ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Most Dangerous Thing
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Release Date: March 7th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Sixteen-year-old Sydney hates to talk (or even think) about sex. She’s also fighting a secret battle against depression, and she’s sure she’ll never have a boyfriend. When her classmate Paul starts texting and sending her nature photos, she is caught off guard by his interest. Always uncomfortable with any talk about sex, Sydney is shocked when her extroverted sister, Abby, announces that she is going to put on The Vagina Monologues at school. Despite her discomfort, Sydney starts to reexamine her relationship with her body, and with Paul. But her depression worsens, and with the help of her friends, her family, a therapist and some medication, she grapples with what she calls the most dangerous thing about sex: female desire.
Mama says: Add this to your list of mental health must reads for teens! If you’re looking for a book that approaches the topic with sensitivity and insight, The Most Dangerous Thing will fit the bill!
Thanks to author Leanne Lieberman for stopping by the blog today!
I am excited to be a guest on Mama Reads Blog and to write about my new novel, The Most Dangerous Thing.
My book is about a teenage girl named Sydney who suffers from anxiety and depression. I wanted to write about these topics because mental health issues have become so pervasive around me. While talking with friends recently, I realized that depression was affecting almost all of us, either our own mental health, or those of our spouses, children or close friends. As an elementary and middle-school teacher, I also see students with mental health issues on a regular basis. Since I teach the health curriculum, I have the opportunity to address those issues for my grade 7 and 8 students. We talk about strategies to deal with anxiety and panic attacks, how to cope if you feel depressed, and suicide prevention. I try and give my students tools so that if they are struggling, they’ll have some resources to help them.
I tell my students to seek help from an adult they can trust, or to use the technology they have to find resources to help them. However, I also know that sometimes a good story, one students can relate to, might give them the support they need. Reading about a character struggling with mental illness might help them cope, or even better, provide a model for reaching out for help.
In my book, my MC Sydney spends a lot of time trying to convince herself that her depression isn’t that bad, that it’s not that disabling, and that if she just keeps trying to ignore how she feels, she’ll come through the other side on her own. This isn’t the case. Eventually Syd realizes that she really does need help from her doctor, her friends and her family. Fiction should be fun and entertaining, but it can also be meaningful, compassionate and even healing.
In Canada the Bell Let’s Talk initiative to break has been hugely influential in raising funds and breaking the stigma about mental health. I hope that The Most Dangerous Thing can contribute to this conversation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Leanne Lieberman is the author of five YA books including Gravity (a Sydney Taylor Notable Book), and Lauren Yanofsky Hates The Holocaust. Her latest YA book is The Most Dangerous Thing, about a girl who coping with depression and anxiety. Leanne also writes adult fiction and is working on a novel entitled Unsettled. Leanne is a graduate of The University of Windsor’s MA in Creative Writing. Originally from Vancouver BC, Leanne now lives in Kingston ON with her husband and two sons.
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