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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Heartbeat written by Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech has written a warm, caring story of a girl, twelve years old, who is determined to be true to herself. Annie is a runner, not competitively, but just because she loves to hear the rhythm of her heartbeat and feel the pounding of her bare feet on the ground.

It is a year of changes for Annie and her family. A new baby is coming, her grandfather is forgetting more as he ages, and her best friend,Max, is moodier than ever. There is also the apple. As an art class assignment Annie must draw an apple, the same apple, each day. The apple changes as she accepts the challenges in her life.

Max is pressuring Annie to join the girls' track team at school. Annie is also pressured by the coach. It is hard to stay true to ones own ideas with this pressure.

Annie is amazing - in her ideas of friendship, helping others, caring for and acceptance of change in her family life. She is a gifted artist with, as her art teacher says in one of the poems that make up this story, with a "distinct line."

There is so much within the poems Sharon Creech crafted to tell Annie's story. Each can also stand alone. Together the poems provide a picture of a girl growing and accepting herself and her new place in her family. This is a beautiful story, well presented, interesting, and very touching. Heartbeat feels alive as it is read.

Heartbeat written by Sharon Creech is also a 2007 Rebecca Caudill Award Nominee. The Rebecca Caudill Award is the Illinois Children's Choice Award voted by children in the State of Illinois, grades 4 through 8.

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