Bloomsbury

April 2004

$14.95 AU

180p pb

ISBN: 978-0747573135

Heartbeat

Sharon Creech

from the book...

Annie loves running, she loves drawing and she loves her family and her best friend Max. But Annie is also growing up and getting used to changes in her life, like Max's moods, her grandfather's aging and the imminent arrival of her mother's new baby.

In this enchanting book about a girl trying to get a new rhythm in her life, Sharon Creech explores all those things that are most important to us: families, loving and being at peace with ourselves.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A


This is Annie’s story. She loves her family, her childhood friend Max, running and drawing. We meet thirteen year old Annie when she is facing some important changes in her life. Her baby brother is soon to be born, but Annie’s excitement goes hand in hand with sadness as she realises that her beloved grandfather is close to the end of his life. Max shares her love of running but only as a way to escape his unhappiness by competing to win. Competition has no attraction for Annie, and it’s her grandfather who makes her realise that it’s enough to do something just for the pleasure of it.

There is a feeling of warmth and sincerity in this simple and unpretentious book. There are funny moments too when Annie’s class has to deal with ‘forbidden’ words, and the footnotes which, once discovered, she just can’t resist using. Some beautiful imagery is used to describe the inevitable changes that life brings to Annie and to all of us.

This book takes the form of a verse novel which makes it particularly quick and easy to read. Somewhere between a narrative and a poem, this form of writing suits Annie’s story very well. Girls around Annie’s age would enjoy this gentle and unassuming book which goes straight to the heart.

Irene, Canberra, Australia


Drawing the same apple 100 times over and over again would be boring, right? But not for 13 year old Annie, who adores drawing, running, her family and her good friend Max. Despite her grandpa slowly forgetting everything and her mother soon to be giving birth to a younger brother, she learns that her friend Max only runs and complete in races to feel triumphant and to forget all his troubles, but not to run for the freedom and happiness that it brings her. They both usually run barefoot, but now things are changing, Max is starting to be moody and she doesn’t now what to do.

This book is a verse novel, which makes it very straightforward and easy to read.  This novel by Sharon Creech delivers warmth, family life, and everyday difficulties.  I think readers under 12 years old would enjoy this book the most, as it can relate to them and it is very simple and easy to read.

Anh, Year 8, Canberra, Australia


Heatbeat is about Annie and all the changes in her life. Annie loves art and running. She runs bare foot around the place. Max, her friend,  thinks she should try out for the track team. The coach of the track team wants her to join too. She is saving up for art supplies and gives the money to Max to buy running shoes...

This is an excellent book about a girl and her rhythm of life. Sharon Creech has explored the important things in families and used them in the story. I recommend this book for people who enjoy reading about life and family. It would suit kids from ages 10 to 12.   

Belinda, Year 6, Canberra, Australia

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