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Cover for Starbird Murphy and the World Outside

Starbird Murphy and the World Outside

Karen Finneyfrock


List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In her sixteen years of life, Starbird has never touched a dollar bill. She’s never been in a car. She’s never used a cell phone.

That’s because Starbird has always lived on the Free Family Farm, a commune in the woods of Washington State.

But all that is about to change. When Starbird gets her “Calling” to be a waitress at the Free Family’s restaurant in Seattle, she decides to leave behind the only home she’s ever known. 

Nothing could have prepared Starbird for the World Outside, or for what it would teach her about the Family—and herself.

From the author of The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door comes this hilarious and poignant story about finding your true calling in life.

Praise For Starbird Murphy and the World Outside

*"Readers will feel like they’re experiencing every step of Starbird’s eye-opening journey firsthand."—Publishers Weeklystarred review

*"A unique and fully immersive reading experience."—Bookliststarred review
"Both Starbird and readers will expand their worlds."—Kirkus Reviews
"Will prompt lively discussion about independence and belief."—BCCB

“In this page-turner…entertainment and discussion potential make it a great acquisition, especially paired with The Interrogation Of Gabriel James.”—VOYA

“This well-paced, character-rich story boasts a sense of foreboding that will be palpable even for those readers without much knowledge on American cultism. Finneyfrock deftly uses Starbird's new life in high school to weave in the history of American cults and communal living to place Starbird's story within a larger context. Readers from all walks of life will likely identify with this story's overarching themes of questioning faith and authority and the building of family.”—School Library Journal

From authors:
  • “Karen Finneyfrock is an amazing poet, so it is no surprise that her first novel is poetic. It is also hilarious, exciting, and as painful as anybody’s teenage years. Read it, please.”—Sherman Alexie, winner of the National Book Award, Young People’s Literature, for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  • "This might be the truest book I've ever read about the casual cruelty of bullying." —Gayle Forman, #1 New York Times best-selling author of If I Stay
  • "I LOVED The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door! Celia is a quirky and unique character whose journey—through friendship and secrets and chocolate—will stay with readers long after they close the book.”—Ruta Sepetys, bestselling author of Between Shades of Gray
  • “Hats—and hoodies—off to Karen Finneyfrock for an outstanding first novel that manages to be entertaining and important at the same time.”—James Howe
From critics:
  • “Engaging…What debut novelist Finneyfrock captures perfectly is the powerlessness of being a teen.”—Kirkus Reviews
  • “In her YA debut, Finneyfrock gives Celia a drily funny voice that keeps the narrative zipping along.”—Publishers Weekly 
  • “Finneyfrock weaves characters and plotlines into an entertaining and thought-provoking mix. She succeeds in making her debut much more than a ‘problem novel’ by creating a memorable outsider who is articulate, funny, and brave.”—School Library Journal 
  • "Suggest this to fans of David Levithan’s and A. S. King’s books, as well as all teens who feel outside the frenzy of high-school social life."—Booklist 
  • "Author Karen Finneyfrock works magic on the page...both hilarious and poignant."—BookPage 
  • "This well-written, engaging, and ultimately hopeful book offers sympathetic characters with depth and interest . . . Many readers will see themselves reflected in these pages."—VOYA
And from booksellers:
  • “The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door is more than just a revenge novel; in it Karen Finneyfrock has tackled some of the toughest young adult issues—bullying, coming out, divorce, suicide, runaways—in a novel as creatively penned as one of her heroine's poems.”—Jill Hendrix, bookseller, Fiction Addiction 
  • "Believable, hilarious, and heartbreaking,The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door is a treat for readers!”—Leslie Reiner, bookseller, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780670012763, 384pp.

Publication Date: June 12, 2014

About the Author

Karen Finneyfrock is a poet, novelist, and teaching artist. She is a writer-in-residence at Richard Hugo House in Seattle, Washington, and teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools program. In 2010, Karen traveled to Nepal as a Cultural Envoy through the US Department of State to perform and teach poetry and in 2011, she did a reading tour in Germany sponsored by the US Embassy. She has published two books of poetry and one young adult novel, The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door.