Close to the Heart
Written by a popular young adult book author, this is a romantic novel sure to enthrall young girls.
by Diane Gonzales Bertrand
Publication Date: May 31, 2002
Format: Trade Paperback
Imprint: Piñata Books
Ages: 11 and up
Jessie Medina is a dedicated career woman, and she has found a cause worthy of her attention. She decides to leave her corporate job and save a place a little closer to her heart: St. Joseph’s High School.
She knows the job of School Development Director will not be easy, and she expects a certain amount of resistance given the fact that she is a woman working for a boy’s school, and she is a staff member full of projects in a school that seems to be operating on antiquated fundraising ideas.
Jessie rises to the occasion and doggedly launches an effort to stage a benefit concert for school, with or without the support of the alumni association’s president, Roland Tovias. Though he seems intent on making her life difficult, she finds that the very man who challenges her at every turn can be her biggest ally when it really counts. She is afraid that balancing the new job and a personal relationship may hit a little too close to home and a little too close to the fears in her own heart.
This fast-paced romance for readers ages 11 and up raises interesting issues about one woman’s struggle to have it all and the complex role of cultural traditions in an ever-changing world.
“The Hispanic setting and characters help fill a void in YA romance.”—Booklist on Lessons of the Game
“Realistic characters and settings meld in a story that is meaningful without being didactic.”—VOYA on Trino’s Choice
DIANE GONZALES BERTRAND is the author of several books for young adults. They include There’s a Name for This Feeling / Hay un nombre para lo que siento (Piñata Books, 2014), The F Factor (Piñata Books, 2010), Close to the Heart (2002), Trino’s Time (2001), Trino’s Choice (1999), Lessons of the Game (1998), and Sweet Fifteen (1995). A lifelong resident of San Antonio, Bertrand teaches at St. Mary’s University, where she is also Writer in Residence.
Learn more by visiting her faculty page.
ATOS Interest Level: Upper Grades
Category: Young Adult