Spin the Sky

About The Book

Magnolia Woodson wants nothing more than to escape the town that hates her—she just doesn’t know how to do it.

Forced to put up with the snide comments and hateful looks thrown at them by the clamming-obsessed residents in their pitifully small Oregon town, Mags feels she’s destined to pay for the horrible, awful thing her mom did—and that Mom left her and her sister, Rose, to deal with—until the day she dies.

But when a nationwide televised dance competition posts tryouts in nearby Portland, Mags’s best friend, George, says they have to go and audition. Not only have they spent the past fourteen years of their lives dancing side-by-side, dreaming of a day just like this, but also it could be Mags’s chance of a lifetime. She could win the grand-prize money and get her and Rose out of Summerland. This is her chance to do the thing she loves most with everyone watching, her chance to show the town that she’s not and has never been a “no-good Woodson girl,” like her mother.

But will the competition prove too steep? And will Mags be able to retain her friendship with George as they go head-to-head in tryouts? Mags will have to learn that following her dreams may mean changing her life forever in many different ways.

About The Author

Jill Mackenzie, a Vancouver native, is an ex-ballerina and contemporary dancer. She received her MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and now chassés between roles her roles of full-time mom and always-writer. Though Jill no longer studies dance, she still tries to dance herself clean whenever she can. Currently she lives in Fort Jupiter, Florida, where she spends her free time beach-bound with her husband and two beautiful daughters.

Raves and Reviews

Spin the Sky takes a poignant look at what happens when the line between chasing big dreams and escaping a tough past starts to blur. Magnolia’s passion and fire leap off the page in this heartfelt and hopeful debut.”—Kathryn Holmes, author of How it Feels to Fly

“In Spin the Sky, Mags trades the unforgiving focus of a small town for the glaring lens of the nation in her own version of So You Think You Can Escape Your Past? Confronting other dance contestants equally dedicated to their art shatters not only Mag’s stereotypes but the reader’s. Everyone needs a win. Everyone has a past. Every life is complicated. Populated with dimensional characters, this book urges you to see both friends and enemies through new eyes.”—Liz Coley, author of Pretty Girl–13

“Jill MacKenzie’s lyrical prose dances across the page and leaps into your heart. Magnolia is a funny, flawed, driven, and every bit as real as a young adult heroine should be. Spin the Sky made me want to get up and dance, but I couldn’t bring myself to put it down! A truly inspiring debut about personal identity and overcoming your past by taking a blind leap into your future.”—Beth Neal, author of My Last Kiss

“A gripping novel about friendship, family, prejudice, redemption, and the bright and dark sides of fame and reality TV. From beginning to end I could not put this down. A stunning debut from Jill MacKenzie.”—Cara Chow, author of Bitter Melon

“Magnolia’s (and MacKenzie’s) infectious passion for dance radiates from every page as she discovers truth in the unlikeliest of places—a reality show!”—Liz Czukas, author of Ask Again Later

“Mackenzie deftly explores the idea that each person experiences pain, often deeply hidden from the world, as well as the maturity that comes from that understanding.” —School Library Journal

“A lively and absorbing story with all the drama of teen life.” —Kirkus Reviews

Spin the Sky takes a poignant look at what happens when the line between chasing big dreams and escaping a tough past starts to blur. Magnolia’s passion and fire leap off the page in this heartfelt and hopeful debut.”—Kathryn Holmes, author of How it Feels to Fly

“In Spin the Sky, Mags trades the unforgiving focus of a small town for the glaring lens of the nation in her own version of So You Think You Can Escape Your Past? Confronting other dance contestants equally dedicated to their art shatters not only Mag’s stereotypes but the reader’s. Everyone needs a win. Everyone has a past. Every life is complicated. Populated with dimensional characters, this book urges you to see both friends and enemies through new eyes.”—Liz Coley, author of Pretty Girl–13

“Jill MacKenzie’s lyrical prose dances across the page and leaps into your heart. Magnolia is a funny, flawed, driven, and every bit as real as a young adult heroine should be. Spin the Sky made me want to get up and dance, but I couldn’t bring myself to put it down! A truly inspiring debut about personal identity and overcoming your past by taking a blind leap into your future.”—Beth Neal, author of My Last Kiss

“A gripping novel about friendship, family, prejudice, redemption, and the bright and dark sides of fame and reality TV. From beginning to end I could not put this down. A stunning debut from Jill MacKenzie.”—Cara Chow, author of Bitter Melon

“Magnolia’s (and MacKenzie’s) infectious passion for dance radiates from every page as she discovers truth in the unlikeliest of places—a reality show!”—Liz Czukas, author of Ask Again Later

“Mackenzie deftly explores the idea that each person experiences pain, often deeply hidden from the world, as well as the maturity that comes from that understanding.” —School Library Journal

“A lively and absorbing story with all the drama of teen life.” —Kirkus Reviews

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