The Heartbeats of Wing Jones

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Jandy Nelson meets Friday Night Lights in this sweeping, warm, arrestingly original novel about family, poverty, and hope.
 
Wing Jones, like everyone else in her town, has worshipped her older brother, Marcus, for as long as she can remember. Good-looking, popular, and the star of the football team, Marcus is everything his sister is not.
 
Until the night everything changes when Marcus, drunk at the wheel after a party, kills two people and barely survives himself. With Marcus now in a coma, Wing is crushed, confused, and angry. She is tormented at school for Marcus’s mistake, haunted at home by her mother and grandmothers’ grief. In addition to all this, Wing is scared that the bank is going to repossess her home because her family can’t afford Marcus’s mounting medical bills.
 
Every night, unable to sleep, Wing finds herself sneaking out to go to the school’s empty track. When Aaron, Marcus’s best friend, sees her running one night, he recognizes that her speed, skill, and agility could get her spot on the track team. And better still, an opportunity at a coveted sponsorship from a major athletic gear company. Wing can’t pass up the opportunity to train with her longtime crush and to help her struggling family, but can she handle being thrust out of Marcus’s shadow and into the spotlight?

"The swiftly paced story will quickly sweep up readers...[a] well-crafted, inspirational debut with plenty of heart, hope, and determination." —Booklist

"A story showing how hope and love can blossom in the midst of chaos." —Publishers Weekly 
 

READ AN EXCERPT

Chapter 1

 

 

My first memory is of my brother. Seeing his head bobbing along in front of me as I chased him down our street, calling after him to wait for me. And he’d turn around and grin, his baby teeth smooth as pearls. “Come on, Wing!” he’d say to me, his little...

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PRAISE FOR

"The swiftly paced story will quickly sweep up readers...[a] well-crafted, inspirational debut with plenty of heart, hope, and determination." —Booklist

"This realistic coming-of-age novel, touched with magical realism, is full of diverse and strong female characters....[and] about family, love, and the courage to stand up to life’s challenges." —SLJ

"Wing's sense of isolation is well-captured, and her grief and confusion are raw and moving...a solid debut." —Kirkus Reviews

"A story showing how hope and love can blossom in the midst of chaos." —Publishers Weekly