THE WONDERLING: Songcatcher
by Mira Bartok
“...A stellar new contribution to fantasy that should find a place in every middle grade collection.” School Library Journal (starred review)
“...This beguiling fiction debut from Bartók (The Memory Palace, 2011) is just the ticket for readers who revel in quest stories, or those with a soft spot for animal fantasies...With a movie already underway, this book seems preordained for popularity.” Booklist
“..Captivating and with great potential as a read-aloud.” Kirkus (starred review)
In this extraordinary debut novel with its deft nod to Dickensian heroes and rogues, Mira Bartók tells the story of Arthur, a shy, fox-like foundling with only one ear and a desperate desire to belong, as he seeks his destiny.
Have you been unexpectedly burdened by a recently orphaned or unclaimed creature? Worry not! We have just the solution for you!
Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name — a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck — it is the only home he has ever known. But unexpected courage leads him to acquire the loyalty of a young bird groundling named Trinket, who gives the Home’s loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name — Arthur, like the good king in the old stories — and a best friend. Using Trinket’s ingenious invention, the pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of sweet Arthur’s true destiny. Richly imagined, with shimmering language, steampunk motifs, and gripping, magical plot twists, this high adventure fantasy is the debut novel of award-winning memoirist Mira Bartók and has already been put into development for a major motion picture.
To listen to a fun interview I did on Great Big Beautiful Podcast with Jamie Green from Roarbots, go here: https://theroarbots.com/gbbp-228-mira-bartok/
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