Forgetting How to Breathe Paperback – Apr 10 2018
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About the Author
ANITA DAHER has been entrenched in the book publishing industry since 1995, writing middle grade and teen novels, including Wonder Horse, Two Foot Punch and Racing for Diamonds. In 2007 she received the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Author. Aside from short stints as grave-plot seller, tour guide, and children's party clown, she's worked in aviation, publishing, and broadcasting. When not word wrangling she enjoys inhabiting characters on stage and screen. Anita lives and writes in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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Her characterization of Tia and Tag was excellent and I felt like I could identify with all their emotions throughout the book.
I especially enjoyed how the book was steeped in informed Icelandic lore and also the sensitive way she introduced the both the characters and the animals as they interacted in the story. The descriptive phrases evidenced Anita's gift with words, such as "the sun had risen warm and bright, and the snow had melted away as if embarrassed, a seasonal mistake..."
I am looking forward to buying more copies of this book to give to my grandchildren. I know their tender hearts will reach out to these two orphaned children and they will absolutely love the horses and dogs in the story. I highly recommend this book.
I should admit that Anita is my niece, and I have been following her writing career over all 28 years as a children's librarian. I have read all of her books and introduced them to the children in my library. They have been well-received and loved by many.
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.