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Sweeping Up the Heart    by Kevin Henkes order for
Sweeping Up the Heart
by Kevin Henkes
Order:  USA  Can
Greenwillow, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

It's spring break for seventh grader, Amelia Albright. She is sure she's the only person in Madison, Wisconsin who's not going away for a holiday. Her dad, a melancholy English professor doesn't see any reason to travel.

Amelia's best friend is spending the year in France and Amelia can only see the bleakness of staying home with her babysitter, doing the same things she always does. Waiting ... waiting ... waiting for her life to start.

As it turns out, Amelia's spring break takes an unexpected twist when she arrives at art class to find some strange boy sitting in her favorite spot. Will they be friends or enemies? Will he kick-start her real life?

Although Amelia thinks she is waiting to really live, in Henke's descriptions of a much-loved child, the reader can see that Amelia's life is not passing her by. In fact, later, Amelia thinks, 'Life keeps coming at you, one big shapeless surprise after the other.'

This quiet book pulls you in and leaves you wanting more. I do wish there had been more on Casey's life and problems. Maybe Henkes will write a companion book about Casey some day.

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