Murray Out of Water

$19.99 USD

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This contemporary middle grade novel in verse, tinged with magical elements, is perfect for readers of Rebecca Stead, Natalie Lloyd, and Jasmine Warga. When a hurricane hits the Jersey shoreline, twelve-year-old Murray O’Shea is separated from the one thing that makes her feel understood—the ocean. What follows is a coming-of-age exploration of queer identity, family, and friendship.

Big-hearted and observant twelve-year-old Murray O’Shea loves the ocean. Every chance she gets, she’s in it. It could be because the ocean never makes her apologize for being exactly who she is—something her conservative family refuses to do—but it could also be because of the secret magic that Murray shares with the ocean. Though she can’t explain its presence, the electric buzz she feels from her fingertips down to her toes allows her to become one with the ocean and all its creatures, and it makes Murray feel seen in a way she never feels on land.

So when a hurricane hits Murray’s Jersey Shore home, she and her family are forced to move in with relatives a state over. Being this far from the ocean, Murray seems to lose her magic. And stuck in a house with her family, she can no longer avoid the truths she’s discovering about herself—like how she feels in the clothes her mom makes her wear, or why she doesn't have boys on the brain like other girls her age.

But it’s not all hurricanes and heartache. Thankfully, Murray befriends a boy named Dylan, who has a magic of his own. When Murray agrees to partner with him for a youth roller-rama event in exchange for help getting her magic back, the two forge an unstoppable bond—one that helps Murray further see her true self and find community for the first time in her life. 

Taylor Tracy writes books filled with humor and heart that explore the joys and hopes of queer kids, focusing on mental health, found family, and the importance of a sense of community. She lives in New Jersey with her family, including a fluffle of mischievous rescue bunnies, and loves everything her home state has to offer: the best bagels, pizza, and beaches. When not writing, she can be found down the shore, in the rock gym or next to her growing pile of books to read and love.


"Taylor Tracy has gifted readers with a lyrical and deeply moving debut about life's unexpected challenges and the allies who help us through them. Readers will fall in love with Murray as she navigates a new friendship, family discord, and revelations about her own identity. Ultimately, Murray Out of Water is a gentle reminder that difficult moments in our lives will eventually pass. This beautifully-told story of queer kids finding one another and embracing their magic, on the other hand, will stay with me forever." -A. J. Sass, award-winning author of Ellen Outside the Lines

"Taylor Tracy's sea swept, magical novel-in-verse beautifully swirls up a tender tale of a middle schooler learning who they are, longing for family acceptance and support, and discovering rock solid friendship on the tumultuous backdrop of climate change. A truly important book that will find its way to the hearts of those who need it most." -Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic, author of The League of Picky Eaters

"This lovely, moving novel in verse combines beautiful language with emotional honesty to create a resonant story of identity and growing up. A heartfelt examination of queer identity through the lens of one lovable kid." -Kirkus Reviews

"Imagery is sensory and engaging while Murray’s voice is accessible." -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"Told in verse that flows like the waves in the ocean, this queer-friendly, open-hearted look at what it means to find yourself should find fans among readers who like the works of Jasmine Warga, Alex Gino, and Lisa Fipps." -Booklist

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