Chance Devlin, 12, entered a suicide pact with two of her friends. Her friends followed through. She did not.
The loss of her friends along with the guilt Chance feels for bailing on them results in a very difficult time. She loses her appetite and her will to function in her day-to-day life, and she must also deal with bullying in the form of harsh notes from her classmates, notes that Chance feels she deserves. Chance receives counseling and is also encouraged to journal her thoughts. Even with all this and the support of her parents, Chance is still doubtful at the prospect of improvement. And then a mysterious young fox begins appearing to Chance, and the connection made proves to be the help Chance needs to confront her past and begin to heal, effectively conveyed in a meticulous present-tense third-person narration. This slim book may prove helpful for young people experiencing depression or similar challenges, demonstrating the importance and benefit of having and drawing on a support system along with getting professional help. The loving presence and behavior of the adults in Chance’s life speak volumes, communicating a necessary message of unity. Chance is a white girl, but her Saskatchewan school is a diverse one, and she has several Indigenous classmates in her grade. An author interview, afterword on mental health, and internet resources will surely prove useful.
A book in which purpose and art intertwine successfully. (Fiction. 10-14)