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BookBrowse Reviews How to Build a Heart by Maria Padian

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How to Build a Heart

by Maria Padian

How to Build a Heart by Maria Padian X
How to Build a Heart by Maria Padian
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  • Published:
    Jan 2020, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Catherine M Andronik
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In this thoughtful coming-of-age tale, a teenager struggles to find herself and a home for her family at the same time.

Maria Padian is well-known for her motif of exploring teen reactions to social issues. Her novel Wrecked was about the #MeToo movement and toxic masculinity, while Out of Nowhere features an economically depressed Maine community's reactions to the presence of a Somalian family. Now, in How to Build a Heart, high school junior Isabella (Izzy) struggles to integrate multiple different aspects of her identity into a cohesive self.

Izzy, her little brother Jack, and their mother Rita have spent the last six years moving from place to place in search of affordable rent, ever since their Marine father was killed in Iraq. He was a child of the genteel North Carolina Crawfords; Rita is Puerto Rican. Now situated in Virginia, Izzy likes her new all-girls Catholic school, especially the acapella chorus she sings in; she is friends with sassy Roz from across the way in the trailer park; and she...

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