The Heart Changer

The Heart Changer

by Jarm Del Boccio


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Can an Israelite captive, wrenched from all she loves, serve the very man who destroyed her village?

Miriam is asked to do the impossible: serve the wife of Naaman, commander of the Syrian army. Clinging to treasured memories of home and faith, Miriam faces captivity with worry and bitterness. Little does she know the Heart Changer is wooing and preparing her for a greater mission—far beyond what she could imagine.

This middle-grade historical novel reflects the heartache and angst of a young refugee in a foreign land where all hope seems lost.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620208687
Publisher: Emerald House Group, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/26/2019
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Jarm (’J’ pronounced as a ‘Y’) Del Boccio finds her inspiration in everyday life, but in particular, when she travels the globe, observing the quirky things that happen along the way as she checks off destinations on her bucket list.

A former teacher and librarian, Jarm’s passion is to make the Bible and history come alive for her readers. She believes with inspiration from the past, children can be the heroes of their own stories. You can find more about the author on her website/blog “Making the Write Connections” at

Jarm is content with the journey God has placed her on, and lives with her husband, son and daughter (when they are at home) in a tree-lined suburb of Chicago. The Heart Changer is her debut novel.

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The Heart Changer 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
JuneMJ 10 days ago
This middle-grade historical {Biblical period} novel is filled with faith, forgiveness, love, and personal growth. The author has done an excellent job of creating a story which would make an excellent family, classroom, or church school read-aloud. I appreciated the poem the author included in the prologue, 'The Master Weaver', and the high-level vocabulary and sentence structure she used throughout the book. The story is filled with a wide range of emotions which draw a reader into the story from the first paragraph. Recommended for fans of historical fiction, Biblical fiction, and middle-grade fiction. I received access to a digital copy of this book for my own use. I was not compensated in any way to post my review here or on any other site. ###########
Phyllis_H 21 days ago
Finding freedom in captivity The Heart Changer is a very touching and believable account of a twelve-year-old girl who has been torn from her home and forced to serve as a slave for the wife of the man responsible for her slavery and the destruction of her village. Written for a younger audience, there is not a great deal of violence, yet Miriam's agony is clearly felt. I love the way she learned to adjust to her new environment and the struggles she experienced as she sought to trust God even in a foreign land. The author did such a fantastic job of making me consider what it might have been like. She cleverly included details from other details of Elijah and Elisha's lives and ministries and had set Miriam's former home in Shunam, the site of the home of the widow whose son Elijah raised from the dead to better incorporate them into the story. Despite my idealized version of this girl who so willingly shared the healing power of God with her enemy, the author more realistically showed her struggling against anger, resentment, and unforgiveness. And even when she had given them over to God, she continued to struggle. Does that sound like anyone you know? It sure hits home for me! This account stayed true to the Biblical narrative and gave some interesting details about the setting of this story. The city of Damascus came to life and colorful descriptions of foods and customs enhanced the reading. While not described in detail, hints about some of the potential ways Naman and his wife might have entreated their gods were mentioned. Enough so as to give an idea of the horrible cost those idols required without becoming overly gruesome or inappropriate for children. Another thing I appreciated about The Heart Changer is that the author didn't dumb down the language for the intended younger audience. Even as an adult, I am sometimes insulted by the way middle-school and young adult authors simplify the language as if these readers can't handle big words. Not so with Jarm Del Boccio While the target audience is middle-school-aged readers, I can also see older elementary, high school and adult readers enjoying it as well. I highly recommend this lovely story of changed hearts, and will be watching for more books from this gifted author! Read my review of The Heart Changer by Jarm Del Boccio at I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
CMBD 22 days ago
The Heart Changer is Jarmilia Vicki Del Boccio's new middle grade historical novel, and is the retelling of an ancient story. The time and place, (the Middle East) is evoked through the many exotic sights, sounds, foods, and situations the main character, Miriam, experiences in her time as a captured slave. Readers will enjoy this well-written and well-paced book, and the colorful and evocative glimpse into the past.
AnnaF 24 days ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I loved getting to know the characters. Although this is for Middle-school age readers, as an adult I enjoyed it as well. Author did a great job of bringing this story to life. I would recommend this book for all ages. I love that the author was able to bring to life someone from Bible that has no name and yet there's this beautiful story about them and their faith.
Anonymous 25 days ago
I love a story with a great opening. Something that grabs you from the first sentence and draws you in immediately. Jarm Del Boccio’s book, ‘The Heart Changer,’ doesn’t disappoint. At the beginning of this middle grade novel, we meet twelve-year-old Miriam as she’s desperately trying to flee a raid on her village. It’s a real heart-pounder: we feel Miriam’s terror as she runs for her life but instead is snatched by an enemy solder on horseback. As she is carried away, Miriam is uncertain about not only her and her family’s fate, but about whether God is really there for her. Miriam’s heart is stubborn, which is understandable. She’s just been kidnapped, doesn’t know if her family survived the invasion, and had to walk across the desert to become a servant in a strange land. The fact that she asks, “Where was the Almighty anyway, when our village was attacked?” is a question I had too. This is the beauty of The Heart Changer: Miriam represents how many of us feel and react whenever we are faced with a challenge or tragedy. We ask, “Why me? Where is God and why isn’t He doing something?” This is a story for young readers, but the lessons told serve us all: the power of faith, of softening your heart and trusting that you’re on journey and only He knows the destination. The story takes the reader on many twists and turns that reveal Miriam’s determination, her stubbornness and her wavering heart. It’s an adventure that kids would really connect with especially since it’s told from the perspective of a child. Miriam faces many challenges along the way. At times she’s angry with her captors, Naaman and his wife Adara, and she has a rocky relationship with Rana, the maid she’s replacing who’s also her roommate. A turning point comes when Miriam remembers her parents’ teachings. In a particularly challenging point of the story, she hears her mother’s voice tell her, “Leave no room for the devil to bury in your heart.” It’s these memories of her family’s lessons that lead to Miriam’s resolve to be faithful and to honor God by doing the best she can under the circumstances. It’s a fast-paced read that really never has a dull moment, which is great for holding the attention of younger readers. My only criticism is that I wish the ending were extended a bit so that we could see first-hand the resolution that we are told about. Overall, the Heart Changer is a reminder to show even our worst enemies kindness, to be true to ourselves and above all to have faith that He might have something wonderful in store for us even when we’re facing great difficulties. These are powerful lessons for kids to learn, especially when conveyed through such a thrilling story.