Forgetting How To Breathe

Anita Daher


A Novel


Best for ages 9-14 years

Abandoning people who love you was about the worst thing a person could ever do. That wasn’t Tia. And it wasn’t Mama, either. If she let herself think that — even for a second — she was afraid she’d forget how to breathe.

In an Icelandic community in the heart of Canada, 13-year-old Tia is angry. Her mother has disappeared and she and her eight-year-old brother, Tag, have been sent to yet another foster home. In a lodge at the edge of Lake Winnipeg with a family and “fake mom” that feels smothering, Tia feels more isolated and farther away from her mother than ever. She desperately tries to convince her brother to return to the city where they will find Mama, and reunite their family.

But when a freak spring snowstorm and a herd of runaway horses lead her to a job at the Ice Pony Ranch and Animal Rescue Centre, Tia is offered a job that might just change everything.


Forgetting How to Breathe is a strong, engaging story of a young girl and her quest for stability in life. Tia’s journey is real and challenging. She is aware and sensitive to the path she is on, but has no way of foreseeing the series of events that will help her find focus and balance. As I read the story I thought about my own teen years and a part of me somehow felt that I could identify with Tia” – Fred Penner

“real and true to life … As the story moves along, [Anita Daher] does a good job of slowly revealing more and more background information about Tia and Tag’s relationship with their mother and their life situation with her. Tia’s relationship, hot and cold, with her foster mom also rings true to life as Tia wrestles with all of her emotions.” — Recommended by CM Magazine!

Forgetting How To Breathe is an engaging story about a young woman coming to terms with the sometimes harsh realities of life, discovering who she is and what values she lives for, while learning to accept the love of the people and animals that surround her. In doing so, she discovers home.” – Lögberg-Heimskringla

Finalist – IODE Violet Downey Book Award 2019

Additional Information

Weight 0.3 kg
Dimensions 12 × 21 × 2 cm

Epub, Mobi, Paperback

About the Author

Anita Daher

ANITA DAHER has been entrenched in the book publishing industry since 1995, writing middle grade and teen novels, including Wonder Horse, Two Foot Punch and Racing for Diamonds. In 2007 she received the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Author. Aside from short stints as grave-plot seller, tour guide, and children’s party clown, she’s worked in aviation, publishing, and broadcasting. When not word wrangling she enjoys inhabiting characters on stage and screen. Anita lives and writes in Winnipeg, Manitoba.