For Ages: 12 - 99
  • 2
Sarah Dessen says this “incredible first novel” is “fresh and wise, all at once.”

I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I’ve thought maybe my mother drowned in both.
Anna’s life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It’s bad enough that she has to leave her friends behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love—a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface.
     While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tide means that nothing—not the sea glass that collects along the shore, and not the truths behind Anna’s mother’s death—stays buried forever.
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442416963 | 
  • May 2011 | 
  • Grades 7 and up
List Price $9.99 (price may vary by retailer)

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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions for:

by Jessi Kirby

1. On page 12, Anna reflects, “[T]he water had become the place where I felt most at home.” Where do you feel most at home? What are the qualities that matter most in feeling at home?

2. Describe the picturesque setting of Moonglass. How does the setting influence the story? Which elements of the setting strike you as most important?

3. The ocean was an omnipresent, though ever-changing, feature in Moonglass. Think back to how Jessi Kirby described the ocean at various points in the book. In what ways did the “mood” of the ocean reflect the “mood” of the book?

4. When Joy tells Anna the legend of mermaid tears, she concludes, “It’s stories like that that make the little things beautiful,” (p. 87). What does she mean by this? Consider some of the childhood stories you grew up with. In what ways does Joy’s remark hold true in your own life?

5. Questioning is a prevalent theme throughout the story. Anna’s father stops telling her about her mother because Anna stopped asking about her. Joy introduces her class by inviting students to ask questions about their new course material. Joy later comments to Anna, “Answers to most of our questions do exist. You just have to ask them,” (p. 122). What are the most important questions you’ve faced in your life? How ha see more

Behind the Book

More Books from this Author

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In Honor

About the Author

Jessi Kirby
Photograph by Vicki Kramer

Jessi Kirby

Jessi Kirby is the author of Moonglass, which was an ABA New Voices selection in 2011; In Honor; and Golden. When she’s not writing, she works as a middle school librarian. She lives with her husband and two children in Crystal Cove, California. Visit her at