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Shirley Marr
Photo Credit: Isabelle Haubrich

Shirley Marr

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Shirley Marr is a first-generation Chinese Australian living in Perth and an author of young adult and children's fiction, including YA novels Fury and Preloved, and children’s novels Little Jiang, A Glasshouse of Stars, All Four Quarters of the Moon and Countdown to Yesterday. She describes herself as having a Western mind and an Eastern heart. She likes to write in the space in the middle where they both collide, basing her stories on her own personal experiences of migration and growing up in Australia, along with the folk and fairy tales from her mother. Arriving in mainland Australia from Christmas Island as a seven-year-old in the 1980s and experiencing the good, the bad and the wonder that comes with culture shock, Shirley has been in love with reading and writing from that early age. Shirley is a universe full of stars and stories and hopes to share the many other novels that she has inside her.

Books by Shirley Marr

Countdown to Yesterday

From the incredible mind of multi-award-winning Australian children’s author Shirley Marr comes a beautiful story for young readers about memories, family, friendship, The Australian Women’s Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book, David Bowie and time travel!

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All Four Quarters of the Moon

A big-hearted story of love and resilience from CBCA award-winning author Shirley Marr, starring sisters and storytellers Peijing and Biju, a lost family finding their way, a Little World made of paper, a Jade Rabbit, and the ever-changing but constant moon.

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A Glasshouse of Stars

Winner of the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year - Younger Readers 2022


An exquisite, heartbreakingly beautiful gem of a novel for anyone who loved Wonder, Lenny's Book of Everything, A Monster Calls or When You Reach Me.

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Countdown to Yesterday Word Search

Download a free activity pack!

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Award-winning and shortlisted books of 2022

Discover the best Penguin Random House books of 2022 with this list of award-winning and shortlisted titles this year.

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A Glasshouse of Stars Wins CBCA Book of the Year – Younger Readers 2022

Shirley Marr's children's novel has just won the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year award 2022.

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Shirley Marr shares experience as child that inspired new book

‘That memory will stay with me for a long time, it was really touching and something I will always remember.’

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All Four Quarters of the Moon book club questions

There’s so much to talk about in this big-hearted story starring sisters and storytellers Peijing and Biju, a lost family finding their way, a Little World made of paper, a Jade Rabbit, and the ever-changing but constant moon . . .

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CBCA Book Award Notables 2022

Fourteen Penguin and Puffin books have been selected for the CBCA Book Awards Notables list.

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Shirley Marr Q&A

A Glasshouse of Stars author on second-person narration, immigration and childhood fears.

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A Glasshouse of Stars by Shirley Marr | Teaser

Buy now: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/a-glasshouse-of-stars-9781760899547 'Heart-twisting and hopeful, bursting with big feelings and gentle magic. This is a special book from a powerful, compassionate new voice in children’s literature, destined to be read and loved for generations and held close in many hearts (including mine).' – Jessica Townsend, New York Times bestselling author of the Nevermoor series Meixing Lim and her family have arrived at the New House in the New Land, inherited from First Uncle who died tragically and unexpectedly while picking oranges in the backyard. Everything is vast and unknown to Meixing and not in a good way, including the house she has dubbed Big Scary. She is embarrassed by the second-hand shoes given to her by the kind neighbours, has trouble understanding the language at school, and with fitting in and making new friends. Her solace is a glasshouse in the garden that inexplicably holds the sun and the moon and all the secrets of her memory and imagination. Her fragile universe is rocked when tragedy strikes and Ma Ma refuses to face the world outside. Meixing finds herself trapped within the shrinking walls of Big Scary. Her parents said this would be a better life for them all, but it feels like the worst and most heart-breaking experience of Meixing's entire existence. Surviving will take all the resilience and inner belief of this brave girl to turn their world around. #AGlasshouseofStars #ShirleyMarr

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A Glasshouse of Stars by Shirley Marr | Book trailer

Buy now: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/a-glasshouse-of-stars-9781760899547 Meixing Lim and her family have arrived at the New House in the New Land, inherited from First Uncle who died tragically and unexpectedly while picking oranges in the backyard. Everything is vast and unknown to Meixing and not in a good way, including the house she has dubbed Big Scary. She is embarrassed by the second-hand shoes given to her by the kind neighbours, has trouble understanding the language at school, and with fitting in and making new friends. Her solace is a glasshouse in the garden that inexplicably holds the sun and the moon and all the secrets of her memory and imagination. Her fragile universe is rocked when tragedy strikes and Ma Ma refuses to face the world outside. Meixing finds herself trapped within the shrinking walls of Big Scary. Her parents said this would be a better life for them all, but it feels like the worst and most heart-breaking experience of Meixing's entire existence. Surviving will take all the resilience and inner belief of this brave girl to turn their world around. #AGlasshouseofStars #ShirleyMarr

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A Glasshouse of Stars book club notes

An exquisite, heartbreakingly beautiful gem of a novel for anyone who loved Wonder, Lenny's Book of Everything, A Monster Calls or When You Reach Me.