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3.0 

The Head of the Saint

By Socorro Acioli & Daniel Hahn
The Head of the Saint by Socorro Acioli & Daniel Hahn digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

A 2017 LA Times Book Prize Finalist

A quirky story of love, mischief, and forgiveness from Brazil’s foremost award-winning author for young readers, in her U.S. debut.

 
Fourteen-year-old Samuel is newly orphaned and homeless in a small town in Brazil. He lives in a giant, hollow, concrete head of St. Anthony, the lingering evidence of the village’s inept and failed attempt to build a monolith over a decade ago. He didn’t know what it was when he crawled into it, seeking shelter during a storm, but since coming there, he hears beautiful singing, echoing like magic in the head twice a day. So he stays.

Miraculously, he can also hear the private prayers and longings of the villagers. Feeling mischievous, Samuel begins to help answer these prayers, hoping that if he does, their noise will quiet down and he can listen to the beautiful singing in peace. Ironically, his miracles gain him so many fans that he starts to worry he will never fulfill his own true longing and find the source of the singing.
 
Filled with beautiful turns of phrase and wonderfully quirky characters, The Head of the Saint is a riotous story of faith and magic that won’t soon leave your thoughts.

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5 Reviews

3.0
“'It was a hallucination maybe. Yet the day was getting lighter and he could see: yes, it really was the head of a saint- hollow, huge terrifying and forest-covered. A decapitated saint was his only shelter in the world. And with that thought, he went back inside.' The Head of the Saint is a lovely, heartfelt tale of a newly homeless Brazilian boy Samuel, who lives only to fulfill his mothers dying wish. This would involve Samuel to travel across Brazil with nothing to his name but his dead mother's faith. Faith he certainly doesn't have. Find three blessed saint statues, and light a candle for his mother at the foot of each. There's just one little thing. Samuel doesn't believe in saints. They haven't done anything for him after all. 'Saints were stone and only stone. That was Samuel's only law.' A story full of love, loss, faith and fortune. The Head of the Saint was definitely a strangely beautiful story that was amazingly written.”

About Socorro Acioli

Socorro Acioli was born in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. She is a journalist and has a master’s degree in Brazilian literature and a PhD in literary studies. She started her writing career in 2001 and since then has published books in various genres, including children’s short stories and YA novels, and has received Brazil’s most prestigious award for children’s literature, the Jabuti Prize.

In 2006, she was selected to take part in a workshop conducted by Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez. The author was selected by García Márquez himself based on her synopsis for The Head of the Saint. In 2007, she was a visiting researcher at a university in Germany, and she has lectured in several other countries, including Portugal, Bolivia, and Cape Verde. Socorro is also a translator, essayist, and literary theory teacher.

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