US - Canada - UK)
By Karlijn Stoffels (Website)
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (January 1, 2009)
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 144 pages
Excerpt (link is on page listed as "passage")
Blurb from Author's Website
Born of deaf-mute parents, Mee was always called "You," "Boy" or "You There." So when the local school master arrives to take him to school, when asked his name, he responds that he is me, and thus, "Mee" becomes his name. He excels at school, but music is his gift. He is able to create such haunting music that everyone stops to listen when they hear his song.
But after his father dies, and his mother grows ill, Mee does all he can to relieve his mother's suffering. Unable to hear his song, she nods sadly and passes away. After her death, Mee can not remain in the house that reminds him of his inability to heal his mother.
Mee sets off on a journey that takes him to many villages and distant lands. He is sought after by all as the singer of sorrows. He helps ease the pain of those in mourning. The book shares his different encounters and their sad stories.
This is a fairytale about love, loss and discovery. The author herself calls this a love story. From what I have read about it, this tale is dark and poignant but endearing as well. This definitely falls squarely in the category of fantasy and since I have a great love of YA stories, is something I would enjoy reading. For more information, I found a very nice review here: The Bookcrossing.
The publisher's blurb was a bit over-the-top, so I found this one on the author's website. This one goes in the other extreme--it doesn't tell me enough. I suppose that's a good quality in a blurb! The author is a Dutch writer and this is her first translation into English. I love wandering adventure stories, so I guess this one appeals to both of us.
What do you think?