Books·Canadian

Learning to Breathe

This is Janice Lynn Mather's debut novel.

Janice Lynn Mather

Indira Ferguson has done her best to live by her Grammy's rules — to study hard in school, be respectful and to never let a boy take advantage of her. But it hasn't always been easy, especially while living in her mother's shadow.

When Indy is sent to live with distant relatives in Nassau, trouble follows her. Now she must hide an unwanted pregnancy from her aunt, who would rather throw Indy out onto the street than see the truth.

Completely broke with only a hand-me-down pregnancy book as a resource, Indy desperately looks for a safe space to call home. After stumbling upon a yoga retreat, she wonders if perhaps she's found the place. But Indy is about to discover that home is much bigger than just four walls and a roof — it's about the people she chooses to share it with. (From Simon & Schuster)

Learning to Breathe was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text.

From the book

Its biology where things start to unravel. Mr. McDonald's out getting his cup of coffee and everyone's abandoned their seats. A cluster of boys is huddled around Quetz's phone, peering earnestly at its screen. Some of the girls are flipping through a magazine. Me, I have Grammy's book hidden behind my Science 11 notes under the desk, and I'm thinking about how I'm five periods late and nothing fits quite right anymore. I'm trying to peek at the pages without being noticed when I sense someone behind me. Before I can turn, they pull my bra strap far back, then let it fly.


From Learning to Breathe by Janice Lynn Mather ©2018. Published by Simon & Schuster.

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