Heartbeat
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Heartbeat

4.2 118
by Sharon Creech
     
 

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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,

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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 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.

Editorial Reviews

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:
9780061972478
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
209,751
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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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