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Heartbeat

( 118 )

Overview

Run run run.

That's what twelve-year-old Annie loves to do. When she's barefoot and running, she can hear her heart beating . . . thump-Thump, thump-Thump. It's a rhythm that makes sense in a year when everything's shifting: Her mother is pregnant, her grandfather is forgetful, and her best friend, Max, is always moody. Everything changes over time, just like the apple Annie's been assigned to draw. But as she watches and listens, Annie begins to understand the ...

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Heartbeat

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Overview

Run run run.

That's what twelve-year-old Annie loves to do. When she's barefoot and running, she can hear her heart beating . . . thump-Thump, thump-Thump. It's a rhythm that makes sense in a year when everything's shifting: Her mother is pregnant, her grandfather is forgetful, and her best friend, Max, is always moody. Everything changes over time, just like the apple Annie's been assigned to draw. But as she watches and listens, Annie begins to understand the many rhythms of life, and how she fits within them.

Twelve-year-old Annie ponders the many rhythms of life the year that her mother becomes pregnant, her grandfather begins faltering, and her best friend (and running partner) becomes distant.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Running is the one constant in Annie's life as she anxiously awaits the birth of a brother and contends with her moody friend Max and a forgetful grandfather. Funny and insightful, this story, written in free verse by Newbery medalist Creech, is sure to hit home with girls navigating the choppy waters of adolescence. (Ages 8 to 12)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2004
Publishers Weekly
"Creech returns to the free-verse form she employed so successfully in Love That Dog for this insightful exploration of life's beginning and ending and the joys to be encountered on the journey," wrote PW in a starred review. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Many writers are using verse in their novels, but Creech, like no one else, captures a younger voice and manages to make it sound authentic and lyrical at the same time. This time her word-loving protagonist is twelve-year-old Annie who is a real original. Annie loves running barefoot, making art, her moody friend Max, and her live-in grandfather who is losing his memory and wonders if he should not "just get on with it / and kick the bucket." There is such joy and passion in Annie. She delights in the coming birth of her sibling, the "alien baby," drawing 100 pictures of an apple, and writing down in short lines her thoughts, feelings, and all that she is learning. Creech excels at subtlety, and it is this subtlety that combines perfectly with short lyrical lines to make us love and believe in Annie. It is the secrets of life Annie is hungry to explore and understand, and yet, she will do so in her own time and in her own unique way. Her words make the reader understand and admire this vivid and likeable young heroine. 2004, Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins, Ages 10 to 12.
—Susie Wilde
Library Journal
Gr 4-7-A tenderhearted story told in spare, free-verse poems. Annie, 12, takes great pleasure in running, but has no interest in racing or becoming a member of a team. For her, the pure joy comes from feeling the earth beneath her bare feet and the wind in her face. The experience is totally different for her moody friend and running partner, Max. For him, running is a way to escape his personal problems. Annie's comfortable, tightly knit world begins to unravel when she learns that her mother is pregnant and she becomes increasingly aware that her beloved Grandpa, a former champion racer, is slipping into dementia. She is a resourceful, self-possessed kid who takes comfort in the familiar but is able to face change and take it in stride. She marvels at the new life taking shape in her midst (her father provides month-by-month summations of the baby's development) and mourns the loss of her grandfather's strong and nurturing wisdom. School, art class, and chores appear throughout the verses, creating an everyday rhythm that matches the footfalls of this engaging heroine who loves to move, but who is willing to stop and smell the roses. Readers will enjoy meeting Annie, her family, and friends and will appreciate her resilience and spirit. This is vintage Creech, and its richness lies in its sheer simplicity.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-The rhythms of a 12-year-old's life are expertly captured in this story told in free-verse poems. Annie's love of running and of drawing give her a means of release and help to see her through changes both small and profound. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Creech's brief, light, gracefully constructed portrait of Annie, who loves running and who never seems to miss a step, is readable and appealing in poetry form. Annie throws herself whole-heartedly into drawing, running barefoot in all seasons around her rural town, and observing the world. Intertwined stories about changes in Annie's world include the wait for and birth of her new sibling, her beloved grandfather's memory lapses, her best friend's ambition to win a cross-country race. Contained, pleasing glimpses into a perceptive child's mind, though without strong emotional resonance in the trajectory of the story: most readers will be unable to match Annie's sure sense of self at 12 ("I don't want to run in a herd"). Still, Annie leaves an impression of a cherished, familiar friend. (Fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060540241
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/27/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 100,821
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech is the author of the Newbery Medal winner Walk Two Moons and the Newbery Honor Book The Wanderer. Her other work includes the novels The Great Unexpected, The Unfinished Angel, Hate That Cat, The Castle Corona, Replay, Heartbeat, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, Ruby Holler, Love That Dog, Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Chasing Redbird, and Pleasing the Ghost, as well as three picture books: A Fine, Fine School; Fishing in the Air; and Who's That Baby? Ms. Creech and her husband live in Maine.

Good To Know

In her interview with Barnes & Noble.com, Creech shared some fun facts about herself:

"One of my most interesting jobs was in graduate school, working with the Federal Theatre Project archives (a Library of Congress collection, then based at George Mason University). I catalogued original illustrations for set and costume designs, some by Orson Welles. It was fascinating work!"

"I once fell 20 feet from a tree, was knocked unconscious, and when I picked myself up and straggled home, my parents thought I was making it up. However, when my brother and I fabricated a story about an encounter with a bear, they believed that! So maybe I learned very early on that fiction was more interesting to listeners!"

"As readers can probably tell from my books, I love the outdoors. I love to hike, kayak, and swim. I also love to read (which is probably not a surprise) and I love the theater and art museums. I especially love all the instruments of art: inks, pens, paintbrushes, watercolors and oils, fine papers and canvases, and although I love to mess around with these tools and objects, I have minimal artistic skills."

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    1. Hometown:
      Pennington, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 29, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cleveland, Ohio
    1. Education:
      B.A., Hiram College, 1967; M.A., George Mason University, 1978

Read an Excerpt

Heartbeat


By Creech, Sharon

Joanna Cotler Books

ISBN: 0060540222

Footfalls

Thump-thump, thump-thump
bare feet hitting the grass
as I run run run
in the air and like the air
weaving through the trees
skimming over the ground

touching down
thump-thump, thump-thump
here and there
there and here
in the soft damp grass

thump-thump, thump-thump
knowing I could fly fly fly
but letting my feet
thump-thump, thump-thump

touch the earth

at least for now . . .

Continues...

Excerpted from Heartbeat by Creech, Sharon Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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First Chapter

Run run run. That's what twelve-year-old Annie loves to do. When she's barefoot and running, she can hear her heart beating . . .thump-THUMP, thump-THUMP. It's a rhythm that makes sense in a year when everything's shifting: Her mother is pregnant, her grandfather is forgetful, and her best friend, Max, is always moody. Everything is changing, just like the apple Annie's been assigned to draw a hundred times. Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech masterfully weaves this story about a young girl beginning to understand the many rhythms of life and how she fits within them.
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Reading Group Guide

About the Book:

Twelve-year-old Annie loves to run. When she's barefoot and running, she can hear her heart beating.…thump-THUMP, thump-THUMP. It's a rhythm that's familiar when everything's shifting. Her mother is pregnant, her grandfather is aging, and her best friend, Max, is increasingly moody.

Everything is changing, even the apple Annie's been assigned to draw a hundred times. But running and drawing help her keep up with all of the different rhythms around her, and to find out where her own rhythms fit within them. Sharon Creech masterfully weaves this story, told in free verse, about a young girl finding her identity and learning how it fits in with the many rhythms of life.

Questions For Discussion:

  1. On page 3, Max says he is in training to escape. What do you think he wants to escape from? How will running help him achieve his goal?
  2. In the poem "Grandpa" on page 9, Annie's grandfather says he didn't want the trophy and that it was a silly thing. Why do you think he feels this way?
  3. Annie writes a poem about things she fears and things she loves on pages 32 through 36. Discuss her list and how you would change it to make it even more universal.
  4. Annie and Max have different views about running and what it means to be on a team. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being on a school team.
  5. Annie's grandfather is losing his memory and forgetting much of what happened to him in life. This concerns Annie, so she poses the question, "And if you forget is it as if it never happened?" (p. 43). How would you answer this question?
  6. A best friend is oftenhard to come by, but Annie knows Max is her friend. On page 50 she says, "…and I like this about Max that I do not have to explain." What makes this a likable characteristic?
  7. Annie feels fortunate to have her family, but Max thinks Annie is spoiled because she has two parents and a grandpa (p. 12). Why do Annie's and Max's attitudes toward family differ?
  8. Even though his mind is losing sharpness, Annie's grandfather helps her with her problems and builds a relationship with Max. What benefits do Annie and Max receive from the relationship? How do these relationship benefit Annie's grandfather?
  9. Annie not only learns a lot about herself, but she begins to understand the effect people and situations can have on a person; that every experience molds a person to be something. She asks Max, "Why are we here on this earth?" (p. 27) Do you think Annie discovers the answer to her question by the end of the book? Why or why not?
  10. Max and the girls' track coach are convinced Annie does not want to join the team because she is afraid, which is not the real reason. Based on her thoughts as revealed on pages 70 and 83, and on Grandpa's secret revealed on page 172, how would you explain her decision to them?
  11. Annie must deal with several major changes in a short period of time. Discuss ways in which Annie's life will change because of her new brother Joey?
  12. In the poem "Infinitely Joey" on page 158, Annie ponders the promise and uncertainty of life. How would you respond to her questions and thoughts? How do your views relate to her views? What would you add or take away from this poem?
  13. Annie considers the fact that she does not like to be wrong "a serious character flaw" (page 115). Do you agree with her? Why or why not?
  14. When Annie overhears other girls talking about Max and their feelings for him, she realizes that she is not ready to think of him "that way" (page 177). Why do you think she wants him "to stay Max my same moody Max" (page 178)?
  15. Annie's final drawing of her apple is a seed. What does this symbolize? How does it relate to the changes in her family?
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 118 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(76)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(7)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 118 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 31, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com

    In this poetic novel by acclaimed author Sharon Creech, Annie, a twelve-year-old girl, is trying to find out who she is. A lot happens in this short one-hundred-and-eighty-page book. <BR/><BR/>Annie's mother is pregnant, her grandfather is beginning to forget things, and her friend Max is extremely moody. Annie loves to run, and throughout the book there are "thump, thump, thump" lines where she can hear her heart beat in rhythm with her feet, which are running hard. Hence the title of the book. <BR/><BR/>In Annie's art class, the students are asked to take an apple and draw a picture of it for one hundred days. At the end of the project the students are to turn in one hundred drawings. There are poems in the book devoted to the one apple. <BR/><BR/>I love Ms. Creech's writing and admire her poetic style. The characters come alive as if you knew each one of them personally. I love reading books like that; they seem so real. HEARBEAT is a simple, fun, fast read.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 29, 2008

    You Have To read this book

    This is a great book. Sharon Creech did a very good job. It's about a girl going through different changes through her life. YOU have to read it

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 15, 2011

    Phenomonal

    Graceful
    Passionate
    And overall fantastic

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 8, 2008

    Heartbeat is a awsome book!!!!!!

    Heartbeat is an amazing book you can really tell whats going on through the whole story and the characters are really descriptive. my favorite charecter would have too be annie, she is the main character and she tells you about this really nice boy named max and how they both like to run barefoot and also how her mom is having a baby and they cant find a room for the baby too stay in so her papa is saying that he wants to just kick the bucket( DIE )so the baby can have his room. and i just think that it is a very emotional story and i think everybody should read it because it is also very funny.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Altime fav

    Warm and heartfelt must read

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2008

    A reviewer

    The book Heartbeat was really easy to understand. Even though there wasn¿t that many words and not very much to the story the author still did a good job of really describing things in the book. I think the character in the story Annie is really sweet and is understanding. She is always there for her best friend Max through the good and the bad. She and her Grandpa both seem like they have a strong connection too. She is very helpful and kind to him. Also she doesn¿t seem like a person that complains a lot, she seems pretty laid back and easy to get a long with. She is always helping her neighbor Ms. Coober when she needs help cutting her grass and of course her pregnant Mother. Annie is always running, which is one thing I really like about her in this book. I think that whenever she is upset she just goes running barefoot outside and it brings her to this different world that she has. Annie sounds like a really great girl.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 3, 2012

    This is a great book for peple of all ages

    Perfect read for anyone

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Poetry mixed with a twisted tale about a runner.

    This unforgettable story of a girl who runs free with etch into your heart and stay there forever.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 24, 2012

    Jojo

    I read this book in my school lisbon falls maine and its a very good book you NEED TO READ IT NOW TAKE MY WORD 4 IT DO IT

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 29, 2012

    Sydney

    I have read this book befor at the begining of 4th grade but good book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

    Wasn't the best

    I was looking for a quick read and luckily this book fit those expectations. It is a novel written in verse so i read it in about 3 days. This book was kind of slow paced & didnt really have that great of a plot. It could've been better. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't good hence why i rated it 3 stars.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Whoa

    A great book but a fast read.... 8)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2011

    I love this book! must read

    i read this book at school in 5th grade because i was bored during indoor recess. when i started reading it, i couldnt take my eyes off this book! i was even late for lunch because i was so into this book! my teacher had to shake me!haha!



    THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    Heartbeat

    The book I am reviewing is Heartbeat written by Sharon Creech. I think this book deserves five stars because it is terrific and I enjoyed reading it. This book is about a girl whose name is Annie who likes to run barefoot with her best friend Max. Annie has a mom, who is pregnant, and a dad. Also, Annie has a forgetful grandpa. A problem that occurs in this book is that Max, joins the track team. He can¿t run barefoot, so he has to buy running sneakers. Max doesn¿t have enough money to buy the sneakers he wants. Also, Annie wants to buy colored pencils, markers, and special paper. Annie doesn¿t have enough money to buy the supplies she wants. I would recommend this book to girls. Other books by this author are Love That Dog, and Walk Two Moons.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 28, 2014

    Y

    Tgis amazing book full of rythem is always going to be new and undesoved over each page. Tgoughts turned to feeling. Feeling turned to words. This book made me want to be more poetic than i already am. Be prepared to be amazed. Madness

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Nursery

    A spacious cave with room for several queens & their kits.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2012

    Thhwy

    Bbghbhshh

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2012

    Mip

    I got very confuzzed

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    !

    Ahh. This ones good.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Best

    "Best book eva!!!!!!!!!!"" A Very very very very good book u will never ever put it down!!!!!"!!!"""

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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