For Ages: 12 and up
  • 2
When Anna was little, she and her mother used to search for sea glass, but since they looked at night, they called it moonglass. Now, ten years after her mother's mysterious death, her father is working as head lifeguard on the same beach where her mother grew up and her parents first met and fell in love.

Reluctant to get close to anyone (including her father) and not pleased about having to start at a new school, Anna begins to spend more time alone, running the length of the beach and wondering about who her mother really was. After meeting a lifeguard named Tyler, she slowly lets her guard down and together they start exploring the abandoned houses that dot the beach.

But when learning more about her mother's past leads to a painful discovery, Anna must reconcile her desire for solitude with ultimately accepting the love of her family and friends.
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442416949 | 
  • May 2011 | 
  • Grades 7 and up
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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

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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