Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A HEART IN A BODY IN THE WORLD by Deb Caletti.  New York: Simon Pulse, 2018.  358p. ISBN 978-1-4814-1520-0 hc. $18.99     Gr. 9-12     YA

Annabelle Agnelli is getting ready to graduate from high school, when an incident at a restaurant sends her running down the road to the next town.  This would seem extreme, except that she's already a long distance runner, and has been trying to run her problems away since last year when she experienced a traumatic event.  Annabelle calls her mom and her thirteen-year-old brother, Malcolm, to tell them that she has decided to run all the way to Washington D.C. because she has to work things out.  Against the objections of her very protective mother, and with the assistance of her Italian grandfather who loves to drive his RV around the country, she embarks on a 2,719 mile journey from Seattle to the nation's capital.  Her friends, Zach and Olivia, along with Malcolm, set up a GoFundMe page and publicize her run.  Readers won't find out the cause associated with the run until the end of the story, but it promotes good will from town residents along the way.  During each leg of the journey, Annabelle re-lives the events leading up to last year's trauma - filling in the back story for readers.  She has to find the courage to fight the current legislative system in order to create a society that allows women to set personal boundaries while, at the same time, show kindness and compassion to others.  Caletti tackles some timely issues that affect teens growing up in the twenty-first century.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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