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Like Love That Dog, the book is written in free verse, which alters according to both the subject and Annie's mood, giving it a poetic feel.
Heartbeat was nominated for the 2005 Carnegie Medal.
Literary significance & criticism
- 'A writer of extraordinary perception Sharon Creech has created a novel which generates considerable compassionate empathy for Annie, the central character, who is trying to understand her role in life… wonderful to read in one session' — Carousel Autumn 2004 issue 28
- 'Sharon Creech creates a highly readable story… the free verse lines are easy on the ear and the pages turn swiftly…Heartbeat is a different reading experience…unusual, yet highly engaging' — Scholastic Best Books 2004
- 'Sharon Creech is the queen of feel good. Heartbeat tells the story, in a series of exhilarating blank-verse poems, of friendship between two children who love to run, one for the pleasure of it, and the other to win races…anyone from 9-90 can learn from its insights' — Sunday Times
- 'Gets under your skin and you will want to read it again. Creech has the ability to write about relationships, particularly between young and old, in the most affecting yet unsentimental way.' — Scotsman
- 'A warm-hearted, free-verse story from award-winning Sharon Creech, much in the same mould as her wonderful Love that Dog.' — Financial Times