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Heartbeatby Sharon Creech
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"[T]he threads of the novel come together for a fully satisfying conclusion." Publishers Weekly
"A tenderhearted story told in spare, free-verse poems....This is vintage Creech, and its richness lies in its sheer simplicity." School Library Journal
"Creech's brief, light, gracefully constructed portrait of Annie, who loves running and who never seems to miss a step, is readable and appealing." Kirkus Reviews
A poignant and historical novel in verse about a Jewish family of twelve children told from the point of view of "just plain Edith, number four" as she tries to figure out her place in both her family and the world at large. Set in the depression era Baltimore, Looking for Me is filled with the joy, pain, humor, and sadness of a real immigrant family pursuing the American dream.
A powerful novel about friendship and family that calls to mind Bridge to Terabithia
Twelve-year-old John Fischer Jr., or Little John” as hes always been known, is spending his summer helping his father with his tree removal business, clearing brush for Mr. King, the wealthy owner of a chain of Texas dollar stores, when he hears a beautiful song that transfixes him. He follows the melody and finds, not a bird, but a young girl sitting in the branches of a tall sycamore tree.
Theres something magical about this girl, Gayle, especially her soaring singing voice, and Little Johns friendship with Gayle quickly becomes the one bright spot in his life, for his home is dominated by sorrow over his sisters death and his parents ever-tightening financial difficulties.
But then Mr. King draws Little John into an impossible choice—forced to choose between his familys survival and a betrayal of Gayle that puts her future in jeopardy.
Inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen story, Nightingale's Nest is an unforgettable novel about a boy with the weight of the world on his shoulders and a girl with the gift of healing in her voice.
One of 12 siblings growing up in depression-era Baltimore, Edithand#160;isn't quite sure of who she is. Between working at her fatherand#8217;s diner, taking care of her younger siblings, andand#160;living in the shadow of her more mature sisters, Edith feels lost in a sea of siblings. When a kind teacher encourages Edith to be a teacher herself one day, Edith sees prospects for a future all her own. Full of joy, pain, humor, and sadness, thisand#160;novel in verse isand#160;a wonderful look atand#160;the life of Edith Paul,and#160;the author's mother, and is an enduring portrait (complete with family photos and an author's note at the end)and#160;of one family's pursuit of the American dream.
About the Author
Known for writing with a classic voice and unique style, Sharon Creech is the best-selling author of the Newbery Medal winnerWalk Two Moons, and the Newbery Honor BookThe Wanderer. She is also the first American in history to be awarded the CILIP Carnegie Medal forRuby Holler. Her other works include the novelsLove That Dog, Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Chasing Redbird, and Pleasing the Ghost, and two picture books: A Fine, Fine School and Fishing in the Air. These stories are often centered around life, love, and relationships — especially family relationships. Ms. Creech's first novel for children,Absolutely Normal Chaos, was based on her own "rowdy and noisy" family. Growing up in a big family in Cleveland, Ohio, helped Ms. Creech learn to tell stories that wouldn't be forgotten in all of the commotion: "I learned to exaggerate and embellish, because if you didn't, your story was drowned out by someone else's more exciting one."
With a knack for storytelling and love of reading, a young Ms. Creech aspired to become a novelist: "To be able to create other worlds, to be able to explore mystery and myth — I couldn't imagine a better way to live. . .except perhaps to be a teacher, because teachers got to handle books all day long." In college, Ms. Creech took her first writing courses and attended writing workshops. This renewed her enthusiasm for becoming a novelist. Following her studies in college and graduate school, Ms. Creech worked as an editorial assistant before deciding to become a teacher overseas. Now, after spending eighteen years teaching and writing in Europe, she and her husband have returned to the United States to live.
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