Alison McGhee Books In Order

Julia Gillian Books In Order

  1. Julia Gillian and the Art of Knowing (2008)
  2. Julia Gillian and the Quest for Joy (2009)
  3. Julia Gillian and the Dream of the Dog (2010)

Bink and Gollie Books In Order

  1. Bink and Gollie (2010)
  2. Two for One (2012)
  3. Best Friends Forever (2013)


  1. Rainlight (1998)
  2. Shadow Baby (2000)
  3. Was It Beautiful? (2003)
  4. Snap! (2004)
  5. All Rivers Flow to the Sea (2005)
  6. Falling Boy (2007)
  7. Firefly Hollow (2015)
  8. Maybe a Fox (2016)
  9. Pablo and Birdy (2017)
  10. Never Coming Back (2017)
  11. What I Leave Behind (2018)
  12. Dear Sister (2018)
  13. The Opposite of Fate (2020)
  14. Where We Are (2020)

Picture Books

  1. Countdown to Kindergarten (2002)
  2. Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth (2004)
  3. A Very Brave Witch (2006)
  4. Someday (2007)
  5. Bye-Bye, Crib (2008)
  6. Song of Middle C (2009)
  7. Always (2009)
  8. Only a Witch Can Fly (2009)
  9. So Many Days (2010)
  10. Making a Friend (2011)
  11. The Sweetest Witch Around (2014)
  12. Star Bright (2014)
  13. Tell Me a Tattoo Story (2016)
  14. Percy, Dog of Destiny (2017)

Julia Gillian Book Covers

Bink and Gollie Book Covers

Novels Book Covers

Picture Books Book Covers

Alison McGhee Books Overview

Julia Gillian and the Art of Knowing

Ten year old Julia Gillian knows everything about her quirky neighbors, her Minneapolis neighborhood, even the inscrutable ‘claw machine’ in the back of the corner hardware store. The one thing Julia Gillian doesn’t know is how the book she’s reading is going to end. It doesn’t seem as if it’s going to have a happy ending, and that scares her. But Julia learns a little something about fear: sometimes you just have to work through it. And though bad things do happen sometimes, having good friends and family around you makes life a bit less scary and much more fun.


‘Julia Gillian is acutely conscious of achieving a new maturity that allows her to question authority and to assert herself not bad for a nine year old.’ School Library Journal starred review

‘McGhee’s story will ring true true to young readers dealing with their own fears.’ Pittsburgh Post Gazette

‘The book is well paced, laced with line drawings that capture Julia Gillian’s slightly whimsical personality, and overall as satisfying as the strawberry bubble tea served at the Quang Restaurant.’ Publishers Weekly

‘Lively ink and pencil drawings show Julia making her rounds, wearing a fierce raccoon mask for courage and realizing that, while life doesn’t always turn out the way she wants it to, that’s okay.’ The Horn Book

Julia Gillian and the Quest for Joy

Where is the joy? Julia Gillian is sure to find it! This is the second story in an extraordinary series by a New York Times bestselling author. So far, fifth grade at Lake Harriet Elementary School is not exactly a thing of joy. Julia Gillian’s best friend, Bonwit Keller, is keeping a secret from her. Trumpet lessons with Mr. Mixler, her favorite teacher, are much harder than expected. And most upsetting of all, the kind lunch lady has been replaced by a tyrant known as the Dumpling Man. Where is the joy? Amidst all this, Julia Gillian starts keeping secrets of her own secrets that feel an awful lot like lies. To set things right, she will have to learn a little bit about friendship and honesty.

Julia Gillian and the Dream of the Dog

Sixth grade is proving to be less than dreamy: Julia Gillian’s new homeroom teacher is serious about school work and has the class ‘controlling for variables.’ Julia Gillian has been paired for the Reading Extravaganza with Fergus Cannon, whose distaste for reading rivals her own. Worst of all, her beloved dog, Bigfoot, is getting old. Soon, Julia Gillian will learn that no matter how hard she tries to control for variables and keep her lifelong companion safe, she cannot prevent the inevitable. Luckily, her bounty of steadfast friends and family see her through the toughest time of her life.

Bink and Gollie

Winner of the 2011 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award!In a brilliant collaboration, best selling authors Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, along with acclaimed illustrator Tony Fucile, introduce an outrageously funny pair of friends. Meet Bink and Gollie, two precocious little girls one tiny, one tall, and both utterly irrepressible. Setting out from their super deluxe tree house and powered by plenty of peanut butter for Bink and pancakes for Gollie, they share three comical adventures involving painfully bright socks, an impromptu trek to the Andes, and a most unlikely marvelous companion. No matter where their roller skates take them, at the end of the day they will always be the very best of friends. Full of quick witted repartee, this brainchild of Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and award winning author Alison McGhee is a hilarious ode to exuberance and camaraderie, imagination and adventure, brought to life through the delightfully kinetic images of Tony Fucile.


The moving story of a father who dies young and the family he leaves behind

Even in a small town people have secrets, including how much they really mean to each other. In Alison McGhee’s haunting debut, a tragic event sparks revelations from nine year old Mallie, her mother, her grandfather, a waitress, and Mallie s father s ex lover. They discover long hidden truths and forge new bonds in this unforgettable, heartbreaking novel about parents, children, and love.

Shadow Baby

Clara first spies him through the crack in the stained glass window of her church, lighting a string of handmade lanterns in the Adirondack woods. A lone old man, Georg Kominsky moves stealthily among the shadow world of his hanging, glittering creations. In Alison McGhee’s stunning novel Shadow Baby, eleven year old Clara is struggling to find the truth about her missing father and grandfather and her twin sister, dead at birth, but her mother steadfastly refuses to talk about these people who are lost to her daughter. When Clara begins interviewing Georg Kominsky for a school biography assignment, she finds that he is equally reticent about his own concealed history. Precocious and imaginative, the girl invents version upon version of Mr. Kominsky’s past, just as she invents lives for the people missing from her own shadowy past. The journey of discovery that these two oddly matched people embark upon is at the heart of this beautiful story about friendship and communion, about discovering what matters most in life, and about the search to find the missing pieces of ourselves. McGhee’s prose glistens with shrewd truth and wild imaginings, creating a fine novel that will reverberate in the hearts and minds of readers long after the book is finished. From the Hardcover edition.

Was It Beautiful?

Was It Beautiful?? is a spare, powerful, and tender portrayal of loss and renewal at midlife. With singular grace and humor, Alison McGhee pays loving attention to the details of life in the Adirondacks and to the small kindnesses and idiosyncrasies that make each member of a community precious and unique. Until recently, William T. Jones was the happiest man in upstate New York, a self proclaimed king of the world who laughed loudly and often. He had a life he was proud of, including a long standing marriage, a fine, spirited grown son, and ownership of the farm in the north woods where his family had lived for generations. But in the past year his life has become almost unrecognizable to him. He watched, powerless, while his musically gifted twenty seven year old son, William J., lost first his hearing and then his life. Reeling with this double tragedy, William T. has withdrawn almost completely, and it looks as though his marriage and his job will be the next things to go. In fact, he has begun to wonder whether his own life is worth continuing. But like it or not, William T. is not alone and the people around him won t let him slip away so easily. They are watching over him, as patient and constant as the stars in the night sky, and as he awakens to their gentle strength, he sees that they too have suffered tremendously and that the time has come to reconcile what has been lost and what may yet be saved.


A sensitive girl comes to terms with loss and learns something about lasting ties in this genuine, gracefully told story.

‘Name: Edwina Stiles Beckey. Nickname: Eddie. Age: Eleven. Hometown: North Sterns, New York, in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. Best Friend: Sally Hobart. Favorite Activity: Making lists.’

Eddie Beckey makes lists for just about everything and everyone in her life. And for matters of real importance, she wears and snaps an array of colored rubber bands on her wrist. Unfortunately, the world is not always so orderly and knowable. No list can help her cope with what’s happening to her best friend, Sally or change the course of things for Sally s grandmother, whom Eddie has grown to love and depend on as well. With subtlety and insight, novelist Alison McGhee tells the story of a young girl s first encounter with grief, and of the enduring power of friendship.

All Rivers Flow to the Sea

When a car accident leaves a teenage girl in a coma, her surviving sister struggles with grief and guilt as she faces the inevitability of moving on and letting go. To seventeen year old Rose, it seems it keeps happening that car crash on a mountain road, her older sister, Ivy, behind the wheel, the same Ivy who is now in a coma with only the WISHHH of a respirator keeping her alive. Mom refuses to believe that Ivy is gone and won’t even visit, spending her days at the brewing factory and her nights in the mindless weaving of potholders or folding of paper cranes. It’s up to Rose and family friend William T. to make the daily vigil to Ivy’s bedside, where Rose reads aloud from a book on the sudden destruction of ancient Pompeii. More and more, she has the frightening sense that there are rivers inside her threatening to overflow their banks. In an effort to feel something anything else, she takes to meeting a series of boys at the gorge while her mind drifts away like a hovering bird, watching her actions below. Heart rending, honest, and ultimately hopeful, this first young adult novel from the acclaimed author of SHADOW BABY and SNAP is the poetically told story of a teenager overwhelmed by trauma and loss yet steadied by loyal friendships and, finally, the solace of first love.

Falling Boy

‘Did you really rescue your mother from a fate worse than death on a cliff overlooking the sea?’

After a mysterious accident left him paralyzed, sixteen year old Joseph finds himself living with his father in Minneapolis and working hot summer days in a bakery. What happened to the life he used to live? How did he come to be here? Although they approach the mystery in different ways, two people in Joseph’s new life seventeen year old Zap, who also works in the bakery, and Enzo, a fierce and funny nine year old girl both want to find out.

‘Are you really a superhero?’ whispers Enzo, who secretly longs for her world to be transformed. ‘Please be a superhero.’

Stoically quiet, Joseph has never thought of himself as a superhero, especially now that he is in a wheelchair and can’t feel his legs. But others disagree. Who is the hero? Who is the enemy? Is redemption possible, and if so, where is it to be found? In Alison McGhee’s strange and powerful Falling Boy, a small band of tough kids turn the myth of the superhero inside out as they face down the shadows of childhood.

Countdown to Kindergarten

It’s just ten days before kindergarten, and this little girl has heard all there is to know from a first grader about what it’s going to be like. You can’t bring your cat, you can’t bring a stuffed animal, and the number one rule? You can’t ask anyone for help. Ever. So what do you do when your shoes come untied, if you’re the only one in the class who doesn’t know how to tie them up again?
Told with gentle humor by Alison McGhee and brought to exuberant life by New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss, this lighthearted take on pre kindergarten anxiety will bring a smile to the face of every child and parent having first day jitters.

Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth

Sure, first grade teacher Mrs. Watson may look human, but it is a known and proven fact that she is actually a three hundred year old alien who steals baby teeth from her students. Thank goodness for a second grader’s warning, because this little first grader has a secret: She has a loose tooth! Her first! How will she make it through an entire year without opening her mouth? Told with the same gentle wit as in their first irresistible collaboration, Countdown to Kindergarten, this lighthearted take on losing one’s first tooth will have children and parents laughing aloud.

A Very Brave Witch

On the far side of town in a big dark house lives a brave little witch. She has heard lots and lots about that very human holiday Halloween, and even though she thinks she knows what humans are like, she has never, ever seen Halloween for herself. Until one very special Halloween comes along…


A mother’s love leads to a mother’s dream every mother’s dream for her child to live life to its fullest. A deceptively simple, powerful ode to the potential of love and the potential in life, Someday is the book you’ll want to share with someone else…
today. The perfect gift for Mother’s Day, Graduation Day or Any Day share a copy with every special person in your life.

Bye-Bye, Crib

There it is.
Over there.
The big bed…

Am I ready?

1 New York Times best selling author Alison McGhee tells the tale of a child’s first rite of passage from the crib to the big bed. Ross MacDonald’s glowing illustrations will comfort, amuse, and inspire toddlers and even their parents as they take this first big step together.

Song of Middle C

From the duo of Alison McGhee and Scott Menchin comes a hilarioustale of a first recital and a charming ode to chutzpah and creative flair. Practice makes perfect. And for a little girl facing her first recital of ‘Dance of the Wood Elves,’ so do artistry, imagination those wood elves sure love to dance!, and lucky underwear for good measure. Is she nervous as she waits and waits for her turn on stage? Hoo boy, no! She’s as cool as a cucumber! Every child who has felt the pressure of the spotlight will smile at this comical tale of bravado that turns a onenote performance into an improvisation worthy of a standing ovation. Splendissimo!


How deep is the bond between a child and a beloved pet? And how far will a pet go to protect his dear friend? To the ends of the earth…
Always. Alison McGhee, author of the 1 New York Times bestselling Someday, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, gives voice to the love that knows no bounds in this gentle and poignant picture book about friendship, loyalty, and most of all, love.

Only a Witch Can Fly

Only a Witch Can Fly. But one little girl wants to fly more than anything. So on a special night, with the moon shining bright and her cat by her side, she gathers herself up, she grips her broom tight, and she tries. And she fails. And she’s brave. And she tries again. Until…
Utterly enchanting, New York Times best selling author Alison McGhee s lyrical language and Taeeun Yoo s transcendent linoleum block prints create a bewitching tale about finding one s own path that will send your heart soaring.

So Many Days

You are stronger than you know. You are wilder than you know. You are braver than you know. And you are capable of more than you could ever imagine. Life is full of surprises, big and small, both along the roads we take and where these winding paths eventually lead us. So Many Days will remind you to notice all the joy and love along the way, because it’s all there, helping to bring out the strongest, wildest, bravest YOU.

Making a Friend

Clean, cold, white snow! Snow for sledding. Snow for catching on your tongue. Snow for making a SNOWMAN! Is there anything as wonderful as SNOW? Is there any better friend than a SNOWMAN? Snow isn t forever, though. The wind shifts, the weather warms and snow melts into spring. The Snowman has become something else the fog, the rain. But, how can this boy forget his good friend? He doesn t and he doesn t have to. Bestselling author, Alison McGhee reminds us all that nothing that has been cared for can ever disappear for good, for, What you love will always be with you. And, this tender story about the power of friendship will stay with readers long after they turn the last page.

Related Authors

Leave a Comment