I was first introduced to Sharon Creech as a student teacher. Her ability to weave together story lines and characters that left an imprint upon readers caused me to devour books such as Ruby Holler, Walk Two Moons, Bloomability, and Love that Dog. But somehow, I missed Heartbeat until recently. Published in 2004 by HarperCollins, Heartbeat is the story of Annie, a quirky twelve-year-old, struggling to make sense of the world, and her place within it. This novel, told through verse, is simplistic in style and rich in meaning, Annie’s tale leaves the reader looking at the ordinary with fresh eyes and an open heart.

This book has quickly become one of my personal favorites, and my students have fallen in love as well. Each day we follow in Annie’s barefooted steps and attempt to see the world through her eyes one lovely apple at a time.

Before I Was Born (excerpt from Heartbeat)

My mother says

I was running running running

inside her before I was even born.

She could feel my legs whirling

thump-thump, thump-thump

and she says that when I was born

I came out with my legs racing

as if I would take off

right then, right there

and dash straight out of her life.

She says it made her laugh

and it scared her, too,

because she’d only just met me

and didn’t want me to race away

quite so soon.

She says I’ve been




ever since—or nearly ever since—

I ran before I crawled

I ran from dawn to dusk

And sometimes at night

she would see my legs still restless

as if I were running

in my sleep

through my dreams.

I tell her not to worry

that I will always come home

because that is where

I get my start.

To find out more about Sharon Creech’s novels, including her latest novel The Boy on the Porch, check out her website

Courtney Dawn Myers originally wrote, and posted this review on Love Is A Good Book


  1. Pingback: Book Review: “Bloomability” | The Cheap Reader

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