What Hearts

What Hearts

Bruce Brooks / Dec 07, 2019

What Hearts Recipient of a Newbery Honor this novel is an achingly beautiful powerfully rendered journey through childhood that is not to be missed now available in a new edition with a striking new cover

  • Title: What Hearts
  • Author: Bruce Brooks
  • ISBN: 9780064471275
  • Page: 296
  • Format: Paperback
  • Recipient of a 1993 Newbery Honor, this novel is an achingly beautiful, powerfully rendered journey through childhood that is not to be missed, now available in a new edition with a striking new cover From an outstandingly perceptive writer, a moving portrait of a boy, observed at four revealing turning points Pointer Review Kirkus Reviews Combines fast, exciting actRecipient of a 1993 Newbery Honor, this novel is an achingly beautiful, powerfully rendered journey through childhood that is not to be missed, now available in a new edition with a striking new cover From an outstandingly perceptive writer, a moving portrait of a boy, observed at four revealing turning points Pointer Review Kirkus Reviews Combines fast, exciting action with an astonishing ending that proves the power of the individual imagination Starred Review ALA Booklist Asa possessed of rare sweetness, humor, and inner strength survives intact cruel tests of his integrity, intellect, and sense of decency From an outstandingly perceptive writer, a moving portrait of a boy, observed at four revealing turning points K Told with controlled imagery, insightful illumination of motive and the needs of his characters, Brooks has proven himself once again a master of language BL 1993 Newbery Honor BookNotable Children s Books of 1993 ALA 1993 Best Books for Young Adults ALA 1993 Fanfare Honor List The Horn Book 1993 Teachers Choices IRA 1993 Books for the Teen Age NY Public Library

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      Published :2019-09-01T01:08:33+00:00

    About "Bruce Brooks"

      • Bruce Brooks

        Bruce Brooks born September 23, 1950 is an American author of young adult and children s literature He was born in Washington D.C but spent most of his time growing up in North Carolina as a result of parents being divorced Although divorce is never easy for a child, Brooks credits moving around a lot between the two locations with making him a keen observer of social situations Switching schools often and having to make new friends evolved his ability to tell good stories He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1972, and the Iowa Writers Workshop in 1980 Before earning a living as a writer, Brooks had worked as a letterpress operator and a journalist for magazines and newspapers Brooks has reported a very diverse list of influences, like Charles Dickens, Henry James, P.G Wodehouse and Raymond Chandler Brooks has three sons Alex, 23, Spencer, 15, and Drake, 1 He lives with his wife Ginee Seo in Park Slope, Brooklyn.


    842 Comments

    1. Incredible! The writing of Bruce Brooks in this story is something beyond simple greatness. It is a turbocharged rocket moving with speed and dexterity beyond what the average human can comprehend. It is a living thing, a dynamic creature bursting with pure verve at its every seam, descriptive beyond what one could ever expect from a novel and flowing with a potent and challenging immediacy that is more a thing of beauty than just about anything else I've ever seen from a book. The writing of Br [...]


    2. I'm not entirely sure what to rate this, because although it's undoubtedly a wonderful book, I didn't quite get it. But then again, I'm only a 12 year old whose maturity rate and intelligence probably can't match up to the author's. I didn't get the message that it sent, and I'm not entirely sure that there was a message to be sent, but I'll probably try to read this again once I think that I might have a bit more of an understanding.


    3. What Hearts is divided into four sections each dealing with a turning point in Asa's life - events such as his parents divorce as a young boy and learning to fit in at school after school as he moves multiple times with his mother and stepfather. During the entire story, we are in Asa's head and so only get to see things from his perspective. I actually found this to be quite interesting and very readable. Much more than I expected! My favorite segment was called "Not Blue" and told of Asa pairi [...]


    4. Bruce Brooks wrote some of my favorite children's/YA books. His prose is pristine--better than most adult fiction writers. And he writes about precocious kids (in elementary school), who come of age early. All you folks who got straight A's in elementary/middle school, who won spelling bees and did math countsd had weird family problems, you'd be able to relate ^_^


    5. Not a book about baseball despite the cover. It is a terrific read about a 5 year-old growing to sixth grade while dealing w/divorce, friendships, fitting-in, constantly moving, a step-father, a mother's mental illness and first love. Had the award existed ten years earlier, it might have received a Schneider award.


    6. Brooks gives us a look at the difficulties of relationships, mental health issues, and a child's adaptations. It took me a while to get "un-distracted," because so often in the beginning, a 5-yo thinks and speaks in the words of a mature adult in a way no 5-yo does, regardless of how precocious they are. The unreliable narrator bits are fun when you realize what is happening.


    7. While I was interested in the events, I felt they were rushed and forced rather than let Asa and also the reader immerse in the issues and thus coming through to understanding. I don't think it works for a young adult audience given the wide range of ages of Asa in the stories.



    8. a newberry award winning young adult novel, and i see why. it relates 4 episodes in a sensitive boys life and tells them well.


    9. This is a poignant story of a resilient boy facing some of the most difficult circumstances adults inflict on children. When his parents divorce (announced on first page so not a spoiler!), "now, for the first time, his life had a past, a past that would not get any bigger, that would always be shrinking but would never disappear." The boy's thoughts and author's descriptions carried me into the feelings and circumstances: ugly subjects using beautiful prose. I recommend it to third graders and [...]


    10. Although I found the storyline to be mediocre, the author's ability to express raw emotions and clearly portray the main character's deepest feelings was phenomenal!


    11. Continuing the July YA challenge, and making a dent in the Newbery award-winning books, the latest read is an insightful 1993 honor winner titled What Hearts by Bruce Brooks.At the risk of redundancy, I've mentioned often that young adult books, including some of the later Newbery winners, are not fluff, and in fact deal with some particularly difficult life situations. This book is no exception!Young Asa's life is suddenly uprooted when he returns home on the last day of first grade to learn th [...]


    12. Felt like it was written by an adult rather than through the eyes of a middle school aged boy. "My, you are going to make me pull the flag all the way up the pole, aren't you? Look, my dear. Joel is full of sweetness and light, he was born full of sweetness and light, he'll live to be a hundred and the angels will be waiting for him with robes of gold, but--as his father and I and his teachers and I suspect you too know--while he's on this earth Joel could not find his own fanny with both hands. [...]


    13. There’s this thing that Bruce Brooks does that I cannot describe in the way that I would like, but I will attempt to anyway. In some ways his prose reminds me of Stiefvater’s and Marie Rutkoski’s, two authors I admire immensely. His skill lies in his ability use language to describe human interactions, observations, and emotions that are rarely touched upon in books, much less children’s books. It’s extraordinary to read – I had not realized that I, too, felt and saw and experienced [...]


    14. Pretty good book. On the upper-end of the 3-star range for sure.The book starts off with the story of a kid who just wants to come home and tell his mom about the wonderful last day of first grade he had. He comes home to an aloof mom who doesn't listen to anything he says but tells him that she's leaving his dad. The same day she brings him to meet her boyfriend (already?!) who puts the kid on a small roller coaster at the beach and then gets mad at him when he starts screaming (not out of fear [...]


    15. Hmmmm. Not my favorite book. I finished it, but not because I loved it. I kept looking to see if maybe I had accidently picked up an abridged version by mistake or something; it just seemed so choppy. And we get more than half way through before we're told that Asa's mom is manic/depressive???? I mean, isn't that sort of an important detail? It becomes awfully important in the second half, so why aren't we even given an inkling of an idea in the first half? And his dad just disappears? And even [...]


    16. This book serves it's purpose: to expose reality as it is. Although some people didn't like it because it does not portray "live as we want it to be," this is the reason why I was rather satisfied with this book. I guess this is also the reason why I don't like fantasy and I rather go for the more "realistic" fiction. Life is life, and this book does a fine rendition to life indeed. It describes the struggles of a dysfunctional family and what a boy must do to adapt to the varying changes that [...]


    17. I have no clue why this won the Newbery Honor. It did not have a point and I read the whole thing waiting for something substantial or magnificent to happen. When I finally reached the end I felt like I had just wasted my time. I didn't understand the main character and I wanted him to stop being such a jerk. I could see how his home life was affecting his character and I waited until the very end to see some sort of change take place - but he didn't seem to learn anything and I had no hope that [...]


    18. This book serves it's purpose: to expose reality as it is. Although some people didn't like it because it does not portray "live as we want it to be," this is the reason why I was rather satisfied with this book. I guess this is also the reason why I don't like fantasy and I rather go for the more "realistic" fiction. Life is life, and this book does a fine rendition to life indeed. It describes the struggles of a dysfunctional family and what a boy must do to adapt to the varying changes that c [...]


    19. Asa wants a stable life but he keeps having to move. At first, his mother divorces his father and they move to North Carolina to live in her new boyfriends's home. So, life continues to be tough for Asa. Dave, his new stepfather is mean. Also, Dave misses his important chance to play with Little Leauge because his mother, who is suffering from depression, gets sick from taking too much medicine. When Asa falls in love with Jean and lets her know, he finds out that he has to move again because hi [...]


    20. I like this book because it is about how the life of a teenager can flip because of his or her parents' differences. Like in this book a boy named Asa is affected by his parent's divorce and his school grades go down. One day his mom tells him that they are moving without Asa'a father knowing! When they move back his life is a little better and he meets new people but its not the same without his father's prescence. I like this book because it shows how teenager's suffer and they are at risk at [...]


    21. 1993 Newbery Honor BookThis book shows the story of Asa's childhood in four separate stages. In stage one, Asa comes home from his last day in first grade to find that his parents are divorcing and he leaves with his mother to meet her boyfriend Dave. Dave is not a nice guy and is mean to him. In the second stage, Asa goes to his first day in fourth grade. This is his second fourth grade class because apparently he moves a lot. By this time, Dave has married his mother but he's still mean. The t [...]


    22. What Hearts takes on the topic of divorce. It covers the stages of feelings towards a new member of the family and the getting to know you stage. The book also touches on depression and young love during this challenging time. I liked the book but I don't think I would read it again.I think it will be a good book for boys to relate to and I am interested to find out how girls could relate to it. I don't think I would read this book in my classroom but I would recommend it to someone who was goin [...]


    23. Not my favorite Newberry. Had to force myself to keep going through some wildly boring sports sections. The boy, dealing with a dysfunctional mother, mean step-father, and constant moves, was oddly unemotional. It was a story with some difficult, human issues, by the boy never really acted like a boy. The title is apt for the theme of the difficulty of love portrayed throughout the stories, but I just didn't love it. Deals with divorce, abuse, depression, moving and first love. Lots of painful a [...]


    24. I was extremely disappointed with this book, which had seemed so promising. It follows Asa's story from the day he arrives home in first grade to find his mother all packed and ready to take him to a new home in North Carolina, with an old high school sweetheart. Asa learns to read people and react the way he thinks they would like him to react. By the end, he is in sixth grade and in love with a girl named Jean. The whole thing seemed pointless. Definitely not deserving of the accolades it rece [...]


    25. This is about a thinking, rational and serious boy whose life changes when his mother and father divorce. He finds life with his step father quite different but being a thinking person he manages to get by. As the story moves on, Asa copes with his new life and his new "father" through athletics. Gradually, he learns that not everything can be thought out in advance. Sometimes you just have to feel to follow what is in the heart and to love no matter what.


    26. This was a very good book. The main character is a boy who is in 2nd grade at the beginning of the book and ends up in 7th by the end. He struggles with the divorce of his parents and a new stepfather throughout the book. His stepfather was my least favourite character because he was a total jerk throughout. As well as some family drama, this book also involves a bit of baseball. Overall, if you like realistic fiction, then this might be a book for you.


    27. What Hearts is a book about Asa. When Asa goes home after getting straight A's, he finds out his parents are getting a divorce. For Asa it is very hard adjusting to life with his stepfather. Asa later finds out that his mom has severe depression. The rest of the book is his adjusting of life with his mom and "fake dad" (the stepfather). I really liked this book since it teaches that sometimes it's hard to adjust to life after a devastating event.


    28. this book at first it was very boring, but then it got interesting, the main charecter was a boy name Asa and likes a girl. he falls in love with this girl and dont know what to do about it, so he goes to his mom for advice, his mother gave him good advice, then he went to his girl and let her know that he loves her. after that he finds out that he has to move.


    29. Four glimpses into a young boy's life. From his parents' divorce in 1st grade, to fitting in at a new school, to little league baseball, to his first love in 7th grade. I read this book based on a recommendation from Sonlight Curriculum. Usually their choices are spot-on. But I found this one to be a little shallow and trite.


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