The Heartsong of Wonder Quinn

Kate Gordon

The Heartsong of Wonder Quinn
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The Heartsong of Wonder Quinn

Kate Gordon

Wonder Quinn is a lonely orphan who lives in the attic of Direleafe Hall with only a gloomy crow for company. Every year she watches the other girls return to school, hoping to find a friend among them. And every year her heart breaks when she doesn’t.

So when a fiery new girl befriends her in class, Wonder’s dreams seem to be coming true. Mabel Clattersham is outspoken, kind and, most importantly, unafraid of the awful Georgiana Kinch. But as the girls grow closer, Wonder discovers her friend has a list of strange wishes - Throw a pie, leap into the sky, break someone’s heart.     

What is Mabel’s big secret? And why is she in such a hurry to finish her list? Can Wonder protect her heart from being broken all over again? The Heartsong of Wonder Quinnis an enchanting fairytale celebrating friendship, bravery and the importance of staying true to yourself.


The Heartsong of Wonder Quinn is an enchanting and layered fairytale with a touch of the gothic. The author paints evocative landscapes of emotion and place: dreams and a profound longing for friendship loom large alongside dusty archives, a gloomy crow and shadowy twisted birches. The story’s slow, deliberate pacing ensures the reader’s empathy for Wonder Quinn, a melancholy, otherworldly character living in the attic of an old school. When the funny and bold Mabel appears, there’s a splash of colour in Wonder’s monochromatic world; her friendship has a lifechanging influence on Wonder’s soulful outlook.

This unusual tale, with its unexpected twists, explores themes of loneliness, longing and grief and celebrates love, friendship, and the power within. I suspect it’s for the thoughtful, serious but confident reader, aged 8+, who enjoys big themes with a touch of the spirit world.

Athina Clarke is the children’s book buyer at Readings Malvern.

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