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Sweeping Up the Heart by Kevin Henkes
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Sweeping Up the Heart (edition 2019)

by Kevin Henkes (Author)

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756265,505 (3.94)None
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.… (more)
Member:LeicesterMSLibrary
Title:Sweeping Up the Heart
Authors:Kevin Henkes (Author)
Info:Greenwillow Books (2019), 192 pages
Collections:New Books 2017/2018
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Sweeping Up the Heart by Kevin Henkes

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A quiet story that touches on divorce, a dead mom, a dad who's starting to date, and new friends. It was not for me, but for a kid looking for a slice of life story it might be a good fit.
  bookbrig | Aug 5, 2020 |
A quiet sweet novel about broken families & friendships. ( )
  Rachael_SJSU | Jul 11, 2020 |
Amelia wanted to spend her spring break in Florida or France but her father, who doesn’t like to travel, won’t do it. Instead her spring break turns out to be more eventful than expected. Amelia meets 12-year-old Casey at the art studio she frequents. During a game of making stories about people they see on the street, they spot a woman who looks like Amelia’s mother, who died of cancer when Amelia was 2 years old. Amelia has no memories of her but her imagination is stirred by the woman she dubs “Epiphany.” Henkes always has the ability to imbue the quiet and mundane with significant meaning. He expresses the full import of vague but insistent feelings of children. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Mar 11, 2020 |
Amelia lives with her professor father and is taken care of day-to-day by their neighbor, Mrs. O'Brien; Amelia's mother died when Amelia was young. She's facing a boring spring vacation, which gets slightly more interesting when the nephew of the owner of the clay studio where Amelia hangs out shows up. Casey is angry about his parents' impending divorce, and worried about Y2K (it's 1999), but he and Amelia form a friendship; they invent a game where they come up with stories for people they observe. One of these is a red-headed woman who resembles Amelia's mother and keeps showing up in Amelia's life. They call her "Epiphany," and though she's not a ghost, she does have a role to play in Amelia's life.

Small, quiet, realistic; a quick read, but as Henkes said in an interview with Roger for The Horn Book, twelve is an interesting age. Amelia is still kid-like in a lot of ways, but just on the cusp of adolescence.

Quotes (from ARC)

All of it...was so strange if you thought about it long enough. And whenever she felt like she understood even a tiny piece of the world, the understanding disappeared right away like a light shutting off. (14)

"The Bustle in a House" by Emily Dickinson (50)

What adults ever agree to conditions made by kids? (54)

Strange things always occur in life, she reasoned. Unbelievable things were as common as common ones if you were open to them, she told herself. If you looked beneath the surface. (68) ( )
  JennyArch | Jun 25, 2019 |
Amelia is a 7th grader whose mother died when she was very young. Her father is not very communicative but luckily Amelia receives great support from her neighbor/housekeeper and the owner of a pottery shop. The father's reticence was quite irritating to me. This also made his quite lovely girlfriend a bit unrealistic. A gentle story. ( )
  geraldinefm | Apr 1, 2019 |
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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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