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The Heart is Not a Size
Cover of The Heart is Not a Size
The Heart is Not a Size
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Georgia knows what it means to keep secrets. She knows how to ignore things. She knows that some things are better left unsaid. . . . Or are they? When Georgia and her best friend, Riley, travel along...
Georgia knows what it means to keep secrets. She knows how to ignore things. She knows that some things are better left unsaid. . . . Or are they? When Georgia and her best friend, Riley, travel along...
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Description-

  • Georgia knows what it means to keep secrets. She knows how to ignore things. She knows that some things are better left unsaid. . . . Or are they?

    When Georgia and her best friend, Riley, travel along with nine other suburban Pennsylvania kids to Anapra, a squatters' village in the heat-flattened border city of Juarez, Mexico, secrets seem to percolate and threaten both a friendship and a life. Certainties unravel. Reality changes. And Georgia is left to figure out who she is outside the world she's always known.

    Beth Kephart paints a world filled with emotion, longing, and the hot Mexican sun.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Beth Kephart was nominated for a National Book Award for her memoir A Slant of Sun. Her first novel for teens, Undercover, received four starred reviews and was named a Best Book by Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and Amazon.com. In 2005 Beth was awarded the Speakeasy Poetry Prize. She has also written Into the Tangle of Friendship: A Memoir of the Things That Matter; Still Love in Strange Places: A Memoir; Ghosts in the Garden: Reflections on Endings, Beginnings, and the Unearthing of Self; Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River; Zenobia: The Curious Book of Business; and House of Dance. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 19, 2010
    Seventeen-year-old best friends Georgia and Riley plan to make a difference in the world their junior year by joining the GoodWorks team, a group of teenagers heading to Mexico to do community service. In Anapra, a small village outside Juárez, the girls find the heat nearly unbearable and the work—building a public bathroom for villagers—grueling. Observant, reliable Georgia is able to find beauty in the landscape and in the people she meets; however, she worries that Riley, who refuses to eat and is already “thin as a sunbeam,” suffers from anorexia, which drives a wedge between the girls. Themes of friendship, service, and transformation are skillfully woven into Kephart's (Nothing but Ghosts
    ) novel, but the overall message feels ambiguous. More focused and memorable are Georgia's descriptions of characters (“I was looking at Drake and seeing moons in his eyes, and seeing the ruin in the moons in those eyes...”) and observations (“Do the right thing, you risk ruin. Choose responsibility, and don't think that makes you someone's hero”), which make for lovely, poetic reading. Ages 12–up.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2010
    Gr 8 Up-In this novel best suited for contemplative teen readers, narrator Georgia, who is sturdy and studious, and Riley, wispy and artistic, have been friends since kindergarten in their Main Line Pennsylvania town. Winter break of junior year, Georgia learns of a summer service trip to Juarez, Mexico, talks her parents into letting her go, and pulls Riley into her plan. The latter two-thirds of the tale take place on the Good Works trip itself, as the characters slip past a boundary between the before and the after, highlighting the transformative power of such a mission. Riley has been whittling herself smaller and smaller to break the "average" mold her pampered and Botoxed mother has cast around her; and when Georgia notices that she is eating nothing while doing hard physical labor under a blazing sun, she breaks the code of silence and their friendship when she uses the A-word: anorexia. Riley turns away from Georgia, and Georgia turns to snapping photos of the people and landscape of their project: to construct a community bathroom for Anapra, a tin-roofed shanty town for border factory-assembly workers and their families. Georgia also watches and coaxes out of silence Drake, a boy as introspective as she, while she waits to see if Riley will come back to their friendship and acknowledge her eating disorder. Lyrically and philosophically written, the story is more message than compelling story-driven fiction. It's not likely to hook or hold most readers."Suzanne Gordon, Peachtree Ridge High School, Suwanee, GA"

    Copyright 2010 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

    "[Kephart] has penned a faster paced novel that explores our inner selves...The writing is vivid. Readers will visualize Anapra's desolation and hope. They will feel the dust storms. They will relate to the teens...Beth Kephart is a must read YA author." — Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

    Praise for UNDERCOVER "This is a beautifully written, engrossing tale." — School Library Journal (starred review)

    "Kephart's fluid writing style and ability to illuminate the meaningful and beautiful in the everyday combine to create a tale that is both winningly different and comfortably familiar." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "An intelligent, multi-layered love story." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    Praise for HOUSE OF DANCE "Beautifully told." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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    HarperCollins
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