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Children's Fiction Music

The Mystery of the Portuguese Waltzes

by (author) Richard Simas

illustrated by Caroline Clarke

Running the Goat
Initial publish date
Nov 2019
Music, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2019
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7


Tamara is struggling to find the confidence to play her accordion in front of an audience. She learns the tunes well enough, and can play them when she's alone, but as soon as she tries to perform for others everything falls apart. One day her father encourages her to try playing for an elderly man in the seniors? home where her grandmother lives. This man, Art Stoyles, is a legendary accordion player in her hometown of St. John's, and is best known for a beautiful set of tunes called "The Portuguese Waltzes." Inspired by Stoyles, and by the story of his musical friendship with a Portuguese sea captain, Tamara gains the confidence she needs to perform.

About the authors

Richard Simas is a free-lance writer with a background in literature, music, and the performing arts. His publications appear in contemporary art and literary reviews in Europe and in North America with awards the Journey Prize anthology, the Fiddlehead Review Fiction competition, and a Camões Institute prize to attend the Disquiet International Literary program in Lisbon. His work includes essays about exploring Portuguese immigrant heritage and the notion of (re)learning Portuguese from a diaspora perspective.

In Montreal, Simas founded Théâtre La Chapelle, an interdisciplinary performing venue dedicated to multidisciplinary experimentation. He currently performs with Valody, a nine-member street band.

The Mystery of the Portuguese Waltzesgrows out of his research into these beautiful traditional tunes. It is his first book for young readers.

Richard Simas' profile page

Caroline Clarke is a printmaker, graphic designer and musician. Originally from British Columbia, she has been a vital part of the craft, artistic and music communities of Newfoundland and Labrador for 20 years.

Much of Clarke's printmaking celebrates the traditional music of Newfoundland, and she is regularly commissioned to produce artwork for the annual Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival. For several years she served on the board of the then-St. John's Folk Arts Council, and she was instrumental in organizing the Folk Festival's successful (albeit briefly-held) bid for the Guinness World Record for the most accordion players performing in one place at one time.

The Mystery of the Portugugese Waltzes is her first published children's book project.

Caroline Clarke's profile page

Other titles by Richard Simas

Other titles by Caroline Clarke

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