ISBN: 0060540249
ISBN 13: 9780060540241
By: Sharon Creech

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About this book

Newbery Medalist Creech ("Walk Two Moons") masterfully weaves this story, told in free verse, about a young girl finding her identity and learning how it fits within the many rhythms of life.Run run run.That's what twelve-year-old Annie loves to do. When she's barefoot and running, she can hear her heart beating . . . thump-THUMP, thump-THUMP. It's a rhythm that makes sense in a year when everything's shifting: Her mother is pregnant, her grandfather is forgetful, and her best friend, Max, is always moody. Everything changes over time, just like the apple Annie's been assigned to draw. But as she watches and listens, Annie begins to understand the many rhythms of life, and how she fits within them.Twelve-year-old Annie ponders the many rhythms of life the year that her mother becomes pregnant, her grandfather begins faltering, and her best friend (and running partner) becomes distant.

Reader's Thoughts

Brenda I.

Es el primer libro que leo de esta Autora y me ha encantado!En mi caso mi libro tiene 198 paginas, rápidas de leer , por que dejenme decirle que esta escrito en Verso libre ! - único y original- palabras accesibles y hermosas." ...Me da miedo moriry que mi familia muerame da miedo desaparecersin saberque has desaparecido o quedarte solosin que nadie te quiera"Annie es una niña de 12 años que le gusta salir a correr descalza, no corre por ganar o perder, simplemente por el placer de sentirse libre.Una historia corta que nos presenta la belleza de la vida, hablar sin mencionar las palabras prohibidas, una historia donde conoceremos al Malhumorado de Max, a su despistado y carismático abuelo, y claro a los lindos padres de Annie.¿Por que la gente no escucha cuando dices que no?


I thought this was an awesome book and you will have to read it to find out about it because I don't remember because I read it such a long time ago and i just want you to know that Sharon Creech is an awesome author

Abby Johnson

Annie loves to run. Annie loves to draw. These are constants in her life when so many other things seem to be changing. Her mother's having a new baby. Her grandfather is losing his memory and sometimes doesn't recognize himself. And everyone keeps asking Annie about her friendship with Max. Are they just friends? Or are they something more?This quiet novel in verse documents a year in Annie's life and how she deals with it. She realizes that everything changes and she might have to change, too. This one's been pretty popular with girls at our library and I liked it okay. It's a story about a girl going through life, dealing with things that girls deal with all the time. And I think that's where the appeal lies.Readalike suggestions: For older girls (5th grade +) I'd suggest Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff... another novel in verse about a young girl dealing with change (although with heavier issues). Another suggestion would be the Anastasia series by Lois Lowry or the Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, both of which are about girls dealing with everyday life issues.

Jordan Barfield

i think this book would be a good book to read i love to read sometimes if its a good book


"Am I supposed to do something important? It doesn't seem enough to merely take up space on this planet in this country in this state in this town in this family." ―Annie, Heartbeat, P. 28 All of life comes down to the heartbeat, doesn't it? For the very old and the newborn babe, the extravagantly wealthy and the dirt poor, the deliriously happy and those in the midst of despair, the heartbeat is the sign that life goes on, that the body is functional and still capable of keeping itself going even if nothing seems right in one's world. For Annie, the heartbeat can be felt in the pulsing rhythm of running barefoot, an instinctive pastime for her that reaffirms with each pounding footfall the life that courses within her body, the hope and joy and expectation for her future as it grows and branches out in so many surprising ways. After waiting so long for the birth of her new baby brother or sister, an impossibly fragile new life form that will enter this world as every other child before it has done, on a whisper and a hope that all will go as planned and the baby will pass from the darkness of the womb into the brightness of the world with all the fullness of life pumping through its veins, Annie experiences the gift of connectedness that a healthy heartbeat can be in whatever form one's awareness of it takes, a promise of the presence of life and the potential of that life for as long as the heartbeat continues. Though a runner by nature, Annie has no visions of stardom on the track, no thoughts of blazing along at top speed alongside other gifted runners in hopes of crossing the finish line just before them. Running is a lot more visceral than that to Annie, a personal venture of movement and athletic consistency that reaches beyond the acclaim available from outside watchers and touches the core of her spirit. Running is about running for Annie; it's not about winning or competing or setting goals or proving anything, it's about running. Annie and her friend Max go running by themselves all the time, with no words necessary at the start, finish or along the way, just the rhythmic cadence of their breathing in time and the shared focus of getting somewhere, not always even certain where that is when they first take off on a run. Max isn't sure that the quiet synchronicity of running along with Annie is all that he wants anymore, though. He wants to join the track team at school, and he'd like Annie to join with him. Annie's grandfather was once a good runner, a genuine track star, and it seems to her that he was never happier than when he stepped away from the track and decided that he'd had enough of competition. Annie feels sure that running is all she needs, even as Max continues to urge her to consider joining the team. The girl's track coach also takes the time to tell Annie that she thinks she has real talent as a runner, and it would be a shame to let that talent go to waste by not finding out what she might be capable of doing as part of a team. Still, nothing has changed for Annie. All she wants from running is to run, and her single-mindedness begins to put some strain on her friendship with Max. "And what did I think when I was small and why did I forget? And what else will I forget when I grow older? And if you forget is it as if it never happened? Will none of the things you saw or thought or dreamed matter?" ―Annie, PP. 43-44 While Annie rebuffs the attempts of the track coach to get her on the team, expectations at home start to grow with the exciting news that Annie's mother will be having a baby. Even as the weeks and then months pass and the baby grows larger inside of Annie's mother, though, her grandfather shows signs that he is at the other end of the life cycle. He has a hard time remembering things, and his reactions to simple parts of everyday life can be unexpected and disconcerting. The track star he once was has undeniably faded, and Annie isn't sure what to think about her grandfather's inevitable continued decline. She remembers the wise, funny person he once was, on top of things physically and mentally, and it's hard to see him losing, a little bit at a time, those qualities that had made him so special. Of all the experiences she has during the nine months in which her mother is pregnant, it's the assignment at school of drawing an apple once a day for a hundred days that teaches Annie the most. As the apple undergoes physical changes and spots appear on its skin, the outside grows softer and changes color, and eventually a certain someone from her family takes an unapproved bite out of it, Annie has time to reflect on the nature of the apple, filled with seeds that all hold the potential to grow into apple trees of their own. One might not be sure how many of the seeds would really ever spring up into a tree, or what the tree would grow to look like or how long it might live or how its apples would taste, but all the basic elements of that possible future tree are right there in those seeds inside of the apple. Annie perceives that a baby human is just like that; we can't be sure how it will grow or if it's going to be healthy or how its personality will develop or a thousand different things that matter to us and we really want to know as we await its arrival and then observe it as a newborn, but those are seeds that won't blossom until their time has come. Like the apple, we can watch and wait to see who the baby will become and marvel at how something which at one time was nothing but a miniscule cluster of cells could grow to be a living, breathing, unique human being, a fully functional child complete with its own heartbeat that reminds us of the similarities of every living creature, and what a miracle it is every time one enters the world. Does Annie have much to learn as we read Heartbeat? Yes, I suppose she does, but no more than any other person in the world. As I see it, most of what she learns flows from the contemplative, rhythmic way she observes the life built around her, her personal thoughts providing far better insight into it than any outside interpreter could have given. Annie views her world with fresh eyes every day, willing to see anew the people in it and their situations and understand better how everything fits together. Annie is a very (I know I shouldn't be using that word, it's on the forbidden list!) natural person, content to live within her own expectations and not rely on others for affirmation. On page fourteen, she acknowledges that people might think she and Max are crazy for running barefoot all the time, even in the mud and rain and snow, "but it doesn't feel crazy to us. It feels like what we do". What simpler explanation could exist for why one does something, than that it's just what one does? Annie takes this thought process in all matters, especially in regard to her desire to continue running apart from any formal practice squad or school team. If she had wanted to be part of the team then she would have tried out for it, so she clearly doesn't want to be part of it. That's enough for her and she expects it to be enough for others, even as Max continues to be perplexed by Annie's decision to remain a solo runner. I love how deeply Annie invests herself in the school assignment of describing what she loves and what she fears. When she hears the other kids talking about the assignment, she realizes that all of them have chosen superficial things to "love", such as candy and television and weekends. What does Annie think about this? "I like these things but I do not love them and I wonder if I am supposed to love them and I wonder if I have done the assignment wrong". Annie wonders if perhaps she took the project too seriously, if her teacher really only wanted to hear about superficial likes, but I'm of the mind that Annie's thoughtfulness about what she truly loves is much more what her teacher was hoping to get out of the assignment from her students. The "fears" side of the project runs along the same lines, as Annie's classmates choose things like tests and reports, while Annie delves deep to honestly express: "I am afraid of dying and of my family dying of disappearing and not knowing that you have disappeared or being left alone with no one to love you." While all of Annie's classmates may share her fears, Annie is the one with the courage to write them down and the emotional honesty to express them, to name her fears even when she would rather not think about them. This honesty, I think, is why we love being inside her head, experiencing the story from her unique perspective as we come to know her as a friend. It's because we're coming to know her so well, then, that we understand the rhythms of her speech and what she means to say when she describes her feelings in ways that might not make sense to most other people. After drawing the apple for many, many weeks, taking care to keep it in as good of condition as possible even as all of the other kids have had to replace their original apples with new ones, Annie realizes that drawing the exact same apple for a hundred days straight doesn't become easier with familiarity; the task grows more difficult, because even though it's the same apple it is always changing, developing new flecks and spots and nuances of color that it didn't have at first. The apple continues to change even as it grows soft and begins to decay, and that's part of what makes the project interesting. Trying to describe what it's like, Annie thinks: "When I was running today and thinking about the apple I felt as if I was full of that apple and I knew the apple". Annie admits that the thought sounds peculiar, but I think I get what she means. Though most people may never form quite that kind of attachment to an apple, when one deeply ponders something or someone for a long while, becoming more familiar with that thing or person by memory, it feels as if something special has occurred, a rare connection made that only makes sense internally. When one's mind continually drifts to that thing or person and just resting on them for a little while provokes a smile, that's a nice place to be. Even if it doesn't last for very long, and eventually one no longer has that level of familiarity with the thing or person, it really is nice while it lasts. As Annie nears the end of her apple project and the due date for the birth of her baby sibling draws near, what happens down the stretch will continue to shape the way she views the world. Whether or not she ever decides to try being on a team, or the full meaning of her drawing project is appreciated by her teacher, the events of Annie's life do affect and change her in their own subtle way. The birth of a new child, though, always seems to have the biggest impact of all, and in the rush of nervous excitement and unrestrained energy as the baby begins to come and everyone hurries to prepare for the delivery, Annie sees that no matter how the birth turns out, her life will never be the same. Wonderfully, inspirationally wise, luminescently funny and always, always, always emotionally resonant, Sharon Creech has created a lead character and story in Heartbeat that easily could have brought her another Newbery Honor. She is a fabulous author, more consistent than all but a select few and capable of the most extraordinary mixtures of profoundly compelling emotion and fresh comedic energy. I certainly recommend Heartbeat to anyone who has loved the writing of Sharon Creech, is partial to novels in verse or simply appreciates excellent literature. Any way one looks at it, Heartbeat is definitely a keeper.

Johanna Osborne

this book was in exsiting book wale a sad book.


Twelve year old Annie runs, and writes, and draws. In so doing she is able to define who she is and what matters to her, regardless of the pressures others try to exert upon her. This novel is told in Annie's free verse poems and covers her friendship with Max, her mother's pregnancy, her grandfather's mental decline, a long term art class assignment, and her love of running. It all weaves together well. There is not much experimentation with form except the humorous use of footnotes in the poems after a school assignment on that format. Annie is a charming protagonist who seems certain of herself without being overbearing. That she refuses to join the track team because she prefers the freedom of barefoot running to her own rhythm is a terrific metaphor for her contentment with allowing friendships to unfold naturally.


Heartbeat is a fabulous book.It is a book of exitment, mood changes, stress, and joy. it all starts out as a family with a young girl who is 13 and her name is annie. Her mother is pregnent, and her grandfather has memory loss. As annie and her dad try to help annie get ready for the baby their is a whole other life to annie. She is super artistic and her and her friend Max run, run, RUN, after school whenever they get the chance to. They do not run with shoes on, they love the feeling of the dirt and the moist, soft grass in between their toes. Max always trys to pick up the pace and tell annie that she should join the track team, because she is fast. But annnie doent want too. She tells him that she only runs for the joy of it. nothing more, nothing less. sometimes max has these major mood swings. He willl get mad or displeased by the way that annie acts even though sheis not doing anything wrong. In art class their art teacher assings them a very challenging but interesting assignment. They take one apple and they are assigned to drtaw it for 100 days 1 picture for each day. So now as she has this apple inside her house not knowing what will happen to it, she draws the apple 100 times, will it staythe same or will it not? Will Max win the race or will annie join the track team? What will happen to the mother once she's pregnent? And as for the grandfather, what will happen to him? those are all questions that will be anwsered in the book if you decied to read HEARTBEAT. While i was readingthe book heartbeat in some parts the book it would be so joyful and magical, or it would be sad and you would think, well why did you have to do that. But over all the book is one hundred percent GREAT!, and i totally think that if you are someone who is up for a mood changing story than heartbeat is definatley your book. -Julianna kiklis


The name Of this book is Heartbreak. The author’s name is Sharon Creech. I liked this book a lot. It was not the best book ever but it was a pretty good book! I think that it is for both the boys and the girls. The two main characters in this book are, a girl named Annie and a boy named Max. Max and Annie love to run together after school. Max is on the boys track team and has a big race that is coming up. He is trying to get Annie to join the girls track team.The part that I thought was really sad was when Annie’s grandfather forgets how to make his fried chicken. He forgets how to make it because he is turning very old and forgetful. The part that I think was vary wired was when Annie’s art teacher tells all of her students to draw hundred apples. They had to draw one apple a day. Then something really bad happens to Annie’s apple. If you want to know was that happened to the apple just read Heartbreak! The end of Heartbreak dose not has a bad ending but this book dose not have the best of an ending that it could have had. I bet that you have a lot of questions in you mind that you want to get answer. Like for example, does Annie join the track team? Why doesn’t she want to join the girls track team? Also will the Grandfather die because he is so old? And will Max com in first place in his track competition? If you do then just read this book called Heartbreak by Sharon Creech! I also hope that if you give this book a try i hope that you will like it or love it.

Shane Tatman

Being a huge fan of Sharon Creech's after reading Walk Two Moons, Bloomability, etc., I expected a bit more form Heartbeat. I just couldn't get as wrapped up in the characters or the plot as much as usual. This is probably because she wrote it in a more lyrical/poetic style.

Mary Ann

I just love it when a character's thoughts and moods meld with mine in my mind, growing and becoming part of me. Novels in verse - usually written in free form poetry - have a particular way of doing this, where the narrator's voice almost flows into me. Heartbeat, by Sharon Creech, is a touching story that will appeal to tweens who love realistic fiction. While some kids read fantasy to escape, others love realistic fiction to connect to characters. Heartbeat is a treat for kids who enjoy exploring character's thoughts and feelings.Heartbeat is the story of 12 year old Annie, through a year when so many things are changing. In flowing free verse, Annie describes her love of running, the changes in her best friend Max, the birth of her baby brother and her grandfather's growing confusion and dementia. Annie's world feels as if it's unraveling with all this change.As she runs for the pure pleasure of running, thoughts and questions race through her mind. Why can't her grandfather remember so many things? What will the new baby be like, and what will it be like to have to share her mother? Why is Max so insistent on winning his races, and why can't he understand that she just wants to run? Here's a sample to get a sense of Annie's voice and thoughts: "The shirt seems infinitely small too small for any living person and I wonder if the alien baby can think now and if it can think what does it think? And what did I think when I was small and why did I forget? And what else will I forget when I grow older? And if you forget is it as if it never happened? Will none of the things you saw or thought or dreamed matter? I fold the shirt and replace it in the basket and I race down the steps and out the door and leap off the porch into the chilly air and run run run over fallen leaves yellow and brown glazed with frost: crunch, crunch, crunch." (Heartbeat, p. 43 - 44)Annie's questions are deep and complex, as she wrestles with all the changes around her. While she is more thoughtful than many kids at this age, her musings feel natural in context for a bright, sensitive kid. Creech's poetry conveys these feelings perfectly, much like she did with Love That Dog. She balances Annie's questions with her everyday activities of school, art class, and running. As Annie hears the thump-THUMP thump-THUMP of her heart when she's running, we feel the rhythm of her life, her thoughts, her questions.If you're interested, read the first few pages to get a feel for Creech's writing style. A preview of much of the book is available on Google Books.I especially enjoyed reading Sharon Creech's note on her website about the inspiration behind Heartbeat: "As I was writing this book, I felt as if I were taking the pulse of this young girl, Annie, who is trying to place herself on this spectrum of life. Where does she fit in? She wonders what it would be like to be old, and what it would be like to be an infant, and how she became who she is, and who exactly is she, and why is she here? These are questions I had when I was Annie's age, when my grandparents were aging, and when my mother was expecting my youngest brother. I felt as if I were balancing on the cusp of some important life thread, and it was essential to try to understand where I was, in the larger scheme of things." As one student said to me, this is a perfect book for kids who like asking abstract questions, who don't want easy answers. To me, it really reflects the transition that kids go through as they move into adolescence. Creech captures this in a wonderful voice, and her narrative free form verse is perfect for seeping into your soul.


This was one of the first books I remember reading. I do not remember what grade, but I ordered in from this catalog we got every month advertising books for young children. For some reason I liked this one so I ordered it. The style of writing within this book is a bit unorthodox, not in this day & time of course, but for me being a first time reader. Nonetheless I loved it from the beginning. It is a sad, true & lovely short story & in some ways, inspiring in the aspect of not giving up & doing what you love, the way you want it to be done, & not to be afraid to let ideas come to life & let yourself be immersed in what you love to do. & also, to not be afraid of your seemingly strange thought process. I recently reread this book & I loved it even more the second time, I think only because now that I was older, I could understand & really get a feel for what my take on the book was. I will always keep this book close to heart & hope to share it someday with my future children & hope they love it as much as I did & still do.

Cheryl in CC NV

Ok, she did it again. Not quite as powerful as Love That Dog and Hate That Cat but a very welcome addition to the theme. And don't worry - it's new characters with entirely new issues expressed by a kid who apparently writes poetry for pleasure, not for school. Thank you Ms Creech.

Kath B.

Katherine BaldBook Review #6Romaniuk/Moyer November 30, 2010Run, Run, As Fast As You Can: You Can’t Catch Me I’m Annie The book Heartbeat, by Sharon Creech, is an amazing book about taking responsibility and believing in yourself. As the book is told through Annie’s eyes she discovers that she is in control of her options and that people can’t tell her what to do, however they can still persuade her. The book is set in present times and is expressed through poetry. Overall I give Heartbeat four out of five stars because of the way the author built a bond between Annie and the reader. Also the way the author made me think about myself in Annie’s situation. In the book Heartbeat there are so many reasons why I connected with Annie how ever these are the most important: sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will always hurt me, practice makes perfect, when you escape from the world it is through something that you love. One thing that Annie learned through the book was that she was hurt by words. “I felt as if I was weightless and free as I lunged for the bench reaching it one slim second before Max and then we hunched over huffing and he says That’s a little better pace this time Annie, I tried not to let it get to me, but it did”(115). As the quote shows above shows it is clear that Annie has trouble controlling her emotions. As I continued to read the book I saw that she lashed out a lot. My point is that Annie was more sensitive to words then anything else.” I couldn’t hold it in, I slugged him hard” (115). This is how Annie delta with the problem, by punching Max. As we learn latter on she did it because she was mad that he criticized her after he complains about every little thing. She was sick of him being a hypocrite and shows it in a violent way, however it wasn’t intentional. Secondly, many people disagree when they say practice makes perfect, but not for Annie. “Drawing an apple a hundred times sounds boring said Kaylee, I disagree( in my head) to me it sounds fun”(108). In Annie’s art class their teacher made them pick an apple and keep it for a hundred days, each day they would draw the changes in the apple and there skills have changed. Throughout the book you see how dedicated Annie is to practicing and learn. In times of trouble, Annie escape the world by running. “I love running and the way it makes me feel”(147). Annie can’t go a day without running and the reason is because it is the way she can clear her mind when she is to distracted. To Annie running is her oasis, her comfort, her haven.” And when I go home I’ll fling off my shoes and flee for the pond and I will run”(113) In the book there are so many reasons why I connected with Annie how ever these are the most important: sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will always hurt me, practice makes perfect, when you escape from the world it is through something that you love. Many times I try to escape situations by singing or writing, almost how Annie does with running. One day I got yelled at by a teacher for no reason, so I came home and wrote a letter that was never sent to that teacher. It got all my anger out without hurting anyone. On thing that I learned was that poetry can capture a moment and feeling in a particular way that you will always remember. Overall, I worked very hard on this book report I spent ALL of Sunday working on it I was determined and wanted to make sure that I didn’t have to do it during Thanksgiving break. I also made a book plan so I could finish the book on time which I reached. Reading this book was hard because it was all poetry, however it presented a challenge that I was more then willing to take. If I had more time I would have worked more on my topic sentences. I would have also made the time to figure out how to print double sided. I believe who ever is grading this paper will see that I worked hard on it and will give me an honest grade.


This book was just beautiful. It isn't exciting (that is coming from a fantasy fanatic). But it makes you think. The character Annie and I think in the same reflective manner. She is believable and MAX is hot and awesome and amazing. What can I say? I'm all about the Angst-y, sulky, mood-swing-y, jerks. Any girl in a public school could enjoy this book, unless you deny that you are female. Then you need the school shrink.

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