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Heartbeatby Sharon Creech
Synopses & Reviews
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.
Newbery Medalist Creech ("Walk Two Moons") masterfully weaves this story, told in free verse, about a young girl finding her identity and learning how it fits within the many rhythms of life.
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.
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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