble understanding the language at school, and with fitting in and making new friends. Her solace is a glasshouse in the garden that inexplicably holds the sun and the moon and all the secrets of her memory and imagination.

Her fragile universe is rocked when tragedy strikes and Ma Ma refuses to face the world outside. Meixing finds herself trapped within the shrinking walls of Big Scary. Her parents said this would be a better life for them all, but it feels like the worst and most heart-breaking experience of Meixing's entire existence. Surviving will take all the resilience and inner belief of this brave girl to turn their world around.

  • Published: 4 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9781760899547
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $21.00

About the author

Shirley Marr

Shirley Marr is a first-generation Chinese-Australian living in Perth and an author of young adult and children's fiction, including YA novels Fury and Preloved, and children’s novels Little Jiang and A Glasshouse of Stars. She describes herself as having a Western mind and an Eastern heart. She likes to write in the space in the middle where they both collide, basing her stories on her own personal experiences of migration and growing up in Australia, along with the folk and fairy tales from her mother. Arriving in mainland Australia from Christmas Island as a seven-year-old in the 1980s and experiencing the good, the bad and the wonder that comes with culture shock, Shirley has been in love with reading and writing from that early age. Shirley is a universe full of stars and stories and hopes to share the many other novels that she has inside her.

Praise for A Glasshouse of Stars

A Glasshouse of Stars is heart-twisting and hopeful, bursting with big feelings and gentle magic. This is a special book from a powerful, compassionate new voice in children’s literature, destined to be read and loved for generations and held close in many hearts (including mine).

Jessica Townsend, New York Times bestselling author of the Nevermoor series

Poignant, authentic and heartbreakingly tender – a touching story of loss and resilience. Shirley Marr gives a face to our deepest fears and proves that even the scariest monsters can keep us company in the dark.

Daria Ostrowska, Collection Development Specialist, Westbooks

Poignant and beautifully told. I loved this book.

Melina Marchetta, bestselling author of LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI

There is no doubt that A Glasshouse of Stars will be a Middle Grade novel to watch in 2021 … We share Meixing's journey from loss and displacement, from heartbreak and confusion. A Glasshouse of Stars is ultimately, however, a tale of resilience, compassion and hope – with brushstrokes of magic to help illuminate the way. I loved this perfectly balanced book!

Paul Macdonald, Owner, The Children’s Bookshop

A Glasshouse of Stars is a rare and beautiful masterpiece; deeply heartfelt, dreamily magical, and glitteringly hopeful. I adored it!

Sophie Anderson, award-winning author of THE HOUSE WITH CHICKEN LEGS

A Glasshouse of Stars is poignant, thoughtful and an absolute joy to read. By turns tragic and hopeful, this breathtaking book joins the small number of titles that I will happily recommend to readers of any age. It is destined to be one of the best books of 2021, and I can’t wait to see it out in the world!

Hannah Gardiner, Children's Book Buyer, Berkelouw Books

Told in a unique second-person narrative, this is an exceptionally beautiful and lyrical debut, based on the author's own experiences of growing up as a first-generation immigrant in Australia.

The Bookseller

When I finished A Glasshouse of Stars I had the same tingles as when I read The Bone Sparrow. The grit of reality, juxtaposed with the magic. The chance to step into another culture and learn their customs. To again be reminded of how important these stories are to build empathy and understanding. Marr has articulated a very common new immigrant experience by using powerful metaphors that will engender meaningful conversations with young readers. It will also speak to any reader who similarly embraces their imagination to make better sense of the people and the world around them. This is a book bursting with colour and heart.

Libby Armstrong, Owner, Beachside Bookshop

A Glasshouse of Stars is a wonderful middle-grade novel told with bravery and sensitivity. Marr has brilliantly captured a child migrant’s experience, and I confess to being excited about what Marr will write next. I predict this to be my favourite read of 2021!

Nadia L King, nadialking.wordpress.com

A powerfully moving novel

tiensblurb.wordpress.com

An important story for all ages that has the power to bring adults back to childhood.

Vanessa Elle, Glam Adelaide

Discover more

Video
A Glasshouse of Stars by Shirley Marr | Book trailer

Buy now: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/a-glasshouse-of-stars-9781760899547 Meixing Lim and her family have arrived at the New House in the New Land, inherited from First Uncle who died tragically and unexpectedly while picking oranges in the backyard. Everything is vast and unknown to Meixing and not in a good way, including the house she has dubbed Big Scary. She is embarrassed by the second-hand shoes given to her by the kind neighbours, has trouble understanding the language at school, and with fitting in and making new friends. Her solace is a glasshouse in the garden that inexplicably holds the sun and the moon and all the secrets of her memory and imagination. Her fragile universe is rocked when tragedy strikes and Ma Ma refuses to face the world outside. Meixing finds herself trapped within the shrinking walls of Big Scary. Her parents said this would be a better life for them all, but it feels like the worst and most heart-breaking experience of Meixing's entire existence. Surviving will take all the resilience and inner belief of this brave girl to turn their world around. #AGlasshouseofStars #ShirleyMarr

Video
A Glasshouse of Stars by Shirley Marr | Teaser

Buy now: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/a-glasshouse-of-stars-9781760899547 'Heart-twisting and hopeful, bursting with big feelings and gentle magic. This is a special book from a powerful, compassionate new voice in children’s literature, destined to be read and loved for generations and held close in many hearts (including mine).' – Jessica Townsend, New York Times bestselling author of the Nevermoor series Meixing Lim and her family have arrived at the New House in the New Land, inherited from First Uncle who died tragically and unexpectedly while picking oranges in the backyard. Everything is vast and unknown to Meixing and not in a good way, including the house she has dubbed Big Scary. She is embarrassed by the second-hand shoes given to her by the kind neighbours, has trouble understanding the language at school, and with fitting in and making new friends. Her solace is a glasshouse in the garden that inexplicably holds the sun and the moon and all the secrets of her memory and imagination. Her fragile universe is rocked when tragedy strikes and Ma Ma refuses to face the world outside. Meixing finds herself trapped within the shrinking walls of Big Scary. Her parents said this would be a better life for them all, but it feels like the worst and most heart-breaking experience of Meixing's entire existence. Surviving will take all the resilience and inner belief of this brave girl to turn their world around. #AGlasshouseofStars #ShirleyMarr

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