A Small Madness

A Small Madness

Written by: Touchell, Dianne
ages 14 and up / grades 9 and up

Rose and Michael are good students with bright futures. They are also in love. But when Rose gets pregnant, her behavior becomes increasingly strange as she pulls away from her best friend, and from Michael, while she struggles to cope with her predicament.

Rose cannot admit that she is pregnant (“If I say it, it will come to be true.”). She moves from denial to ineptly trying to terminate her pregnancy, to believing that she has miscarried, while deep inside, she is on a mental and emotional downward spiral. Meanwhile, Michael, in his confusion, desperation to help and fear of the wrath of his controlling father, sinks into his own kind of small madness.

Inspired by the story of two teens in the US who were arrested for hiding the girl’s pregnancy and later disposing of the baby, Touchell says, “When I saw them on TV I was amazed to see they looked like normal kids. They were from good families; they just looked destroyed… . I thought, there’s more than one victim here; what went on with these kids and why did they think they had no one to go to?”

This is a moving and powerfully written novel told from the alternating viewpoints of Rose and Michael with compassion and a gentle touch. It is an honest, unflinching look at the complex world of young readers.

Rose and Michael are good students with bright futures. They are also in love. But when Rose gets pregnant, her behavior becomes increasingly strange as she pulls away from her best friend, and from Michael, while she struggles to cope with her predicament.

Rose cannot admit that she is pregnant (“If I say it, it will come to be true.”). She moves from denial to ineptly trying to terminate her pregnancy, to believing that she has miscarried, while deep inside, she is on a mental and emotional downward spiral. Meanwhile, Michael, in his confusion, desperation to help and fear of the wrath of his controlling father, sinks into his own kind of small madness.

Inspired by the story of two teens in the US who were arrested for hiding the girl’s pregnancy and later disposing of the baby, Touchell says, “When I saw them on TV I was amazed to see they looked like normal kids. They were from good families; they just looked destroyed… . I thought, there’s more than one victim here; what went on with these kids and why did they think they had no one to go to?”

This is a moving and powerfully written novel told from the alternating viewpoints of Rose and Michael with compassion and a gentle touch. It is an honest, unflinching look at the complex world of young readers.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd - May 1, 2016
Specifications 192 pages | 5.5 in x 8.5 in
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Excerpt

"Tender, terse, and utterly unforgettable." — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Audience ages 14 and up / grades 9 and up
Reading Levels Lexile HL810L
Guided Reading Z+