by Sharon Creech (paperback)

AR Level 5.0, 2 points

Heartbeat follows a girl named Annie, about 12 years old, over a time period of about 9 or so months.  Annie has many worries that plague her, but she is a thoughtful, determined (sometimes stubborn) young girl who keeps a lot to herself.  She has a best friend named Max, and they share a passion for running, but have very different views of their places in life.  Annie is given several assignments, and she demonstrates a maturity beyond her years when completing them, while learning more about herself.

What I loved about this book was the way it was written.


Whole story

Was written as

a series of


Instead of chapter titles, there are poem titles.  This teaches the reader about a different form of writing.  You don’t have to write a story in paragraph or comic form, and there was so much figurative language, especially metaphor and onomatopoeia.  Poetry is a new genre to many of my students, and hopefully it is seen as an option when completing writing assignments.  (Note to self: assign more writing assignments using poetry.)

I also loved that Annie was such a real character with real problems and real joys.  She was able to reflect on her experiences and seemed to know herself pretty well.  While some might see her as not fitting in, she showed maturity, and did not let anyone push her around.  She is a generous, giving young woman, as well, and was not afraid to speak her mind.

And I loved the apple art lesson!  It made me want to buy a Costco bag of apples for school tomorrow.

While there isn’t much I didn’t like about this book, it didn’t hook me as much as other books have.  It was good.  I have no complaints.  It just isn’t in my top 10.  I would recommend reading it for the reasons listed above, especially for the experience with an entire book written in poetry!

BOOK 2 OF 52


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