Underprivileged and keenly self-aware, SoCal fourteen-year-old Layla Bailey isn’t used to being noticed. Except by mean girls who tweet about her ragged appearance. All she wants to do is indulge in her love of science, protect her vulnerable younger brother, and steer clear of her unstable mother.
Then a school competition calls for a biome — and Layla chooses her own home. With a borrowed video camera, she captures it the mushrooms growing in her brother’s dresser; the black mold blooming up the apartment walls; the unmentionable things living in the dead fridge. Then the video goes viral.
When Child Protective Services comes to call, Layla loses her family and her home. Unafraid at last of being seen, Layla accepts the mortifying reality of visibility. Now she has to figure out how to stay whole and stand behind the truth she has shown the world. This powerful coming-of-age story by an award-winning author explores what can be happening behind closed doors and the resilience many teens need just to survive.
Sharply observed and well-written, Layla’s story is both accessible and resonant, deftly tackling issues of poverty, neglect, and resilience. To get to know Layla is to understand the myriad challenges that many young people face behind closed doors and the fortitude required of them to survive against odds that are stacked against them.... A powerful voice that is bound to make an indelible impact on readers." — Kirkus Reviews
|Recommended Age||14 and up|
|Publication Date||Sep 1, 2020|