Hummingbird Heart

  • Pages:280
  • Publisher:Orca Book Publishers
  • Themes:Organ donation, family, trust
  •  
  • Pub Date:04/01/2012
  • Age Groups:Fiction Ages 12+
  • Lexile:HL560L
  • ATOS:3.6
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9781554693900
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Sixteen-year-old Dylan has never met her father. She knows that her parents were just teenagers themselves when she was born, but her mother doesn't like to talk about the past, and her father, Mark, has never responded to Dylan's attempts to contact him. As far as Dylan is concerned, her family is made up of her mother, Amanda; her recently adopted younger sister, Karma; and maybe even her best friend, Toni.

And then, out of the blue, a phone call: Mark will be in town for a few days and he wants to meet her. Amanda is clearly upset, but Dylan can't help being excited at the possibility of finally getting to know her father. But when she finds out why he has come—and what he wants from her—the answers fill her with still more questions. What makes someone family? And why has her mother been lying to her all these years?
"A well-written exploration of complex family relationships...Hummingbird Heart will appeal to teenagers who like realistic drama, and the novel may be useful to parents or teachers who want to start a discussion about teenage sex, pregnancy or drug use."
– CM Magazine
"Vividly descriptive language enriches the story...[and] a raw and honest tone runs through the novel...Teens will relate to the themes of family, love, trust, and moral obligation. Discussion of abortion, sex, teen pregnancy, alcoholism, underage drinking, and smoking marijuana are included, and under the surface this page-turner invites readers to reflect on decision-making and appreciate the fact that actions have deep consequences."
– School Library Journal
"The tension this creates between Dylan and her mother is brutal and realistic. Like many teens, Dylan has found emotional safety in keeping distant from others, judging before she can be judged. As Dylan comes out of her shell, she realizes her own power and responsibility in setting the terms of her relationships...Teens who were intrigued with the family drama in Sara Zarr's How to Save a Life (2011) or Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper (2004) will find similarly thought-provoking issues here."
– Booklist
"Fast-paced and sure to keep readers interested...A perfect book for discussion and the topic will appeal to teen readers."
– VOYA
"A beautifully told story...Dylan is not a perfect character, which makes her easily relatable for any teenager...Recommended for anyone who likes a good dramatic coming of age story."
– Resource Links
"Stevenson captures the true spirit of Dylan's anger toward both her mother and her father, and the situation in which both parents have placed her...While the issues breeched in this novel are complex and deep, Hummingbird Heart remains an enjoyable read."
– Southwest Ohio and Neighboring Libraries (SWON)
"Stevenson takes Hummingbird Heart from just a mirror of a young girl's attempt to understand others as well as herself to a piece of artwork, extensive and colourful, deep and enduring, of choices, wonderful or humiliating, like a tattoo, hummingbird or otherwise."
– CanLit for Little Canadians blog
"A well-written story about a teenager being forced to confront questions about her past, her family, her relationships and her very identity. Dylan is a well-developed, realistic character and teens will be able to relate to her dilemma. Highly recommended."
– A Gemini's Gems blog
"A very valuable book because of the author's honesty in portraying the teen dynamics with friends and families...Highly recommended for inclusion in any high school or public library collection."
– Tri State YA Book Review Committee
Junior Library Guild Selection   | 2012  |  Commended
Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year   | 2013  |  Commended