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Author: Caletti, Deb
Publisher: Simon Pulse/ Simon & Schuster
Year Published: 2018
ISBN: 9781481415200
Grades: Grades 9 to 12

A Heart in a Body in the World

Reviewed by:

Distinguished author Deb Caletti adds another award to her portfolio with the Michael L. Printz Honors Award for 2018 for this insightful and timely story about frightening realities in our world, skillfully tackling issues of violence against women, gun violence, social action, and mental health. In gripping third person narrative, this haunting realistic account follows a long distance runner named Annabelle who, after undergoing a terrible tragedy, decides to run from her home in Seattle, Washington across the country to Washington, D.C., a gruelling 2700 miles. Haunted by shame, guilt, grief, anxiety, depression and PTSD, Annabelle tries to outrun the memories and flashbacks woven throughout this thought-provoking tale, taking action on a physical, mental, and spiritual level to gain back her power. The amazingly supportive cast of  secondary characters include her Italian-American family, with Grandpa Ed, a grumpy yet humorous character who drives the trip beside her in his old RV, high school friends who raise money and publicize her healing journey, new friends met on the road, and the media and crowds who celebrate her activism and accomplishments. Facts about hearts are sprinkled throughout this relevant book, with a shocking reveal at the end of it to explain Annabelle’s reasons for the cross-country trek. Mature young adult female readers will become emotionally invested in this poignant realistic novel about healing, mending a broken heart, and reclaiming voice and power while trying to force the change you want in the world.

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