Book Summary of "A String in the Harp"

by Shaunta Alburger

"A String in the Harp" is a Newberry honor novel by Nancy Bond, written in 1977, which tells the story of the Morgan children and their struggles to find their way after their mother dies and their father takes them from America to Wales for his job. They have a magical experience that involves solving a past mystery to hold their family together.

Book Plot

When 15-year-old American Jen Morgan goes to visit her father and siblings in Wales, where they are living for a year, she finds her family falling apart. Her younger brother Peter seems on the verge of self-destruction when he finds a harp key that lets him see into 6th century Wales. In "A String in the Harp", the siblings must work together to solve a mystery in the past that will help them keep their family together.


"A String in the Harp" is the story of Jen Morgan, an American girl whose mother has died. Her father has taken her younger brother and baby sister to Wales for a year on a work assignment, leaving Jen behind in Massachusetts to continue high school. Peter is a troubled middle child struggling to recover from his mother's death and find his place in a strange land. Becky is a much younger sister who misses Jen and begs her not to leave for the States again.

About the Newberry Award

The Newberry Award is given each year by the Association for Library Service to Children to the most outstanding children's literature. One book per year since 1922 has been given the Newberry Award, with one or more being noted as Newberry honor books. The list of Newberry Award winning and honor books over the past decades comprises some of the most well-loved modern children's literature, including many that are still studied by students today.

About the Author

Nancy Bond, born in 1945, started writing children's books after attending school in Wales. She has written several award-winning books, including "The Voyage Begun," "A Place to Come Back To" and "Truth to Tell." She was born in Maryland and currently lives in Massachusetts. "A tring in the Harp" is her most famous book, which is still enjoyed by children today.