Sharon. 2004. HEARTBEAT. New York: Joanna Cotler Books. ISBN: 0-06-054022-2.
Creech, using her unique writing style of free verse poetry offers the reader a glimpse into the life of the twelve year old
protagonist, Annie. Through this wonderfully written story we discover the ordinary
feelings of Annie as she is facing some important changes in her life and as she explores her different emotional states. She is beginning to understand the many rhythms of life and how she fits within them.
Annie loves her family, Max: her childhood friend, her grandpa, drawing, and
running. Running, “thump-Thump, thump-Thump”, makes Annie feel free. Annie’s grandfather was an excellent runner and taught her to run for the pure
enjoyment of running. Her best friend, Max, also loves to run. They run together everyday, but Max is especially moody. Max
is very unhappy and is trying to escape this unhappiness by joining the track team and competing to win. Annie’s mother is pregnant and her baby brother is about to be born which provides both happiness
and sadness for her. Sadness enters when we find out that Annie’s loving
grandfather is losing his memory and is nearing the end of his life just as the new baby will be entering the world, which
brings great joy and happiness for Annie.
HEARTBEAT is a warm, quick and simple read. The
text's beat and rhythm keep the reader beautifully in tune with Annie's feelings. Creech uses beautiful imagery to describe
the changes that life brings to Annie as well as humour throughout the story. Humour
is used when Creech explains the forbidden word list and the use of footnotes which Annie begins to use in the story. This is an excellent book in the form of a narrative/poem for young girls that will
touch their hearts.
Seeing the Blue Between