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TOUGH AS LACE by Lexi Bruce


by Lexi Bruce

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-978595-51-4
Publisher: West 44 Books

A star high school athlete begins having panic attacks that affect her at school and home.

Lacey Stewart might be the popular MVP of her Buffalo, New York, high school’s lacrosse team, but off the field she feels like a mess. Not only do her parents (particularly her mom) denigrate her athletic achievements, but she’s experiencing overwhelming and debilitating stress about taking the SATs, dealing with picky customers at her barista job, trying to win all her games, and passing difficult classes. After researching her symptoms, Lacey realizes she’s having panic attacks that are indicative of anxiety, but her parents are dismissive, and she’s initially too scared to admit her feelings to her coach, her best friend, or her boyfriend. Told in free verse, the book offers an accessible introduction to the topic of anxiety and how to seek much-needed support. Lacey’s middle-class parents are not appreciative of her extraordinary lacrosse skills (her mother regards contact sports as unladylike) and dismiss her mental health struggles. Many teens will find that Lacey’s challenges in school, sports, and relationships resonate. The story is engaging and will pull in reluctant readers, and the realistically upbeat ending is encouraging. Characters are cued as White.

Explores adolescent anxiety and shows a young woman figuring out where she belongs.

(Verse novel. 12-18)