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Heart Shaped by Siobhan Parkinson

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Teenage Book of the Month

Heart Shaped by Siobhan Parkinson
Published by Hachette Children’s Books, 2013

Siobhan Parkinson, Ireland’s first Laureate na nÓg has returned in her latest book for teenagers, to the characters in her novel Bruised, written in 2011. Her latest teenage novel Heart Shaped tells Annie’s story but harks back to the plight of Jono and his young sister Julie who were forced to run away from home after suffering neglect at the hands of their alcoholic mother.

Annie makes a shocking discovery one day and everything changes. She fears for the safety of her boyfriend Jono, who has vanished, knowing he is in desperate trouble. Even her Dad and her best friend Emma fail to fill the gaps in her life. To work her way through her difficulties, Annie must examine her own past, understand who her mother was before she died, what happened to her and why. Only if Jono comes back can she find the answers she needs to make her own life complete.

Annie is a complex central character struggling with the issues of young love and powerful emotions. This is cleverly portrayed through her meetings with psychologist Dr. Thing and through her conversations with her father.

Heart Shaped is a novel for younger teens that makes the reader aware of the strength and maturity that’s often demanded of children growing into adults