HEARTSINGER by Karlijn Stoffels
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 14 & up
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Although born to deaf-mute parents, Mee develops a unique talent for singing. While his strange songs can calm the ocean’s waves, they fail to lift his widowed mother’s somber heart. To escape this memory, Mee heads east, becoming the singer of sorrows. Whether singing over the lieutenant, the farrier’s wife or the sailor’s sweetheart, he sees their lives and loves before him, eases their mourners’ grief, yet always remains alone. Heading west in search of Mee is Mitou, a girl born on the same day into a house of ceaseless insults. Using music to protect her from the “black-word plague,” she has become a traveling merrymaker. In search of this musical pair is Prince Viereg, who hopes their gifts can turn the depressed Princess Esperanza away from her mirrors and back toward the world again. Stoffels’s fresh Dutch voice, rendered fluidly and beautifully in Watkinson’s translation, weaves together traditional folktale elements to creates an original, haunting story of love that is magical unto itself. Heartfelt through and through. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-545-06929-8
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2008


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