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What Hearts (Laura Geringer Books) Paperback – May 19, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Laura Geringer Books
  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTrophy; 1st edition (May 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064471276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064471275
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Effectively revealing the psychological burdens of an intelligent, sensitive child, this book remains honest and intense from beginning to end," PW said in a starred review of this Newbery Honor title. Ages 12-up.(Feb.) q
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up-- Soon after first-grader Asa is told of his parents' impending divorce, he is abruptly introduced to Dave, his stepfather-to-be. Dave does not like the boy, who's smart and precocious, sometimes obnoxiously so. His mother, who becomes increasingly depressed, objects only mildly to her new husband's negative attitude toward her son. When Asa is about 12, his mother has an emotional breakdown and divorces again. Ironically, Asa and Dave have gradually reached an understanding of sorts. By the end, Asa has learned to accept life's hard knocks and he risks telling a girl he loves her. Although she proves fickle, he survives with a sense of inner strength and hope for a better tomorrow. The boy's adultlike understanding of others is sometimes hard to believe, and this might make it difficult for readers to empathize with him. In contrast, Dave is effectively depicted as a hard, angry man with a heart underneath. A boy's coming-of-age story set within a troubled stepfamily is a worthy endeavor, and Brooks is extremely skilled in describing psychological subtleties of thoughts, feelings, and relationships. However, his highly contemplative style may lack the immediacy necessary to grab all but the brightest, most ``Asa-like'' readers.
- Jacqueline Rose, Southeast Regional Library, NC
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It is written by Bruce Brooks.
Ji Seong
I recommend this book for young adult readers because the concept could be difficult for 6th grade and under but otherwise it is a great family book!
Rachel Wright
As the time goes, Asa seems to get along quite well with Dave but I still think that Asa didn't like Dave from the start.
ChanilShanghai

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
There are have been an incredible amount of books written in recent years for young people, but even if you exclude the junk there are very few that can be called really great. Bruce Brooks' "What Hearts" is one of these.
Brooks presents his basic themes, forgiveness (a rather unusual subject) and the meaning of love, with absolute sincerity. Asa's feelings and problems are real. It doesn't matter how different your life and problems may be from Asa's; if you are sensitive to your own feelings, I think you will be able to identify with his.
This may sound a bit odd, but it's also one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. I might particularly cite, in the second chapter, Asa's forgiveness and acceptance of his friend Joel. The end of this chapter is truly wonderful; all by itself, this would make the book a great one. Also the almost heartbreaking, though very beautiful, concluding chapter, one of the most sensitive and true descriptions of love (and, once again, forgiveness) that I know.
All in all it's a masterpiece. Sure, hardly any book is absolutely flawless, and "What Hearts" is no exception. But the author's remarkable perception, exquisite writing, and love for the human heart transcend any small faults you might find with the story. It is one of those rare books that really come from the heart.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By alice on July 3, 2004
Format: School & Library Binding
This book... is simply amazing. Asa, the main character, is a intelligent little boy faced with important and daunting changes in his life, starting the last day of first grade, and carrying on until he's in 7th. Asa's plight is described in such a way as to make you connect with him.
"What Hearts" is, while not quite 'dark', definitly poignant. It is the type of book you cannot put down and that you re-read often.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book had a unique style of following Asa through four short stories. I enjoyed trying to piece them together. It seems he is a bit mature and introspective especially in the first chapter when he is only a first grader, but I did learn to rally care about Asa. The book also has some moments I will never forget. Watch especially for the endings of chapter two and chapter four -- Fantastic!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MT on January 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this young adult novel in 1995, when I was, in fact, a young adult. I was very much an "Asa" myself and identified strongly with him. The writing, the emotions, the heartbreaking realism--all superb. I read it again yesterday, and yes, it's still my favorite young adult novel. It might not be for everyone. It isn't a feel-good story, and it's almost never pretty. I've seen several instances where people couldn't quite believe Asa as a realistic character, but I assure you, there are many little Asa's running around in the world right now, and this book is for them.

I most recently purchased the Kindle Edition. Unfortunately, there are several typos, seemingly from whatever OCR software was used to create it. There are two instances where "and" became "arid" and at least two cases where "kind" became "land." There are also several stray apostrophes spread throughout (perhaps from flecks or imperfections in the original pages), as well as a few random characters and symbols attached to the ends of words. These issues don't make the Kindle Edition unreadable, but they are noticeable and sometimes distracting.

If you simply must have it now, definitely go for the e-book. If you can wait, get a paper copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
what Hearts, by Bruce Brooks, is a great book. It is detailed and aimed at any age. That is, any age who reads and enjoys reading chapter books. It is about a boy named Asa. Asa is walking home from from the last day on 1st grade at schol with straigt A's on his report card and a ruby red radish that he grew during school.

He is shocked when he comes home to find that his mother and father have divorced and tha his father has moved away. He also learns that his mother and himself will be moving to North Carolina to meet a man named Dave who Asa's mom is going out with.As soon as Asa meets Dave he decides that he hates him.

This story unfolds with experiences between Asa, Asa's mother, and Dave of shock, fear, sadness, and happiness.

I recommend this book to anyone, as I said, who enjoys and can read and enjoys reading chapter books. It is wonderfully written and covers many issues of today's society including hatred and ignorance, while happier issues also queue in like lve and friendship. This is an awesome book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
This was a well written novel.Bruce Brooks did a pretty good job on writing the moral of this novel.But there were couple of things in this story that I did not like. One of the things I disliked about the story was how there was barely any action. Another thing I disliked about this novel was how Asa would wine like a little baby when he didn`t get his way. But I liked about this story was how Asa would react to his stages as they progressed.
In every story somebody learns a lesson weather it`s good or bad. In this story I think Asa really knew what the lesson was all along, but then worked around it. If Asa was more mature on his reactions towards the different types of lessons he had witnessed I would have rate this novel five star.
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