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


Sometimes I wonder why I keep reading a book (even when I am clearly annoyed), and why other times I quit and could care less if I ever finish.This is a book that clearly is a young adult book, and maybe for some 13 year old this book will be perfect for them. However, the style of this book completely annoyed me. There was so much repetition with words that I felt like I was having a lesson on "learning words." The story line was rather mature material for a teen reader, dealing with a Mother giving birth (naturally) and a Grandfather getting ready to pass away. I guess when I was about 13 years old my concerns were what to wear to school, and does this certain boy like me? It was a very quick read, but would only recommend this story to someone (of the young adult age) who is dealing with a Mother being pregnant with their second child thirteen years later after only having one child, or someone who is dealing with death of very close member of their family. If you don't fit that criteria don't read this book.

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.

Fia Jones

Heartbeat is a book about a girl (Annie). The book goes on about what she notices and the events that occur in her life and everything around her, including the emotions of the people around her. The layout of this book is put in poems, describing her story. I am first introduced to her best friend Max who she loves to run with and she describes the feeling of her running barefoot. Max is her moody best friend who changes through the story from kind, caring but strange (such as pinching Annie for no reason, but then feeling bad and then kissing where he pinched her) at the beginning to Heartbeat is a book about a girl (Annie). The book goes on about what she notices and the events that occur in her life and everything around her, including the emotions of the people around her. The layout of this book is put in poems, describing her story. I am first introduced to her best friend Max who she loves to run with and she describes the feeling of her running barefoot. Max is her moody best friend who changes through the story from kind, caring but strange (such as pinching Annie for no reason, but then feeling bad and then kissing where he pinched her) at the beginning to 'something else' when he calls his feet tickets to get him out of where he is in inline, later discovering what was really important, which was how much you love something, taught by Annie's forgetful grandfather who tells him the secret of why he quit running even though he was extremely successful, giving Max his first pair of running shoes from when he raced. Also during this whole event Annie's teacher gets the whole class to draw the same apple every day for 100 days. Other kids in the class lose the apples and get knew ones and rush their pictures but Annie took great care to capture the image of the apple she saw,not as she want to see it but how it really was and every day she took care of her apple and never lost it and one day it was missing from where she put ands she started looking for it and found it on her grandfathers shelf (i think it was there) with one bite taken out of it. She debated how to draw by turning around the apple and looking at how to draw it but she eventually decided to draw the apple as it was with one bite taken out of it. Day after day she kept on drawing the apple with one more bite taken out of it everyday right till the core and at the end of the book, it image came back to a seed of the apple. Annie's mum is pregnant and as day by day goes by her 'alien baby' (which Annie calls her by) grows and gives birth to her baby child at the end of the book. I didn't understand why the apple had so much attention in the book but now i understand that it was comparing it the baby and age and how everything becomes re-born in the cycle of life.


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.


I always marvel at Sharon Creech’s ability to make me feel so much in so few and simple words. I’ve been reading her works since I was a child, and I love them all very dearly. This novel made of several free verse poems is different from her others in form. It always takes some adjusting for me to read novels that are formatted differently, like graphic novels or novels made of vignettes. This one flowed very well from the start, though. When I first began reading, I thought the language was extremely simplistic, and I read at a fast pace because I felt that the novel was for a much younger audience. However, I soon slowed down because there is more to love and to discover with a careful reading, and I realized that this novel is impactful for all ages. Creech weaves a beautiful story with a few simple, but wonderful moments in the life of young Annie. The running, the learning, the drawing, the waiting, all come to a touching end as Annie, strong of will and heart, learns about life from her best friend, Max, from her art teacher, from her grandfather, and from her newborn baby brother. Annie is determined and very focused. Running is her passion and art is her creative outlet. She doesn’t really change character throughout the novel, but she does find beauty in the simplicity of her day-to-day life. She notices the birches and the red barn as she runs her course. She sees how complex an apple is and learns to apply different perspectives to her view of the world around her. She also teaches Max to find beauty in life when he forgets to take time to enjoy it. I really cannot even express how sweet and heartwarming this novel is. I love the minimalism of it now. It represents how the small things in life should be treasured. It’s beautiful.I would definitely teach this novel to my students. I think they would appreciate an easy read, but then I would be sure to show them what all this novel holds. I would focus on imagery of the apple and how it transforms over time. Then I will connect that to the motif of renewal that appears throughout. Max’s newfound purpose in running and the birth of the baby are great examples of that. The apple seed at the end also represents the circular motion of life. The grandfather is the old, which ushers in the new. The novel also depicts transformations. Annie’s apple transforms in her eyes. Max loves running, then becomes frustrated, but then learns to appreciate it once again. The grandfather loses his memories some days and other days he give poignant advice to Annie. Annie’s relationship with Max transforms over time as well as they grow apart and together. Romance may even blossom in the future. Heartbeat really has great themes, images, and motifs to work with. I know students would appreciate the novel because the message is so powerful.

NS-Lisa Skrzypczynski

Heartbeat is the story of twelve year old Annie who is dealing with the trials of being an adolescent girl living in a world of change. Annie’s life changes as her grandfather begins to forget more and more, her announces that she is going to have a baby, and her best friend in the whole world becomes very temperamental. Annie finds solace and peace through running. As the story continues, readers watch Annie grow and begin to realize that even though she cannot stop change, she is still loved and still has a very important place in her family and a very dear friendship. Sharon Creech has done it once again! Heartbeat is a wonderful tale of discovery and growth that is perfect for any middle school classroom. Sharon Creech has always been a favorite author of mine, but this is the first that I read her poetic novels. I thought most adolescent girls would easily be able to relate to Annie and the emotional journey she goes on throughout the book. I also love Creech’s use of onomatopoeia as she incorporates the “thump thump thump” when Annie runs. I felt like I was Annie running through the trees barefooted with the wind in my hair.


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

Johanna Osborne

this book was in exsiting book wale a sad book.


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.

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?

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.

Kayma Jenkins

I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars because it was a good book, however it was kind of straight forward and below my reading level. Heartbeat is about a twelve year old girl, Annie, who loves to run. She runs for many different reasons, to hear the sound of her feet, to calm her mind, and sometimes just to get away. Its pretty much just about her 12 year old life, its about change and seeing how she fits in the bigger scheme of things. She wants to know how she became who she is and who she will become. Through her experiences, Annie begins to accept the changes of time and life, including birth and old age, success and failure. Annie learns to see the true beauty of growing up and finding out who she is in Heartbeat. All in all, it was a nice book, and I could understand what the author was trying to point out. The only thing I didn't really like was the type of book that it is, it wasn't really my genre.

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.

Jordan Barfield

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

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