Thursday, 10 September 2020

The Heartsong of Wonder Quinn

The Heartsong of Wonder Quinn by Kate Gordon, UQP, ISBN 9780702262821 RRP $14.99

Reviewed by Claire Stuckey

We meet Wonder Quinn sitting on the roof of Direleafe Hall accompanied by Hollowbeak a crow, her only companion and friend. Each year she waits for a girl to start at the school who will become her friend. She reflects on the many students who have come and gone but none who have ever seen or spoken to her. This year might be different as the last girl to arrive looks up to her lookout.

Mabel is small and frail but immediately sits next to Wonder then chats calmly in Ms Gallows classroom. The girls become firm friends and share happy times together despite the cruel bully Georgiana. Wonder has spent so many years reading books in the library and in her attic where she has found solace while waiting for a friend. The room also contains the old filing cabinet with the school archives holding the files of pupils and staff including Wonder’s mother.  Mabel and Wonder spend so much happy time together, but Mabel is ill and has a list of special things she wants to do. Wonder helps her achieve her dreams with her friend Hollowbeak always close by offering advice. 

This is a heartwarming and heart-breaking story, a fantasy fairytale of friendship. The story examines sadness and strength of children but with a touch of realism as the girls face the truth of their situations. The book states it is for 7 + years and would be a great option for strong readers who need more depth then normal junior readers. The font size and limited graphics provide good story indicators without patronizing the reader.  I enjoyed the story and will certainly recommend it. 


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