Sweeping up the Heart
Sweeping up the Heart

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Annotation: After an eventful spring break, seventh-grader Amelia Albright's life changes forever.
Catalog Number: #173259
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 183 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-285254-X Perma-Bound: 0-7804-3613-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-285254-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-3613-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018022067
Dimensions: 19 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
A lonely girl's life changes over spring break in this understated novel from multi-award-winning Henkes. Adults think Amelia is a "poor thing": her mother died when she was two, and her reserved English professor father spends a lot of time in his office. Her kind neighbor Mrs. O'Brien takes excellent care of her, but nevertheless, Amelia o loves Emily Dickinson and making ceramic rabbits at the clay studio ows that her life is rather constricted. But over spring break, Amelia meets Casey, who becomes the first boy to ever be her friend. She also realizes that a mysterious woman who looks like her dead mother might be following her. As Amelia discovers the mystery woman's identity, her world opens up in both exciting and scary ways. Amelia is a winning character: a dreamy, old soul who perfectly displays the naivety and the wisdom of growing up. Humor and lyrical language buoy the gently somber narrative. Henkes' latest story is, like most life changes, quiet yet momentous.
Kirkus Reviews
A seventh-grader in 1999 wonders when her real life will start—this spring break, she'll find out.Her friend Natalie is spending a year in France, while Amelia's widowed, emotionally distant father won't even take her to Florida for one week! Love, support, and the excellent baking of their housekeeper, Mrs. O'Brien, a neighbor in her 70s, partly reconcile Amelia to staying home in Madison, Wisconsin, where at least she'll have time for creating ceramic animals at Louise's clay studio. At first Amelia's dismayed to find a strange boy there—it's Louise's nephew, Casey, visiting while his parents go on a retreat, hoping to save their failing marriage. Casey confesses that his campaign to keep them together isn't going well. Amelia can relate. Her mother died when Amelia was 2; with her father seldom home and Natalie in France, she feels unsettled and adrift. Active imaginations and shared creativity strengthen the preteens' bond. Spotting a woman who resembles Amelia, Casey suggests she could be her mother, possibly reborn. Pursuing this intriguing idea spawns unexpected developments that spur Amelia's emotional growth (reflected in the Emily Dickinson poem quoted in the title). Captured on the threshold of puberty's tumultuous changes, Amelia and Casey quiver with hope and longing. Like a Chinese brush painting made of words, this short novel distills the slow-building impatience of early adolescence down to its essence—not much happens, yet everything does. The primary cast presents white.Spare, luminous, lovely. (Historical fiction. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
Henkes-s profound understanding of the adolescent heart and mind is evident as always in this story of two 12-year-olds frustrated by their parents. Amelia wanted to go to Florida for spring break, but her father, who hates to travel, has refused. Stuck at home in Madison, Wis., with her melancholy dad and their housekeeper, Mrs. O-Brien, her only respite is sessions at the nearby clay studio, where she-s been sculpting since she was six. The first day of break, she-s surprised to see a stranger there: the owner-s nephew, Casey, who is staying with his aunt while his parents work on their failing marriage. Finding a kindred spirit in each other is the first of many unexpected events that occur that week. While the two are in a coffee shop, Casey has an -eerie- sensation about a woman outside the window. He-s convinced that she-s Amelia-s long-dead mother (-Sort of like a ghost, but she-s real-), and Amelia determines to discover who she is. In economic prose, Henkes (The Year of Billy Miller) evokes the complexity of his characters- emotions and relationships, and offers a feel-good resolution. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)

Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A seventh-grader in 1999 wonders when her real life will start—this spring break, she'll find out.Her friend Natalie is spending a year in France, while Amelia's widowed, emotionally distant father won't even take her to Florida for one week! Love, support, and the excellent baking of their housekeeper, Mrs. O'Brien, a neighbor in her 70s, partly reconcile Amelia to staying home in Madison, Wisconsin, where at least she'll have time for creating ceramic animals at Louise's clay studio. At first Amelia's dismayed to find a strange boy there—it's Louise's nephew, Casey, visiting while his parents go on a retreat, hoping to save their failing marriage. Casey confesses that his campaign to keep them together isn't going well. Amelia can relate. Her mother died when Amelia was 2; with her father seldom home and Natalie in France, she feels unsettled and adrift. Active imaginations and shared creativity strengthen the preteens' bond. Spotting a woman who resembles Amelia, Casey suggests she could be her mother, possibly reborn. Pursuing this intriguing idea spawns unexpected developments that spur Amelia's emotional growth (reflected in the Emily Dickinson poem quoted in the title). Captured on the threshold of puberty's tumultuous changes, Amelia and Casey quiver with hope and longing. Like a Chinese brush painting made of words, this short novel distills the slow-building impatience of early adolescence down to its essence—not much happens, yet everything does. The primary cast presents white.Spare, luminous, lovely. (Historical fiction. 8-12)
Word Count: 22,093
Reading Level: 4.4
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.4 / points: 3.0 / quiz: 501613 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: HL610L

From two-time Newbery Honor and New York Times–bestselling author Kevin Henkes, this timeless novel about loss, loneliness, and friendship tells the story of the spring break that changes seventh-grader Amelia Albright’s life forever.

Amelia Albright dreams about going to Florida for spring break like everyone else in her class, but her father—a cranky and stubborn English professor—has decided Florida is too much adventure.

Now Amelia is stuck at home with him and her babysitter, the beloved Mrs. O’Brien. The week ahead promises to be boring, until Amelia meets Casey at her neighborhood art studio. Amelia has never been friends with a boy before, and the experience is both fraught and thrilling. When Casey claims to see the spirit of Amelia’s mother (who died ten years before), the pair embarks on an altogether different journey in their attempt to find her.

Using crisp, lyrical, literary writing and moments of humor and truth, award-winning author Kevin Henkes deftly captures how it feels to be almost thirteen.

With themes of family, death, grief, creativity, and loyalty, Sweeping Up the Heart is for readers of Kate DiCamillo, Rebecca Stead, Lauren Wolk, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and Pam Muñoz Ryan.


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