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
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 http://www.sharoncreech.com/
Courtney Dawn Myers originally wrote, and posted this review on Love Is A Good Book