Heartbeat by Sharon Creech is about the life and times of a young girl, Annie. The author brings readers through the many rhythms of life to show how the main character adjusts to the different situations which happen while growing up. Creech takes the reader from best friend relationships to interacting with family members to Annie’s art teacher, who gave her an assignment to draw an apple 100 times. Annie describes how she learned to use creative art strokes utilizing ink, charcoal, pastels, and acrylics.
Creech begins the book by relating a scene where Annie runs to a nearby park and meets a young boy, Max. The scene shifts to a discussion of how her mother felt during pregnancy when Annie was running inside her. Her daughter was born with her legs racing.
Annie also lives with her grandpa who was once a champion racer. He won local, regional, and the national race by age 15. Annie’s friend Max was there for her since an early age. They ran barefoot together, played catch with cones, and rode on the swings at the local park. Creech captures the realism of the nature scenes with a folksy simplicity that readers will appreciate.
At school Annie recalls the things she enjoyed the most like running, smelling the trees, feeling the wind, drawing, and laughing with others. After school, Annie performs different household chores for Mrs. Cobber and receives compensation for doing so. Annie plans to save the money to buy something special. These scenes at school will take readers back to the time when they attended primary school.
Creech describes Annie’s mother’s difficult childbirth with brother Joey, who was brought into the world by a midwife. The birth of Joey is told with suspense over the course of three or more chapters.
Heartbeat by Sharon Creech is a wonderful book written in the light literary belles letters style. The conversation is engaging throughout. The story will appeal to people of all ages. This is a perfect acquisition for your local book of the month club.