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*In a Heartbeat* by Loretta Ellsworth- young adult book review  
In a Heartbeat
by Loretta Ellsworth
Grades 7+ 224 pages Walker Books February 2010 Hardcover    

Sixteen-year-old Olympic hopeful figure skater Eagan is off on her jump by less than an inch, but that inch proves to be a fatal one. As fourteen-year-old Amelia doodles on her sketchpad that same afternoon, a beeper goes off signaling the end of a long wait and a new beginning.

Told in alternating views, In a Heartbeat goes to the heart of the matter as the death of one young girl becomes a lifesaving event for another. As shy Amelia recovers from surgery, she begins to notice changes in herself. Suddenly sheís interested in figure skating and canít seem to stop mouthing off to her mother.

With a little research and a lot of uncanny intuition, she finds Eaganís family and is compelled to visit them. Did Eagan send her there to resolve the tenuous relationship she shared with her mother, or is Amelia looking for acceptance and closure in order to begin her new life?

Loretta Ellsworth is the author of two other novels for children and teens. Sadly, she began this book after a similar tragedy befell her own family and organ donation made it a little more bearable.

There has been much research done on the theory of cellular memory where characteristics of the donor are sometimes acquired by the recipient. Ellsworth takes this theory and runs with it, making for an irresistible, thought-provoking and emotional read.
 
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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