A String in the Harp

A String in the Harp

4.4 14
by Nancy Bond
     
 

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A family in mourning...an ancient bard... and a harp key that brings them together.

When fifteen-year-old Jen Morgan flies to Wales to spend Christmas with her family, she's not expecting much from the holiday. A year after her mother's sudden death, her father seems preoccupied by the teaching job that has brought him and Jen's younger siblings to WalesSee more details below

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Overview

A family in mourning...an ancient bard... and a harp key that brings them together.

When fifteen-year-old Jen Morgan flies to Wales to spend Christmas with her family, she's not expecting much from the holiday. A year after her mother's sudden death, her father seems preoccupied by the teaching job that has brought him and Jen's younger siblings to Wales for the year. Her brother, Peter, is alternately hostile and sullen,and her sister, Becky, misses Jen terribly.
     Then Peter tells Jen he's found a strange artifact, a harp key that shows him pictures from the life of Taliesin, the great bard whose life in sixth-century Wales has been immortalized in legend. At first Jen doesn't believe him, but when the key's existence -- and its strange properties -- become known to the wider world, the Morgans must act together against a threat to the key...and to their family.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Readers will brook no interruption once they become immersed in the sustained magic" of this 1977 Newbery Honor Book about a boy who travels back in time to the 1500s, said PW. Ages 10-14. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Meagan Albright
This 1977 Newberry Honor book has lost none of its magic and relates as strongly to today's audience as it did to children decades ago. The story of loss, grief, family, friendship, magic, and the nation of Wales connects, at times on a very visceral level, with readers. The book is reminiscent of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising sequence, but with more emphasis placed on familial bonds with the magical plot line serving more as a tool for understanding the self and the family rather than functioning as the true focus of the story. This story would begin an excellent discussion on family, responsibility, and the history of Wales. This book is strongly recommended for readers ages 9—12; it will prove especially appealing to children interested in the fantasy genre, though it should be noted that that aspect of the story is a bit slow to start. Once the adventure has begun, however, readers will be enthralled by the tale and eager to find out what happens to the three American children metaphorically lost in Wales as they find danger, magic, and each other.
From the Publisher
"A most impressive first novel...deftly blends fantasy and realism."

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

"A substantial achievement"

Horn Book

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442465947
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
06/19/2012
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
308,661
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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