Cold Hands, Warm Heart [NOOK Book]

Overview

Dani was born with her heart on the wrong side of her body. In her fifteen years of life, she’s had more doctor’s appointments, X-rays, and tests, and eaten more green hospital Jell-O than she cares to think about. Fourteen-year-old Amanda is a competitive gymnast, her body a small package of sleek muscles, in perfect health. The two girls don’t know each other, don’t go to the same school, don’t have any friends in common. But their lives are ...

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Cold Hands, Warm Heart

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Overview

Dani was born with her heart on the wrong side of her body. In her fifteen years of life, she’s had more doctor’s appointments, X-rays, and tests, and eaten more green hospital Jell-O than she cares to think about. Fourteen-year-old Amanda is a competitive gymnast, her body a small package of sleek muscles, in perfect health. The two girls don’t know each other, don’t go to the same school, don’t have any friends in common. But their lives are about to collide.

Acclaimed author Jill Wolfson tackles this fascinating story with her trademark honesty and wit.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
The social and psychological ramifications of organ transplantation on the lives of recipients and the family members of the recently deceased fuel the plot of this well-written novel. The lives of two teenage girls become literally connected after 14-year-old Amanda unexpectedly dies during a gymnastics meet and Dani receives Amanda's heart. Wolfson intersperses Dani's account of how transplant technology influences her life with a third-person narrative that focuses on Amanda's teenage brother, and adds a dollop of letters from the recipients of Amanda's other organs (kidney, cornea, etc.). These three strands are compelling and give a full view of sibling loss, hospital friendship (and budding romance), and how donated organs can-and can't-address recipients' spectrum of needs. Dani; Amanda's brother, Tyler; and Milo, a teen awaiting a second liver transplant after abusing the first in typically adolescent ways, all ring true. Showing teens confronting unexpected emotions in both themselves and others, this novel is sure to please fans of realistic but gentle teen romance or medical stories.
—Francisca Goldsmith
VOYA - Kristin Anderson
Fifteen-year-old Dani was born with a congenital heart condition. She has had to struggle with her illness for her entire life, but it has finally reached the point where she needs to receive a heart transplant or she will die. Taken alone, this premise sounds like the setup for a Lurlene McDaniel read-alike. What makes this book particularly poignant and unique is that Dani's story is juxtaposed against the story of fourteen-year-old Amanda, who has a tragic accident at a gymnastics meet and whose parents are struggling with whether her organs should be donated. Both families have adjustments to make in the wake of the transplant that ultimately occurs. Told from multiple viewpoints, the book is effective at showing the complexities of emotions that surround the organ donation and transplantation processes. Perhaps most moving is Dani's awareness that her desperate wish to receive a heart transplant is, in effect, a wish for another person to die. Only the perspective of the driver responsible for transporting the organs between facilities feels clunky and disruptive of the overall flow of the story. This book has appeal beyond the McDaniel crowd, but the cover (which is dominated by an illustration of a human heart) will not necessarily appeal to the audience that will most appreciate the book. Hand selling may be necessary but worthwhile. Reviewer: Kristin Anderson
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Fifteen-year-old Dani, born with a flawed heart positioned on the wrong side of her body, will die unless she receives a heart transplant in the next two weeks. Fourteen-year-old Amanda, a competitive gymnast, becomes brain-dead after a freak accident on the uneven bars. Wolfson weaves together the stories of the two girls who end up sharing one single, beating heart. In the process, she provides extensive, sometimes extremely graphic, information about exactly how organ transfer takes place: from guilty, desperate hope that someone young and healthy enough will die in the nick of time, to the extensive and somewhat gruesome operation itself, to the recovery period during which anti-rejection medication and massive doses of steroids produce unpleasant and unattractive side effects. The multiple points of view (shifting around from members of both families to hospital personnel and even to the driver who delivers organs from one hospital to another) give a well-rounded portrait of organ transplantation even as they distance the reader from identification with any one participant. While also offering a believable emerging love story between Dani and Milo, the morbidly brooding boy in the next hospital room who is waiting for a liver transplant, this is primarily a problem novel showcasing the admittedly fascinating and important issue of organ transplantation. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 8-10

Fifteen-year-old Dani has a congenital heart defect and is waiting for a transplant. Fellow patients in the hospital include Wendy, a pesky 8-year-old awaiting a kidney, and 17-year-old Milo, the bad-boy love interest who abused his first transplanted liver and is determined to do better if given a second chance. Dani and Wendy become "transplant sisters" when they receive organs from the same donor, a 14-year-old competitive gymnast named Amanda. Readers come to know and appreciate Amanda through the remembrances of her older brother, Tyler, who discovers her true, caring nature when he searches through her computer files. Some of the characters are truly extraneous and the writing is sometimes clichéd, but readers will still feel the wrenching agony of the donor's family. The physical and emotional anguish that transplant recipients endure appears to be realistically portrayed, as is the strong language to express their anger and frustration. It is unfortunate that the book begins with a dreadfully erroneous description of a gymnastics meet, including gymnasts who vault over a pommel horse and swing from metal uneven parallel bars. It is difficult to trust the author's medical information after such a shaky introduction to the story. Nonetheless adolescent readers may be drawn to the drama surrounding organ transplants, the teen love affair, and the dynamics of Tyler and Amanda's sibling relationship.-Patricia N. McClune, Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, PA

Kirkus Reviews
When Dani looks in the mirror she sees a "blue-lipped, cold-handed, gray-skinned fifteen-year-old." Born with the fatal heart condition dextrocardia, Dani has survived, with difficulty, but now her health is failing fast. Mere miles away from Dani's hospital bed, Amanda, a 14-year-old gymnast, flips and leaps through the air until a freak accident bonds these two strangers forever. Told mostly in Dani's witty voice, the novel reveals her intimate thoughts as readers accompany her through her transplant, as she falls in love with a fellow patient and as she wrestles with the magnitude of receiving another girl's heart. Woven throughout the text are chapters about Amanda, the most powerful of which focus on Tyler, her older brother, and give her life beyond the label of donor. Detailed, accurate descriptions of medical procedures are leavened with humor and sincerity, providing a powerful, multifaceted exploration of ethics, love and the celebration of life. (Fiction. 10 & up)
From the Publisher
Praise for COLD HANDS, WARM HEART:

“Organ transplants tell a Janus-faced story: Someone lives; someone dies. If you're already saying, "Who wants a book about that?" Wolfson's book will get you over that and into an intense, likable reading experience…Many readers will pick this book up tentatively and stay on, transfixed.”—Chicago Tribune

“Detailed, accurate descriptions of medical procedures are leavened with humor and sincerity, providing a powerful, multifaceted exploration of ethics, love and the celebration of life.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“The social and psychological ramifications of organ transplantation on the lives of recipients and the family members of the recently deceased fuel the plot of this well-written novel...Showing teens confronting unexpected emotions in both themselves and others, this novel is sure to please fans of realistic but gentle teen romance or medical stories.”—Booklist

“The subject is immediately gripping, and the book is genuinely thoughtful…the emotional subject will likely grab readers looking for a melodramatic good time.”—BCCB

“Told from multiple viewpoints, the book is effective at showing the complexities of emotions that surround organ donation and transplantation processes.”—VOYA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429938310
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 3/31/2009
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 609,778
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • File size: 783 KB

Meet the Author

JILL WOLFSON is the author of the highly acclaimed novels What I Call Life and Home, and Other Big, Fat Lies. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2009

    Exceptionally Written (Reviewed by TheBookworm)

    Cold Hands, Warm Heart
    By Jill Wolfson
    Pub. Date: March 2009
    4 out of 5 stars
    PG-13 Profanity and Sexual References
    Recommended

    Dani needs a heart.soon. Amanda has one.

    Dani was born with a weak heart on the wrong side of her body. She has gone through surgery after surgery, hospital after hospital, and pills after pills. Yet nothing has helped. Now at the age of 15, her life is coming to an end. She has never gone to a dance, never had a boyfriend, never snuck out late, never played sports. never lived. As a perfect transplant candidate, Dani is at the top of the list. But first, someone needs to die.

    Amanda is the quintessential daughter. She is athletic, smart, pretty, responsible, and confident. But one accident is going to ruin everything.

    Neither of them have met, but tragedy is going to bring them together.

    Cold Hands, Warm Heart was exceptionally written with very well-rounded scenes. The use of all the senses in descriptions drew me in and wholly impressed me.

    Every angle of this story was realistic. This book resembled a collection of multiple biographies, set in present tense. The switching of perspective from one character to the next was smooth and enhanced the character's plausibility.

    Cold Hands, Warm Heart is not to be looked at as an emotional book only for PMSers, but as a realistic example of modern children who deal with fear and hope on a daily basis.

    Date Reviewed: May 5th, 2009

    For more book reviews and book information check out my blog at www.inthecurrent.blogspot.com

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Awesome

    Easy to read book. Very interesting. Recommen it to anyone wholoves to read aout friendships, and passion. Great book overall.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    It has a tough start, but after about 50 pages you start getting teary eyed. The author must have done extensive research. I came across this book for a summer reading list, and although one of the saddest books, one of the best. If you are any age probably 12 or up for age appropriate junk, but just looking for a good story this book will be good for you. The plot and story seemed so moving I can't explain how much. I usually don't base books by author just the story, but in all... AMAZING STORY.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Touching

    Cold Hands, Warm Heart is a touching book about a girl, Dani, who receives a new heart from Amanda, a recently deceased gymnast. This book touches the subjects of losing someone close, friendship (in a hospital) and lives being changed. Some parts of this book were inappropriate, and I found that swear words were not scarce, which took away from the book, for me. This book is probably best for middle school students.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An issue everyone should think about

    This is a wonderful book. I always love novels that find a facile way to teach you about something and Jill does a wonderful job exploring a complex and compelling subject from many points of view(something I also like very much). I defy anyone to read this book and not find themselves pondering the issues raised for days on end. Jill reminds us all, as J Donne says, "we are involved in humanity."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    Heartbeat

    The girl in In A Heartbeat is 14 and her name is Amilia. Similer to Amanda who is also 14. Crazy huh?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    -Courtney

    Luv the book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2012

    Idk

    My friends sister had her heart on the wrong side and died at 3 months. I didnt read the book tho

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2012

    Sjjjjjjjjsuxtgguyt

    Good book. Not a grabber but i would suggest it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Is it a true story?

    I was wondering if it is atrue story?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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