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|Sweeping up the heart|
Author: Henkes, Kevin
After an eventful spring break, seventh-grader Amelia Albright's life changes forever.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 501613
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 76733
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/01/18)
School Library Journal (+) (03/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/19)
The Hornbook (+) (00/03/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/01/2018 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—who loves Emily Dickinson and making ceramic rabbits at the clay studio—knows 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. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2019 Gr 4 Up–Amelia Albright wakes on the first day of her spring break with low expectations for a dull week at home. While she thinks everyone else is relaxing in Florida, her vacation turns out to be anything but ordinary. As Amelia strikes up an unexpected friendship with Casey, the nephew of the owner of the art studio Amelia frequents, she wavers on the edge of feelings she has never before experienced. Casey confides in Amelia about the emotional pain with which he's struggling as he watches his parents' marriage crumble. When the pair sees a woman around town resembling Amelia's deceased mother, they theorize she is the embodiment of her spirit. While Amelia becomes increasingly hopeful about the possibility of her mother still being alive, her father's guarded personal life threatens to upset the balance of their predictable family. Guided with love and understanding by her neighbor, Mrs. O'Brien, Amelia's heart will awaken to feelings of sorrow, love, and grace. A stunning realistic fiction novel, Amelia's story is woven tightly with themes of friendship, grief, and love. In his signature classic style, Henkes perfectly captures the hope paramount to the youthful heart, while honoring difficult themes with which young readers can identify. Readers struggling with difficult family situations will identify with the protagonists. VERDICT This smooth, compact, emotionally nuanced novel with relatable characters should be a first purchase for every library where readers' hearts are ready to melt.—Amy McInerney, Falmouth Elementary School, ME - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.