Illustrated by: Hope Larson
For Ages: 12 - 99
  • 2
August 31, 5:15 PM, French Hill, Nova Scotia: A girl named Tara is running. She runs through her nice neighborhood and up a road to the burned ruins of what was once a beautiful house--her family's house.

August 31, 1859, French Hill, Nova Scotia: A girl named Josey is picking blackberries with her friend Connie. As the girls gossip, a handsome stranger knocks on the door of Josey's house. His name is Asa, and with his coming, Josey's life--and later in time, Tara's as well--is about to change forever.

Because there is treasure in the woods that belong to Josey's family. Gold--an untold fortune. Asa has a secret way of finding it, and his partnership with Josey's father could make them all rich. But there is darkness in the woods, and in Asa. And in the present day, Tara, Josey's descendent, is about to discover the truth about what really happened in the family's past.

Eisner award winner Hope Larson weaves together history, romance, and a touch of her trademark magical realism in this remarkable graphic novel of how the past haunts a teenage girl's present.
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416935889 | 
  • April 2010 | 
  • Grades 7 and up | 
  • Lexile ® GN370L
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Reading Group Guide

Mercury by Hope Larson
A Reading Group Guide

In 1859 French Hill, Nova Scotia, Josey Fraser has just met handsome Asa Curry, a man with a mysterious and traveled past. While quickly winning young Josey's heart, Asa reveals a secret ability to locate gold on the Fraser’s farm. Thrilled he has struck it rich, Asa is devastated when Josey’s father refuses to let him mine the gold. With his hopes of fortune dashed, Asa turns to desperate measures with tragic results. . . . 

In the same town one hundred fifty years later, Tara Fraser is dealing with the aftermath of her house burning down, a house that has been in her family—and Josey’s—for generations. While her mother works in another city and Tara reacclimates to public high school, she discovers a pendant that turns out to be much more than a simple heirloom. As her ancestor’s mysterious past reveals itself, Tara’s story emerges with the promise of gold. 

A compelling combination of history and romance, marked with Larson’s signature magical realism, Mercury is an extraordinary depiction of two girls tied by blood and separated by time.

Hope Larson is the author of Chiggers, Gray Horses, and Salamander Dream, which Publishers Weekly named one of 2005’s best comics. She won a 2007 Eisner Award, the highest honor for see more

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About the Author

Hope Larson
Photograph by the Bui Brothers

Hope Larson

Hope Larson is the author of Who Is AC? and the author-illustrator of Mercury, Chiggers, Gray Horses, and Salamander Dream, which Publishers Weekly named one of 2005's best comics. She won a 2007 Eisner Award, the highest honor for a comic artist. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles. You can visit her at