Present Tense of Prinny Murphy

The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy


 Click here for purchase options.


Present Tense of Prinny Murphy

Fitzhenry & Whiteside 2009 ISBN: 978-1-55455-145-3


There’s a story behind this cover, which was designed to match the second cover for The Nine Lives of Travis Keating.

The publisher emailed me an image for the bottom half of the cover (keep in mind that Prinny has difficulties reading). A tall female figure in a red coat was walking straight toward you, holding an open book smack-dab in front of her face.

Instantly I could imagine school kids saying, “Miss, why is she doing that? What’s she hiding from?” Besides, anyone reading a book that way would fall flat on her face in no time.

The publishers, bless their hearts, listened to my concerns. The children’s editor went with her daughter Kate into a nearby field and took several photos of Kate reading, then asked me to pick my favourite.

Needless to say, I was very grateful – and I love the cover!

About the Book:

It’s not just Prinny’s present that’s tense – her past and her future are, too. Her mother’s an alcoholic, her well-meaning father seems to forget that she exists, her best friend Travis is spending all his time with another, prettier girl, and the three kids Prinny calls the Shrikes are extorting money from her. Adding to her misery, she still can’t read well enough to escape remedial reading with the dour Mrs. Dooks.

How – and when – will Prinny find the backbone to stand up for herself?

Read an excerpt from the book


“…Jill MacLean has written another sensational novel for readers in the junior/intermediate grades…”

Canadian Children’s Book News Winter 2010

CM Magazine 2009

“MacLean’s writing is sensitive but unsentimental, deftly capturing some the real pain, uncertainties and joys of adolescence.”

The Sunday Herald January 10, 2010

“Beautifully layered and sensitively written, Prinny’s story will garner MacLean – and the characters of Ratchet – yet more fans. Let’s hope there’s a return visit soon.”

Quill & Quire December 2009

“MacLean’s characters will inhabit the reader’s world. The exotic northern setting…plays a major role in both mood and plot.”

Kirkus Reviews (May 1, 2010)

“…a heart-wrenching, yet ultimately hopeful, depiction of a young girl struggling in a small Newfoundland community…MacLean realistically shows the fear, humiliation, and desperation caused by bullying and the strength it takes to fight back…Very highly recommended for public and school libraries.”

Resource Links December 2009

“As good as [Nine Lives] was, the second instalment is even better. As hard-hitting as the first book was, the second one hits much harder…MacLean’s dialogue rings true. Her writing seems to be without fault.”

Purchase options for The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy:

From Fitzhenry & Whiteside:
Click here for the print version of the book
Click here for the eBook version

From Amazon:

Click here for the print version
Click here for the Kobo eBook version

Or go to your local independent bookstore.


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The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden
Jill MacLean's latest book The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden , published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside and is available in bookstores and on-line!

This book is the completion of the Newfoundland trilogy which started with The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, followed by The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy.

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