A Heart in a Body in the World (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

"From the first chapter, the reader understands that Annabelle once experienced a great tragedy that left her deeply traumatized. Then you discover that it was in the recent past. Then, Annabelle starts running. For me, one of the most amazing parts of this book is the way that you are taken on Annabelle's journey just by reading; as she crosses the United States on foot, discovering more and more about herself, the reader learns more and more about the tragedy that set her running in the first place. Integrated throughout the story are important passages that highlight the unique dangers of being a woman in today's society, and the novel as a whole does an excellent job examining the long lasting repercussions of these unique dangers, and all violence against women. Caletti's writing is impeccable, both in content and in style. The story is crafted to perfection, and I became truly engrossed in each and every character. I laughed, I cried, I shook my head, and I filled with rage. This book will make you feel, but it will also make you contemplate some very serious, very important issues. An incredible read, through and through." --Abby

— From Young Adult


“This is one for the ages.” —Gayle Forman, author of the #1 bestseller If I Stay
“A book everyone should read right now.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A vital and heartbreaking story that brings together the #MeToo movement, the effects of gun violence, and the struggle of building oneself up again after crisis.” —Elle
“Equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful.” —BookPage

A Printz Honor Book

Each step on Annabelle’s 2,700 mile cross-country run brings her closer to facing a trauma from her past in National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti’s novel about the heart, all the ways it breaks, and its journey to healing. Because sometimes against our will, against all odds, we go forward.

When everything has been taken from you, what else is there to do but run?

So that’s what Annabelle does—she runs from Seattle to Washington, DC, through mountain passes and suburban landscapes, from long lonely roads to college towns. She’s not ready to think about the why yet, just the how—muscles burning, heart pumping, feet pounding the earth. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t outrun the tragedy from the past year, or the person—The Taker—that haunts her.

Followed by Grandpa Ed in his RV and backed by her brother and two friends (her self-appointed publicity team), Annabelle becomes a reluctant activist as people connect her journey to the trauma from her past. Her cross-country run gains media attention and she is cheered on as she crosses state borders, and is even thrown a block party and given gifts. The support would be nice, if Annabelle could escape the guilt and the shame from what happened back home. They say it isn’t her fault, but she can’t feel the truth of that.

Through welcome and unwelcome distractions, she just keeps running, to the destination that awaits her. There, she’ll finally face what lies behind her—the miles and love and loss…and what is to come.

About the Author

Deb Caletti is an award-winning author and National Book Award finalist. Her many books for young adults include StayThe Nature of Jade; and Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, winner of the Washington State Book Award and the PNBA Best Book Award, and a finalist for the PEN USA Award. Her books for adults include He’s Gone and her latest release, The Secrets She Keeps. She lives with her family in Seattle.

Praise For…

“Masterful… This is one for the ages.” –Gayle Forman, New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay

“Caletti’s novel dazzlingly maps the mind-blowing ferocity and endurance of an athlete who uses her physical body to stake claim to the respect of the nation.” –E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of Genuine Fraud and We Were Liars 

“More than bittersweet… It will nestle inside your brain as well as your heart.” –Jodi Lynn Anderson, award-winning author of Midnight at the Electric

“Remarkable.” –Booklist, starred review

“A timely novel.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Powerful.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A moving novel centered on timely issues.” –School Library Journal



"A moving, unfortunately timely, and gut-wrenching story that will stick with you."

"This is, quite simply, a book everyone should read right now."
Product Details
ISBN: 9781481415200
ISBN-10: 1481415204
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: September 18th, 2018
Pages: 368
Language: English