Messenger by Jeni Stepanek
The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs

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Warning: Bring tissues. This book is not for the faint-hearted.
-California Literary Review


The moving tribute to the young man Oprah Winfrey called "an inspiration"-told by the woman who raised him.

Mattie Stepanek's Heartsongs books were a phenomenon. Not only did they hit the bestseller lists, but the books-and Mattie himself- were a source of inspiration to many, and brought him major recognition. Jimmy Carter described young Mattie Stepanek as "the most remarkable person I have ever known."

In Messenger, Jeni Stepanek shares the inspiring story of her son's life. Mattie was born with a rare disorder called Dysautonomic Mitochondrial Myopathy, and Jeni was advised to institutionalize him. Instead, she nurtured a child who transformed his hardships into a worldwide message of peace and hope. Though Mattie suffered through his disease, his mother's disabilities, and the loss of his three older siblings, he never abandoned his positive spirit. His Heartsong- the word he used to describe a person's inner self-spread a philosophy that peace begins with an attitude and can spread to the entire world.

About Jeni Stepanek

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JENI STEPANEK is the mother of Mattie Stepanek, the New York Times bestselling author and humanitarian, who passed away in 2004 to Dysautonomic Mitochondrial Myopathy. Jeni lost three other children to that same neuromuscular disease and has the adult-onset form herself. She holds a doctorate in early childhood special education and is an award-winning speaker. She lives in Rockville, Maryland.
Published October 28, 2009 by NAL. 345 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Professional & Technical, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Jun 12 2011
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Messenger
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0


on Nov 09 2009

Larry Lindner does a tremendous job of capturing Jeni Spepanek's recounting of Mattie's life. The story is very emotional and a box of tissues nearby is a good idea.

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Reviewed by Nancy Eaton on Apr 12 2013

Messenger is a wonderful book about the legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek. If you have seen Mattie on some of the television shows over the years, this is a must read book.

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California Literary Review

on Nov 11 2009

Warning: Bring tissues. This book is not for the faint-hearted.

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Buffalo Rising

on May 01 2011

An inspiring story not only of sacrifice, pain, and loss but also triumph of this sacred soul filled with the treasure of God's grace.

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