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Lisa Allen-Agostini. Delacorte, $17.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-984893-58-1

After a major depressive episode leads to hospitalization, 14-year-old Kayla is sent from Trinidad to Canada, where her Aunt Jillian and her partner, Julie, prove far more understanding of Kayla’s mental health needs than her traditional, emotionally distant mother. Kayla still misses “home home” and her best friend Akilah, and she continues to struggle: catching the right bus, for example, causes her to teeter on the edge of a panic attack. When another episode sets Kayla back, her mother decides it’s time to come home, but the loving support system and new connections she has established in Canada have started to feel more nourishing. Allen-Agostini (The Chalice Project) uses clear, concise prose to break down the daunting reality of depression and anxiety. Strong interpersonal dynamics balance hard themes, including homophobia, suicidal ideation, troubled parent relationships, and the minimization of depression, resulting in a quietly optimistic story. Ages 14–up. Agent: Margot Edwards, Rights Consultancy. [em](May) [/em]
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