Wednesday, May 8, 2019

May's Book of the Month--A Heart in a Body in the World

May’s Book of the Month is Deb Caletti’s 2019 Printz Honor Book, A HEART IN A BODY IN THE WORLD.

When Annabelle Agnelli gets hit on by some guys at a local fast food restaurant, she snaps. Ditches everything and starts running. Annabelle has been trying to deal with tragic events from a year ago that left her emotionally broken, and changed her world forever. Now, suddenly, she decides that she needs to run across the country, from Seattle to Washington, DC, because doing “something is better than nothing." Helped by the organizational skills of her younger brother Malcolm, and a support team of close friends who set up a GoFundMe account and business plan to publicize her half marathon-a-day endeavor, and accompanied by her Grandpa, AKA Capitano/Captain Ed, in his RV, Annabelle begins to run her way through the heart of America, as well as through the guilt and shame imposed on her by The Taker. Along the way, she begins to process what happened, and maybe even to heal.

This is not a novel comprised of only dark moments, however heavy the main storyline is. The author paints a vivid picture of Annabelle’s life with on the road with Grandpa Ed, including his snoring and excessive use of cologne whenever Dawn Celeste is nearby. Also, the emotional ups and downs of a having a doting but anxiety-riddled mother Gina, the absence of her dad That Bastard Father Anthony, her relationship with beloved “butthead” brother Malcolm, and the unfurling of her tentative affection for a “Portland-Seattle hippie cliché” boy with “a mess of curls," all make this novel as endearing as it is important.

Like the lone wolf tree, Annabelle has been “damaged bad,” she’s been “gnarled and broken,” but she’s a survivor.


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