________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 6 . . . . November 16, 2001

cover The Wind Singer. (The Wind on Fire Trilogy, Volume I).

William Nicholson.
London, UK: Mammoth (Distributed in Canada by Stewart House Publishing), 2000.
341 pp., pbk., $11.99.
ISBN 0-7497-4471-5.

Subject Headings:
Twins-Juvenile fiction.
Brothers and sisters-Juvenile fiction.
Fantasy.

Grades 7-9 / Ages 12-14.

Review by Jennifer L. Branch.

**** /4

excerpt:

Then before Pinpin's bedtime, they made their family wish huddle, as they always did. Hanno Hath knelt down on the floor and reached up his arms. Bowman nestled under one, and Kestrel under the other. Pinpin stood with her face pressed to his chest, and her short arms round his body. Ira Hath knelt behind Pinpin, and wrapped her arms over Bowman on one side and Kestrel on the other, making a tight ring. Then they all leaned their heads inwards until they were touching, and took turns to say their night wish. Often they wished for comical things, especially their mother, who had once wished five nights running for the Blesh family to get ulcerated boils.

But tonight the mood was serious.
'I wish there were no more exams ever,' said Kestrel.
"I wish nothing bad happens to Kess,' said Bowman.
"I wish my darling children to be safe and happy for ever,' said their mother. She always wished like that when she was worried.
'I wish the wind singer would sing again,' said their father.

Everything in Aramanth would be better if the wind singer would sing again because then there would be no more exams. Everyone in Aramanth was required to take yearly exams even Pinpin would take an exam after her second birthday. Examinations results determined your place in the city, what colour clothing you could wear, what kind of home you would be assigned, and what kind of job you would do. In Aramanth, everyone is expected "to strive harder, to reach higher, and in every way to seek to make tomorrow better than today."

     Everyone in the Hath family dislikes examinations but none so much as Kestrel. After challenging the Chief Examiner and running away in fear, Kestrel stumbles on the hiding place of the exiled Emperor of Aramanth. The emperor tells her that there is a rophecy that she must fulfill. She is the chosen one who must find the voice of the wind singer. The voice of the wind singer is the only thing that can save Aramanth from the Morah, for it is the Morah who has brought hatred and envy to the city making it a prison for its citizens.

     The Wind Singer is the story of Kestrel and Bowman, the Hath twins, and their quest to find the voice of the wind singer. Mumpo, a child who is slow and unloved, joins the twins on their adventure. The story is gripping and full of suspense as the twins and Mumpo are often in danger. The characters are fully developed, and the fantastic lands and peoples encountered on the quest make for an interesting read.

Highly Recommended.

Jennifer L. Branch is an Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Studies and the Department of Elementary Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. She is also the Coordinator of the Teacher-Librarianship by Distance Learning Program


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Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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