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Learning to Breathe

by Janice Lynn Mather

Published by Simon & Schuster, 2018
328 pages
ISBN: 978-1-5344-0601-8

Age 14 and older

Although she was raised mostly by her loving grandmother, everyone seems to expect 16-year-old, Black Bahamian Indy to follow in the footsteps of her mother, who has a drug addiction and cannot provide a stable home for her daughter. So when Indy moves to Nassau to live with her aunt and is raped by her cousin Gary, she keeps the resulting pregnancy a secret, afraid that her aunt will kick her out of the house. Struggling in school and in agony due to the trauma she has survived—and which she continues, horrifically, to experience at Gary’s hands—Indy spends a lot of time alone on the island. Stumbling upon a yoga retreat one day, she experiences the kindness of a few of its employees and slowly opens herself up to receiving the support that she deserves and so desperately needs. This is a heart-wrenching study of one vulnerable young woman who, with the help of a few others, summons the strength to speak her truth, to regain her footing, and to press on despite the violence she has endured. ©2019 Cooperative Children’s Book Center


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