Sixteen-year-old Emmi feels at her best when she’s on the soccer field. She hopes to win a scholarship to college and keep playing all her life. That is until she’s sidelined with viral myocarditis, an infection that weakens her heart and threatens her life. All of sudden she’s spending more time with doctors than with friends and she lands on the waiting list for a new heart.
Change of Heart by Shari Maurer shows Emmi negotiating the normal pains of being a teen—schoolwork, issues with her boyfriend and her best friend—with the added stress of having a potentially fatal illness. She is at turns defiant, whiny, frightened, confused, bored and hopeful. She needs to hold on to her vision for the future to get through the present.
Mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 14 and up will find a lot to talk about with Change of Heart, including teens’ thoughts about mortality, Emmi’s relationship with her family, especially her mother and brothers, and the meaning of friendship and forgiveness.