Review: The Heart Is Not a Size
By all outward appearances, Georgia has everything going for her – she’s a good student, she’s responsible and she has her share of friends. Inwardly though, she struggles with anxiety, so when she notices a flyer looking for young people to travel to Juárez, Mexico to help the people there build community, she’s eager to go.
Georgia convinces her parents that it’s okay and talks her best friend, Riley, into going with her. Upon arrival in Juárez, Georgia wonders what she’s gotten herself into. After she settles in, the trip turns out to be one of self-discovery for her and she grows immensely while she’s there.
The Heart Is Not a Size is a fantastic book about growing up and discovering the world. Georgia is a wonderful character and I hope there are many young people like her out there these days. I think most teen-agers can relate to her insecurities and self-doubt and even her struggles with her best friend, Riley. I know I could, and it’s been a long time since I was a teen-ager. Georgia thought,
The heart is not a size, Sophie had said; and I knew she was right - that there was no measure for the people we were becoming, no limit to what we might become.
The trip to Juárez turned out to be a life changing event for both Georgia and Riley and their experience really made me think – about how fortunate I am and about what I can do to help those who aren’t as fortunate. It also served as a reminder to me that most people are the same no matter where they live.
I’m a big fan of Beth Kephart‘s work, so it was no surprise to me that I loved The Heart Is Not a Size. Beth’s writing is so lyrical, I imagine she carefully considers each and every word in her books. This is the third one of her books that I’ve read and I’ve found myself lost in each one of them. This is a book that can be enjoyed by teen-agers and adults and I recommend it to both.