I'm personally quite excited about Jane's newest book, Sweet Song, not only because I'm blessed to count Jane as a friend, but also because as a longtime choir singer I've considered the story of St. Romanos "the Melodist" as one of my favorites.
Young Romanos is devoted to Christ and His Mother and longs
to be able to sing his praises to them. But when he tries,
his voice croaks and the words won't come.
The other cantors make fun of him -
until one miraculous Christmas Eve.
St. Romanos has long been honored and remembered as a prolific writer of sacred songs from sixth-century Constantinople, but he was not always looked up to for his hymnography - or singing!
Jane's descriptive narrative and Dorrie Papademetriou's luminous illustrations make Romanos' story come alive for kids of all ages.
Children will feel the range of emotions that young Romanos experiences: his awe at the presence of God in the glorious fifth century Byzantine church, Hagia Sophia; his contentment in completing his duties at the church; his sadness at being unable to sing well; his fear and embarrassment when he tries and fails and is made fun of; his fervent prayer for God's help and tears before the icon of the Virgin Mary; and his surprise and thankfulness when God grants him a miracle.
This book is now available here from Ancient Faith Publishing, and is not to be missed! At the back of Jane's book, you'll find further information about St. Romanos and the history of Hagia Sophia.