Cover image for How to build a heart
Title:
How to build a heart
ISBN:
9781616208493
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
343 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
Since her Marine father died in Iraq six years ago, Izzy Crawford and her mother have moved to a new town nearly every year. When their small family arrives in Virginia during her junior year, all Izzy's dreams start clicking into place. She likes her new school. And best of all: Izzy's family has been selected by Habitat for Humanity to build and move into a brand-new house. Izzy is this close to the community and permanence she's been searching for... until all the secret pieces of her life begin to collide. --
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Summary

Summary

Family isn't something you're born into -- it's something you build.

One young woman's journey to find her place in the world as the carefully separated strands of her life -- family, money, school, and love -- begin to overlap and tangle.

All sixteen-year-old Izzy Crawford wants is to feel like she really belongs somewhere. Her father, a marine, died in Iraq six years ago, and Izzy's moved to a new town nearly every year since, far from the help of her extended family in North Carolina and Puerto Rico. When Izzy's hardworking mom moves their small family to Virginia, all her dreams start clicking into place. She likes her new school--even if Izzy is careful to keep her scholarship-student status hidden from her well-to-do classmates and her new athletic and popular boyfriend. And best of all: Izzy's family has been selected by Habitat for Humanity to build and move into a brand-new house. Izzy is this close to the community and permanence she's been searching for, until all the secret pieces of her life begin to collide.

How to Build a Heart is the story of Izzy's journey to find her place in the world and her discovery that the choices we make and the people we love ultimately define us and bring us home.


Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up--Izzy Crawford is a girl of many secrets. Her wealthy Catholic school friends don't know that she's a scholarship kid from a nearby trailer park. Her mom doesn't know that she and her best friend Roz spend their afternoons stalking Roz's crush, Sam Shackleton, and when Sam's sister joins Izzy's a cappella group, Izzy keeps it a secret from Roz. But when Izzy's family is selected to receive a house from Habitat for Humanity, each element of Izzy's carefully distanced world starts to collide, and the weight of her secrets threatens to overwhelm her. As in Wrecked, Padian creates a compelling world with relatable characters and deals with serious issues without feeling heavy-handed. Izzy navigates issues of racism, classism, and cyberbullying, even within her own family. Her family frequently helps Roz to escape her abusive home life, and Izzy also helps Aubrey Shackleton overcome depression following a cyberbullying incident. This may seem like a lot of topics to tackle in one story, but they're handled organically and with care, each given the weight that it deserves. If the Shackletons feel a bit too perfect and the ending a bit too pat, readers won't mind because they're hard-earned by the struggles that Izzy and her family overcome. VERDICT An excellent classroom or book discussion starter. Hand this to readers who are ready to tackle these issues with a lighter touch.--Mimi Powell, Library Systems and Services, Kissimmee, FL


Kirkus Review

High school junior Izzy discovers that some secrets can't stay hidden.Isabella "Izzy" Crawford is caught in between worlds, from her interracial and interreligious family to her friendships with wealthy classmates at school and her outspoken, socially conscious best friend, Roz. Izzy describes herself as being able to pass for white like her deceased father; her Puerto Rican mother, Rita, and younger brother, Jack, cannot. New doors open for Izzy as she befriends Aubrey, the new girl in her a cappella group and sister of Hot Sam, a wealthy basketball player Roz obsesses over. As Izzy tries to figure out where she belongs, she is trapped in a whirlwind of secrets as her worlds inevitably collide. Padian (Wrecked, 2016, etc.) masterfully portrays the internal struggles Izzy goes through in her Catholic faith. While navigating the remnants of her Methodist father's legacy and her mother's deeply rooted Catholicism, Izzy must also explore her relationship with both sides of her family. While her mother, who "always doles out her wisdomand warningsin Spanish," works on their application for a Habitat for Humanity house in an attempt to move from the mobile home park, Izzy begins to understand there is more to her deceased father's family than she first imagined.An absolutely enthralling depiction of family and self-discovery. (Fiction. 12-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Padian takes a familiar theme a girl hiding her background from others and makes it fresh with her protagonist, Izzy Crawford. Izzy, her widowed Mami, and little brother, Jack, are just getting by in their trailer park home, and Izzy's desire to keep it to herself is mostly out of pride rather than shame. When her family gets picked to help build their own Habitat for Humanity house, the game changes, and it changes again when Izzy catches the eye of Sam Shackleton, a popular boy from the public high school. Izzy walks a tightrope as subplots concerning friends and family swirl around her. Tying it all together is Izzy's first-person narrative. She is frank and thoughtful, with an agile wit and a strong sense of responsibility. Padian deftly uses flashbacks to Izzy's earlier life to show how her character has developed and the impact her father made on her while he was alive. The characters around her are well-defined and support Izzy and the plot well. Throughout the novel, Izzy's strength, candor, and humanity shine through.--Donna Scanlon Copyright 2019 Booklist