cover image A Heart like Ringo Starr

A Heart like Ringo Starr

Linda Oatman High. Saddleback, $9.95 trade paper (268p) ISBN 978-1-62250-968-3

High’s novel in verse for the Gravel Road series, written at a third-grade reading level, introduces a strong-willed 17-year-old girl awaiting a heart transplant. Faith Hope Stevens has been sickly ever since she was born with “A slacker of a ticker/ and not enough air/ in my lungs/ or in my blood.” In sparse poems, she expresses her thoughts on her condition, her family’s treatment of her, and the experience of receiving a new heart. A too-tidy ending and several forced rhymes detract from the emotional tug of the central plot, but fans of this format will still find much to enjoy. Ages 14–18. (May)