The Flint Heart by Katherine Paterson

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A robust and wildly entertaining fairy tale, freely abridged from Eden Phillpotts's 1910 fantasy and wryly retold by Katherine and John Paterson.

An ambitious Stone Age man demands a talisman that will harden his heart, allowing him to take control of his tribe. Against his better judgment, the tribe's magic man creates the Flint Heart, but the cruelty of it causes the destruction of the tribe. Thousands of years later, the talisman reemerges to corrupt a kindly farmer, an innocent fairy creature, and a familial badger. Can Charles and his sister Unity, who have consulted with fairies such as the mysterious Zagabog, wisest creature in the universe, find a way to rescue humans, fairies, and animals alike from the dark influence of the Flint Heart? This humorous, hearty, utterly delightful fairy tale is the sort for an entire family to savor together or an adventurous youngster to devour.

About Katherine Paterson

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Katherine Paterson is the current National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Her international fame rests not only on her widely acclaimed novels but also on her efforts to promote literacy in the United States and abroad. She is a two-time winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award, and she has received many other accolades for her works, including the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, given by her home state of Vermont. Katherine Paterson was also named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000. She lives in Barre, Vermont, with her husband, John Paterson. John Paterson Sr. has collaborated with his wife, Katherine, on CONSIDER THE LILIES: PLANTS OF THE BIBLE; IMAGES OF GOD; AND BLUEBERRIES FOR THE QUEEN. He lives with his wife in Barre, Vermont. John Rocco collaborated with Whoopie Goldberg on the picture book Alice and was Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering and served as pre-production art director at Dreamworks for the ? lm Shrek. His children's books include FU FINDS THE WAY, WOLF! WOLF!, and MOONPOWDER, and his illustrations are also featured on the jackets of Rick Riordan's best-selling YA series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. John Rocco lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Published September 27, 2011 by Candlewick. 304 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Flint Heart

Kirkus Reviews

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A hard-hearted individual can rule his tribe in the Stone Age and, fast-forwarding to the early 20th century, become the leader in one’s community, but at a cost to his good nature, family and friends.

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The New York Times

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Katherine and John Paterson bring back a century-old fantasy classic.

Sep 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Flint Heart

Publishers Weekly

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Katherine and John Paterson’s bewitching fairy tale about the re-emergence of a dangerous talisman called the Flint Heart that hardens the heart of anyone unlucky enough to be corrupted by its magic comes to life thanks to top-notch narration from Ralph Lister.

Jan 30 2012 | Read Full Review of The Flint Heart

Publishers Weekly

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A full century after the publication of Eden Philpotts's The Flint Heart (Dutton, 1910) the story resurfaces in the capable hands of the Patersons (Blueberries for the Queen), who stay true to the language and story line of the original, preserving the book's humor, whimsy, and enchanting storyte...

Jul 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Flint Heart

The Wall Street Journal

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The sober historical trajectory that unfolds in the pages of Kadir Nelson's "Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African-Americans" (HarperCollins, 108 pages, $19.99) won't be new or surprising to children over the age of 9, given the degree to which black history has become a fixture of the...

Sep 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Flint Heart

New York Journal of Books

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“The Patersons preface their work with a line by Eden Phillpotts: ‘The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow stronger.’ The Flint Heart is a bit of enchantment rescued for a new audience.”In a fantasy shining with wit and wisdom, the corrosive effects of power...

Sep 27 2011 | Read Full Review of The Flint Heart

Portland Book Review

In the hopes of transforming their father back into the caring man they love, Charles and Unity Jago join together with the local fairies to find a cure, but the faeries have troubles of their own, and Mr. Jago is by no means the final victim of the Flint Heart’s dark magic.

Apr 03 2012 | Read Full Review of The Flint Heart


The Flint Heart, as it has been shown, is a very powerful charm and has the power to sway the hearts of even the smallest creatures.

Sep 27 2011 | Read Full Review of The Flint Heart

Shelf Awareness

To celebrate the Indie Booksellers Choice Awards win by Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr (Akashic Books), Consortium asked independent booksellers who were promoting the five winners to send photos of their best displays.

Jul 27 2011 | Read Full Review of The Flint Heart

Youth Services Book Review

(Middle schools, high schools, small libraries, all libraries, etc.) Public libraries, as well as middle school and elementary school libraries should purchase this book.

Jan 30 2012 | Read Full Review of The Flint Heart

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