Sarah has always been a hard-working student, even if she has felt her grades don't reflect her efforts. She is a good friend, a kind daughter, and she loves being creative. But lately she is struggling with school and friendships, and nothing brings her much joy. Her family doesn't seem to understand what's happening, and neither does Sarah. Everyone keeps telling her to do better, and Sarah is trying her hardest, but when her first year of middle school begins, what was supposed to be a fresh start turns into a disaster that quickly spirals out of control. Sarah, who can't understand why she is feeling this way, begins to seriously wonder if the world would be better off if she was no longer alive. Sarah has always felt a connection with mermaids, and she now wishes she was a mermaid herself, so she could just slip under the ocean and swim away, disappearing from everyone's lives forever.
Finally, Sarah reaches her breaking point, and in desperation, seeks help from a trusted teacher. Everyone in Sarah's life reaches in to pull her from her own drowning emotions, and with the help of her family, friends, teachers, and mental health professionals, Sarah learns there is a name for what she is feeling. She develops tools, not only for coping, but for thriving. In learning about her condition and gaining the support she needs for managing it, she begins the long journey back to her life.
Rewarding, memorable, and deeply evocative, this gorgeously written story about a girl who learns to navigate the choppy and scary waters of her mental health, is nothing short of remarkable.
Author Bio: Susan L. Read was born and raised in New Zealand. During that time, she was an elementary school teacher and principal, a writer, and an avid reader of any books she could get her hands on. Susan moved to Massachusetts six days after September 11th, 2001. Since then, she has been a wife, an educator, a dog rescuer, a reader, and a writer. She lives in Massachusetts, where she has a close personal relationship with her spoiled rescue dogs. Learn more about Susan at www.susanlread.com.