The Deepest Breath (Hardcover)

The Deepest Breath By Meg Grehan Cover Image
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Spring 2021 Kids Indie Next List

“This sweet story deals with a young girl, Stevie, and the many things she has anxiety about. There are so many things to learn and more come up every day, so Stevie can’t keep up — but a lot of us feel the same way! While she learns ways to combat her fears of the darkest parts of the ocean or her struggle learn all the stars and their constellations, she also fights with herself about the feelings she has around her classmate Chloe. An incredibly tender story beautifully told in verse, and dealing with some difficult topics to educate middle graders on, I think this will be an important book to pick up.”
— Nichole Cousins, The Yankee Bookshop, Woodstock, VT


An accessible and beautifully written middle grade novel-in-verse by award-winning Irish author Meg Grehan about Stevie, a young girl reckoning with anxiety about the many things she has yet to understand—including her feelings about her friend Chloe. Perfect for fans of Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World, Star Crossed, and George.

Eleven-year-old Stevie is an avid reader and she knows a lot of things about a lot of things. But these are the things she'd like to know the most:

  1. The ocean and all the things that live there and why it's so scary
  2. The stars and all the constellations
  3. How phones work
  4. What happened to Princess Anastasia
  5. Knots

Knowing things makes Stevie feel safe, powerful, and in control should anything bad happen. And with the help of her mom, she is finding the tools to manage her anxiety.

But there’s one something Stevie doesn’t know, one thing she wants to understand above everything else, and one thing she isn't quite ready to share with her mom: the fizzy feeling she gets in her chest when she looks at her friend, Chloe. What does it mean and why isn't she ready to talk about it?

In this poetic exploration of identity and anxiety, Stevie must confront her fears to find inner freedom all while discovering it is our connections with others that make us stronger.

About the Author

Meg Grehan is a writer originally from County Louth, but is now hiding away in Donegal in the northwest corner of Ireland, with a very ginger girlfriend, an even more ginger dog, and an undisclosed number of cats (none of whom is ginger). In 2018, she won the Eillís Dillon award from Children’s Books Ireland. She is currently studying film and likes cake and rain; dislikes going outside. 

Twitter & Instagram: @megcathwrites

Praise For…

★ "A heartwarming and tear-provoking coming-of-age novel, brimming with empathy and a child’s imagination."—Booklist, STARRED review   ★ "Wholesome, powerful and essential."—Shelf Awareness, STARRED review   "[A] sweet and lovely sapphic novel-in-verse." —Buzzfeed   "Grehan offers an encouragingly smooth coming-out story....Filling a needed niche for younger queer and questioning kids, this is a gentle, hopeful read with a kid-friendly romance and a protagonist whom readers will want to befriend."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books   "[Its] impact could make a difference to a child struggling with anxiety or coming out to a parent....An endearing LGBTQ+ novel perfect for middle graders."—Kirkus   "In spacious verse that mirrors a worried preteen’s breathlessness, Grehan (The Space Between) vibrantly captures the anxious inner landscape of 11-year-old Stevie, an Irish girl missing her estranged father and harboring a secret crush on her friend Chloe....Small in scope and big in heart and feeling, this novel is a tender portrait of gay early adolescence and a strong mother-daughter attachment."—Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780358354758
ISBN-10: 0358354757
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: February 16th, 2021
Pages: 192
Language: English