American Heart

Laura Moriarty. HarperTeen, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-269410-2
In 16-year-old Sarah-Mary’s near-future America, the U.S–Mexico border is closed and Muslims are being sent to internment camps. These aren’t things Sarah-Mary thinks about much. She doesn’t know any Muslims; she and her younger brother, Caleb, are stuck living with their strict aunt; and she hates her suffocating Baptist high school. Then Caleb insists that she help a Muslim woman get to safety in Canada, and her journey with “Chloe” begins. In her YA debut, Moriarty (The Chaperone) incorporates several familiar road trip themes as the two hitchhike north, but the real story is Sarah-Mary’s awakening to her own prejudices and intolerance. Sarah-Mary is resourceful and good at thinking on her feet, constantly checking her moral compass against what she’s been told; smart, exhausted Sadaf (aka Chloe), an engineer whose biggest mistake was loving the U.S. too much to leave, worries about herself, her family, and the dangerous situation she’s putting Sarah-Mary in. A string of coincidences in the final chapters are a letdown, but Moriarty’s novel remains an effective tale of dawning awareness and the risks and rewards of following one’s conscience. Ages 13–up. Agent: Margaret Riley King, William Morris Endeavor. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/06/2017
Release date: 01/01/2018
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-06-269412-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-282177-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5384-9681-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-5384-9680-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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