A Heart in a Body in the World
by Deb Caletti
Reviewed by Peggy K. Potter retired Library Director
The book warns, “For ages 14 and Up” and I agree. Everyone ages 14 and up should read this book. The subject of this novel is complicated, and the story is not linier but hard to put down. Our protagonist is Annabelle, a seventeen-year-old getting ready to finish high school even though she already has more than enough credits. From the first chapter we know something is wrong. Something has happened, and Annabelle is very slow to let us know what happened, how bad it was, and how was she involved. It is an odd mystery because everyone knows what happened but the reader.
It begins when Annabella, who lives in Seattle, has a flashback of the event and decides on the spot to run across the country to Washington D.C. She is a high school student on the track team but in no position to run such a distance nor the money it takes to launch such a quest. Her friends and grandpa support and enable her. Annabelle’s mother does not.
We, the reader, follow along every step. We meet nice people across the U.S. as Annabelle is greeted, fed, and truly lifted up by the others she and her grandpa meet. We experience a young body breaking down and as Annabelle comes to terms with the terrible event her body gets stronger and her fear is released along with information. Bit by bit we learn of not just Annabelle’s tragedy but a national tragedy. Caletti never preaches but the book ends with hope.