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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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What Hearts (Laura Geringer Books (Paperback)) Paperback – May 19, 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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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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Product Details

  • Series: Laura Geringer Books (Paperback)
  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTrophy; 1st edition (May 19, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064471276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064471275
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has some little gems in it that make you cheer for Asa, a child who's life is constantly changing when his mother leaves his father. But somehow things rarely work out for the very intelligent boys as he moves through life's change in circumstances. He is loved by his mother, but has an over demanding and very demeaning stepfather. Asa is a good kid and tries to always support his mother in many self-sacrificing ways. But it is almost like every time things start going good for him, something comes up and suddenly snatches happiness away. The author has written a thought provoking story about children facing the breakup of their family, divorce, and trying to adjust as a stepchild. There are some lovely moments with Asa's relationship with his mother and connections to his stepfather. But overall, this book made me feel sad and depressed. It might be good for a child who has gone through divorce and a parent's remarriage, to help them sort out the enormous emotional toil and changing with life's changes, but this just wasn't the book for me.
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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition
I do not recommend this book. Although the author did seem to have a genuine knowledge of the topic he wrote on, the book ultimately fell flat due to the storyline and the characters. There are two main reasons for my dislike.

First off, I do not find pleasure in reading a book about a kid who grows up in a dysfunctional family with an unstable mother and an abusive step dad. The whole book is made up of short stories that all have a depressing background and are not very interesting. I do not know why the author wrote on this subject but it is possible that he may have had a childhood much like the main character and so he wanted to show the trials of life in a bad family.

My second reason for disliking the book is that the four short stories are only connected by the fact that the main character stays the same. They jump around a year or more at a time in order to try to show most of Asa's childhood. Also most of the short stories end poorly in a way that makes you wonder, never to find out, what happened after the scene ends. In other words there is no real resolution to the story.
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