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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.


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.

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)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Heartbeat MOBFootfalls

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 . . .

Heartbeat MOB. Copyright © by Sharon Creech. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Sharon Creech has written twenty books for young people and is published in over twenty languages. Her books have received awards in both the U.S. and abroad, including the Newbery Medal for Walk Two Moons, the Newbery Honor for The Wanderer, and Great Britain’s Carnegie Medal for Ruby Holler.

Before beginning her writing career, Sharon Creech taught English for fifteen years in England and Switzerland. She and her husband now live in Maine, “lured there by our grandchildren,” Creech says. “Moo was inspired by our mutual love of Maine and by our granddaughter’s involvement in a local 4-H program. We have all been enchanted with the charms of cows.”


Brief Biography

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

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Heartbeat 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 117 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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.

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.

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.

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.
Nicole Valli More than 1 year ago
Graceful Passionate And overall fantastic
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Warm and heartfelt must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This unforgettable story of a girl who runs free with etch into your heart and stay there forever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book befor at the begining of 4th grade but good book
nayeoneunicepark More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A spacious cave with room for several queens & their kits.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Best book eva!!!!!!!!!!"" A Very very very very good book u will never ever put it down!!!!!"!!!"""
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can feel every thing that happens to all the people in the story...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Students join right in ..thump, thump... and when the shades of meaning start oming together for them, there are a lot of 'ah ha' moments!,
KaylaPriester More than 1 year ago
This book is about Annie , a girl who loves to run barefoot and things that are happening like the birth of her sibling , her moody friend Max , and her forgetful grandfather. My favorite character was Annie because she loves to draw and run just like me. I liked this book because every chapter is in a form of a poem. You should read this book because it keeps you interested and it wont take you a really long time to read if you are a slow reader.
soccerchic7 More than 1 year ago
A great book but a fast read.... 8)
kels vaughn More than 1 year ago
I loved this b ook it was the best book i have ever read i read it for years ago and have read it 10 morep time a must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is my favorite of Sharon Creech's masterpieces. I have read almost all of her stories and this one was INSPIRATIONAL. I probably read this about 7 times through. I cannot get enough! Creech has this graceful way of writing that is just irresistible. I DEFINITELY recommend this book to readers of all kinds. I couldn't put it down!
avidreader000 More than 1 year ago
When I opened the first page to read and saw the style of writing the author used- I will admit, I was fairly hesitant. But as soon as I started READING, I couldn't stop! Don't be fooled! If you really love to read and have little distractions, you can read the book quickly: I read the book in 40 minutes. But the content in the book makes up for length. One of the best books Sharon Creech has written. Overall, amazing!
Alexis Lagerholm More than 1 year ago
i couldnt put it down but i knew i had to because if i kept going i would want to know what happens next and then end up finishing! great book for poetry! usually i wouldnt bother reading a poetry book but now thats changed thanks to this amazing book! :)
RonBMA More than 1 year ago
this book is a very good poetic way of writing about a girl and her new life with her new baby sister coming along. while she i having triuble with her best friend an runnning friend. i rate this book five out of five stars. i have read this book 19 times and never get bored of it whenever i read it over i find new things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this book, there was a very good, strong storyline that was very straight forward and not very many distracting events. The main character of the story is 12 year old, Annie. Her mother is pregnant with an "alien" baby, her best friend max has mood swings, and to make matters worse, her grandfather is beginning to show the affects of aging. He begins to forget common things and some of the most major parts of his life. Annie finds relaxation in running, if it's just to clear her mind, or to think about things. The book is told through a series of poems. Words/Phrases often used are: "thump, thump, thump" which described the beat of her heart in sync with her feet, poems about the apple assignment in art class and how it has changed in the amount of time progressed, and poems about the "alien" baby even though it turns out to be not-so alien at all. I think the author chose the title- Heartbeat because when Annie ran, she would always try to get at the place where her heart and her feet were working together in harmony. Almost each time she would go on a run, the poems would use the phrase "thump, thump, thump" to describe her heart and feet's rhythm. I thought this book was very good and an easy read too. The story was strong and I LOVED the characters. It seemed they, for the most part, had their own distinguished personalities. I also am OBSESSED with the author, so I may be bias in saying that you need to read this book because it is ah-mazinggg! A.G.F.