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Joyce McDonald

Photo of Joyce McDonald

Photo: © Mac McDonald

About the Author

“I can’t remember a time when books and reading weren’t a part of my life. My mother used to read to me every night before I went to bed. I still read every night.”—Joyce McDonald

Shades of Simon Gray by Joyce McDonald, is an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and an Edgar Allan Poe Award nominee.


“I’ve always been a little off balance when it comes to books. I love everything about them. Not just the words on the page, but the way books feel in my hands and the way they smell. I grew up in Chatham, New Jersey, in a house where books lined shelves in almost every room. Most of my life has been devoted to them through one means or another. Over the years, I have worked in the publishing industry, run my own small press, owned and managed a bookstore, edited and published a children’s literary magazine, and taught literature and writing courses at local universities.

“Living in a quiet rural setting in New Jersey, with my husband, Mac, I’ve discovered how much a sense of place inspires the imagination of a writer. For the setting of Shadow People, I used the wild, often haunting, natural world of northwestern New Jersey and the Kittatinny Mountains as a backdrop for a disturbing look at teen violence. In my novel, Shades of Simon Gray, the setting is similar to some of the small, rural towns in this area.”

For more information on Joyce McDonald, visit her Web site at



—2002 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee
—A 2002 ALA Best Book for Young Adults

“Written with considerable narrative skill, the supernatural elements are so cleverly integrated that the ending is both satisfying and convincing. A page-turning plot, good characterization, and very convincing setting will have this suspenseful thriller driving up library circulation.”—Kirkus Reviews


—A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

“The characters are well drawn and the surprise ending is true to our justice system today. This look behind today’s headlines . . . could well be a topic for discussion.”—School Library Journal


—An ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults
—A YALSA Best of the Best 100
—A VOYA Outstanding Title of the Year
—A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

“Readers will quickly become absorbed in this electrifying portrayal of fear and deception.”—Publishers Weekly

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