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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, Siblings, Film
Recommended Age
12 to 18
Recommended Grade
8 to 12
Recommended Reading age
12 to 18
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


After his twin sister, Minnie, dies in an accident, Emmitt's world goes sideways.

He’s lost his best friend and it feels like the family is falling apart without her. But Minnie was an organ donor and Emmitt soon receives an anonymous thank you letter from one of the transplant recipients. Inspiration strikes, and he decides to try and put his sister back together, in spirit. He’s going to track down each organ recipient and film them to show his parents the results of Minnie’s selfless act and help them move on. But when each recipient falls short of his expectations and the star of his film, the girl who received his sister’s heart, refuses to meet him, Emmitt has to turn to extreme measures to find her. What he doesn’t know is that his "heart sister" is hiding an agonizing secret, one that could push Emmitt to the breaking point.

About the author

Michael F. Stewart is the Claymore Award winning author of The Boy Who Swallows Flies and many books for young people in various genres, including Ray Vs. the Meaning of Life. He is also a screenwriter and television and video game writer. Michael lives in Ottawa.


Michael F. Stewart's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection
  • Short-listed, Snow Willow Award
  • Short-listed, Ottawa Book Awards

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

“The approachable text, supported by lots of captioned photos, spotlights some of nature's more remarkable innovations and some engineering feats inspired by nature.”

Ottawa Book Awards Jury

“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>

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

Quill & Quire

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

Canadian Children's Book News

“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

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

Kirkus Reviews

Other titles by Michael F. Stewart

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