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Young Adult Fiction Death & Dying

Heart Sister

by (author) Michael F. Stewart

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Aug 2020
Death & Dying, Film, Siblings
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 8 to 12
  • Reading age: 12 to 18


Key Selling Points

  • In Heart Sister, a teen filmmaker, reeling from the loss of his twin sister, tries to track down the recipients of her organs.
  • Explores themes of grief and loss and how families cope in the face of inconceivable tragedy.
  • Governor General Award–winning author Caroline Pignat describes it as “raw, real and riveting…a powerful story of hope.”
  • The author is also a screenwriter, which is reflected in the book’s unique structure.
  • A few years ago, the author's brother received a new heart. This story is written in gratitude to the (still anonymous) family of the young woman who gave him a new lease on life.

About the author

Michael F. Stewart has authored over two dozen books for kids and young adults. With works ranging from interactive digital epics and graphic novels to humorous middle grade and surreal young adult novels, Michael enjoys stretching the limits on his storytelling and working with other authors young and old to tell their stories. He has an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Ottawa with his partner, four daughters, a cat, and a dog.

Michael F. Stewart's profile page


  • Short-listed, Ottawa Book Awards
  • Nominated, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Awards - Snow Willow
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection
  • Short-listed, Snow Willow Award

Editorial Reviews

“An interesting look at grief, organ donation...I liked the messages the book shared – about death and loss, grieving in your own way, helping others, organ donations and family – whatever that looks like.”

Book Time blog

“A touching, heartfelt story with a healthy measure of hope.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A tale that is alternately heartbreaking and mischievous, sometimes creepy, and ultimately triumphant.”

Quill & Quire

“The characters are refreshingly unique as is the storyline. Stewart takes an honest look at the paralysis of grief, the profound suffering of losing a loved one and the courage required to move on in the face of tragedy.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“Real and inspiring...An excellent reminder that anyone can make a difference, even after they're gone.”

Canadian Children's Book News

“Raw, real, and riveting. In Heart Sister, Stewart masterfully takes us on Emmitt’s poignant search for what might be found when all seems lost. Heartfelt and heart-wrenching, it is a powerful story of hope.”

Caroline Pignat, two-time Governor General’s Award–winning author of <i>Shooter</i>

Other titles by Michael F. Stewart

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