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


In this book you will see Annie's perspective on life and how she sees things. Annie is kind of an opinionated person but she loves to run. She runs every day with moody Max as she calls him. My quote from the book, Max would laugh one minute scowl then next pinch my arm and then kiss the pinch mark. Even though this book is short it gives unique input on everyday life and it is written in poems. Do you want to see want life is like for Annie? Then read Heartbeat In my opinion "Heartbeat by Sharon Creech"is Realistic fiction and quick read for any child who wants to read it but preferably someone in middle school.

Emily M.

Heartbeat By Sharon CreechRealistic Fiction158 pages Twelve-year-old Annie loves to run. She and her best friend Max run almost everyday. Everything in Annie’s life is great, until the biggest thing happens. Her mom is pregnant, the delivery of the baby was so much different then a normal persons. Her mom doesn’t trust hospitals so she had the baby at a Birthing Center. Lucky Annie is aloud to be in the room at the time of the birth. From that point in her life on, nothing is the same. Her grandfather is growing not only old but very forgetful. Her best friend Max is now always moody. She is trying to be forced to join the track team. She doesn’t want to be apart of the team though. Mean while in her other favorite subject, art, she has to draw a picture of an apple for 100 days. She draws the apple and everyday her drawing improves. By the time Annie is around her 90th apple, it disappears. One bite has been taken. Grandpa! Over her last 10 apples, she has Grandpa take more bite and draws it until it is to just one seed. I liked this book and gave it four stars because it is a sweet story of a child, my age, going through the biggest changes in her life. Creech explains and describes the feelings, and thoughts of this girl in her simple life story.

Kaitlyn Crawford

If i had to describe this book in one word i would say Interesting.My favorite part is when she gets to fell the heart beat of her baby brother thats in her moms stomach. I really like that part because it reminds me of when my little sister was born.I did not like that max got mad at her just because she left the race cuse her mom was having the baby. I think he needs to relize that she has important things in her life to.the baby because he makes everyone happy he made his sisters face light up like a christmas tree. But i also like the granpa becuase he is spontanus and outgoing.I learned if you want something bad enough you Should go for it no matter how hard it may seem to reach just follow your dreams. yes because i think she makes it hard for you to tell what is going on and she makes the book interisting. She makes it iteriesting and hard for you to know whats going to happen next. she is a good auther and has one many rewards before.And not only is she a good auther she is a good poet i like her peice of work because it was very interesting and is really outgoingbook.


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


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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

Johanna Osborne

this book was in exsiting book wale a sad 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.


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.


A simple but powerful book dealing with the many facets of life as a middle school girl, Heartbeat gives us a glimpse into the life of 12-year-old Annie. This book would be ideal for an early middle school girl dealing with the many facets of life. I like how the book encompasses birth, death, athletics, art, and family relationships all in one. In this way I think that it could appeal to many different types of kids. This book would be a great text for teaching punctuation and different types of phrases. The book is written in a very free poetry-like manner, with each sentence chopped up into four or five different lines. It would be a great tool to discuss why the author chose to divide the sentences up in the way he did, and the different effects that it makes. The separation of sentences also visually breaks many kinds of phrases up, which makes it easy to talk about what those phrases are and how they function in a sentence. The book is also a great teaching tool because it talks about new concepts the girl is learning in English class, such as how to use footnotes, which she humorously uses throughout the rest of the book. She also talks about the Thesaurus and what to use it for, and throughout the rest of the book she lists 10 or 15 different words to describe how she is feeling at a given time. This would be a great book to use as part of a unit on the slightly different meanings of similar words. I would definitely recommend this book.

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