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Forgetting How to Breathe

Abandoning people who love you was about the worst thing a person could ever do. That wasn’t Tia. And it wasn’t Mama, either. If she let herself think that — even for a second — she was afraid she’d forget how to breathe.

In an Icelandic community in the heart of Canada, 13-year-old Tia is angry. Her mother has disappeared and she and her eight-year-old brother, Tag, have been sent to yet another foster home.

In a lodge at the edge of Lake Winnipeg with a family and “fake mom” that feels smothering, Tia feels more isolated and farther away from her mother than ever. She desperately tries to convince her brother to return to the city where they will find Mama, and reunite their family.

But when a freak spring snowstorm and a herd of runaway horses lead her to the Ice Pony Ranch and Animal Rescue Centre, Tia is offered a job that might just change everything.

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“Forgetting How to Breathe is a strong, engaging story of a young girl and her quest for stability in life. Tia’s journey is real and challenging. She is aware and sensitive to the path she is on, but has no way of foreseeing the series of events that will help her find focus and balance. As I read the story I thought about my own teen years and a part of me somehow felt that I could identify with Tia” – Fred Penner

Featured Review from Amazon.ca:

“I was nearly in tears by the end of this book.

“Forgetting How to Breathe is a short book, meant for middle-grade kids and early teens, but anyone can read it, and many people should. I purchased this book for my niece but read it myself to make sure it was appropriate for her current reading level (she’s going into grade 4 and I think it’s perfect for her) What a beautiful expression of understanding and compassion. Tia is a foster child and she is angry. She directs this anger at herself and at her foster parents. Her foster parents and the family at the horse ranch take her outbursts in stride, which startles her. Tia is accustomed to being tossed aside, she believes she is a failure.

“And all this is expressed through simple yet moving words that hit home with amazing power. Anita’s strong writing carries this emotional story to an uplifting, if tear-jerking, conclusion.”

-C. Ediger

Publisher website 

Purchase from an independent bookstore like

 McNally Robinson

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