The Deepest Breath

The Deepest Breath

By:  Meg Grehan

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.

11-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.

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  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358355458

  • ISBN-10: 0358355451

  • Pages: 192

  • Price: $9.99

  • Publication Date: 02/16/2021

  • Carton Quantity: 1

  • Age(s): 8,9,10,11,12

  • Grade(s): 3-7


Meg Grehan

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.  Website: Twitter & Instagram: @megcathwrites  
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  • reviews
    ★ "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

  • excerpts

          I know a lot of things 

          About a lot of things 

          But the thing I know the most about 

          Is me 


          I know that I am eleven years and two months old 

          And that my hair is brown 

          And my eyes are green 

          And I’m allergic to peanuts

          I know I have a mum 

          Whose room is right next to mine 

          And that sometimes we tap and scratch on the wall at night 

          Morse code is good for scaring nightmares away 

          I know that

          I know I have a dad 

          And I know that he lives far away 

          And I know that’s not my fault 

          And I know that that’s 


          I know that I have a funny name 

          Because the doctors said my mum was going to have a baby boy 

          But then I popped out 

          A slimy wriggly baby girl 

          And she liked the name too much by then 

          So Stevie it was 

          And Stevie I am

          I know I like the color purple 

          And things that sparkle 

          And science and books 

          And cats and stars and space

          I know that I broke my pinkie finger once 

          And that now 

          It sticks out funny

          I know I’m afraid of zombies and clowns 

          And not much else 

          I know I can be brave 

          But that sometimes it’s hard

          I know a lot 

          About me

          There’s only one thing 

          In the whole of me 

          That I don’t know

          It’s something funny 

          It’s in my chest 

          And sometimes my tummy 

          And always my head 

          It’s a fizzy feeling 

          Warm and squishy 

          And it makes me blush 

          And it only happens 

          When I look at my friend 


          And I don’t know what it is 


Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358355458

  • ISBN-10: 0358355451

  • Pages: 192

  • Price: $9.99

  • Publication Date: 02/16/2021

  • Carton Quantity: 1

  • Age(s): 8,9,10,11,12

  • Grade(s): 3-7