Sweeping Up the Heart

By: Kevin Henkes

Amelia Albright dreams about going to Florida for spring break like everyone else in her class, but her father—a cranky and conservative 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 local 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 embark on an altogether different journey in their attempt to find her.

ISBN: 9780062852557

JLG Release: Jul 2019


Other Formats Available from JLG


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Friendship , Sculptors , Single-parent families , Fathers and daughters , Dating , Divorce , Spring break , Madison, Wisconsin

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

The Horn Book Magazine*, Publishers Weekly*, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews*

Horn Book

The elegiac spirit of Emily Dickinson’s poem “The Bustle in a House” (from which this book’s title is taken) reverberates throughout Henkes’s story of people struggling to cope with love, loss, change, and human frailty. Twelve-year-old Amelia Albright is dreading her upcoming spring-break week (the novel’s time frame) at home in Madiso The elegiac spirit of Emily Dickinson’s poem “The Bustle in a House” (from which this book’s title is taken) reverberates throughout Henkes’s story of people struggling to cope with love, loss, change, and human frailty. Twelve-year-old Amelia Albright is dreading her upcoming spring-break week (the novel’s time frame) at home in Madison, Wisconsin. Her best friend is away for the year, and her melancholic and withdrawn father has rejected the idea of a Florida vacation. With encouragement from their loving housekeeper, Amelia seeks solace at the local clay studio where she has been going since she was six. She meets and befriends the studio owner’s visiting nephew, Casey, whose parents are busy working on their marriage. Casey desperately wants his parents to stay together; meanwhile, the loss of Amelia’s mother, who died of cancer when she was two, still hangs heavily over her. (“Can you be lonely for someone you never knew?”) When they encounter a woman who looks like Amelia’s mother, the friends begin to imagine the impossible, making this woman’s actual identity, when discovered, all the harder to process. In that confusing space between childhood and adulthood, Amelia finds comfort in talking to her beloved stuffed lamb even as she experiences her first crush and wonders “what kind of woman she would be when she grew up.” The week’s cheerlessness morphs into something complex and important as new people enter Amelia’s world, enabling her to better understand herself and those she loves, and to move forward “into whatever was still to come.”

Book Details

ISBN

9780062852557

First Release

July 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

7 1/3" x 5"

Page Count

192

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.4; Points: 3;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.4; Points: 8;

Lexile

Level HL610L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Greenwillow Bks.

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Friendship, Sculptors, Single-parent families, Fathers and daughters, Dating, Divorce, Spring break, Madison, Wisconsin,

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