Published by
Dial Books (2019-05-07)
Current material
2nd Pass Pages
Original language
Books for very young children, children’s picture books & activity books


by Fox, Helena

From a great new voice in YA fiction comes this stunning, profound and deeply hopeful portrayal of living with mental illness and grief.

Biz knows how to float. She has her people, her posse, her mom and the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who tells her about the little kid she was, who loves her so hard, and who shouldn't be here but is. So Biz doesn't tell anyone anything. Not about her dark, runaway thoughts, not about kissing Grace or noticing Jasper, the new boy. And she doesn't tell anyone about her dad. Because her dad died when she was seven. And Biz knows how to float, right there on the surface - normal okay regular fine.

But after what happens on the beach - first in the ocean, and then in the sand - the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone. Dad disappears and, with him, all comfort. It might be easier, better, sweeter to float all the way away? Or maybe stay a little longer, find her father, bring him back to her. Or maybe - maybe maybe maybe - there's a third way Biz just can't see yet.

A mesmerizing, radiant debut, at once gutting, humorous, and impossible to put down. Helena Fox tells a story about love and grief and family and friendship, about inter-generational mental illness, and how living with it is both a bridge to someone loved and lost and also a chasm. She explores the hard, bewildering, and beautiful places loss can take us, and honors those who hold us tightly when the current wants to tug us out to sea.

Helena Fox lives in Wollongong, Australia, where she runs creative writing workshops for young people. She's a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. HOW IT FEELS TO FLOAT is her debut novel.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Annelie Geissler

Available View on Rightsdesk



Every now and then you pick up a novel and you know you've found something wonderful. A glorious voice, a character you adore. Helena Fox's novel delivers. It's exquisite. Read it.

Quote: Cath Crowley

A profoundly moving story about grief, loss, and love that will take your breath away. Helena Fox is a writer to be reckoned with.

Quote: Kathleen Glasgow

This book will take you for a ride, will take you by surprise, will take off with you clinging to its ankles, will explode you into atoms. But then it will put you back together and return the new shape of you to earth. Alive with sensation, rich in thought, and packing several rollercoasters' worth of feeling, How it Feels to Float intensively explores what it's like to be here now, and how it might feel to grow.

Quote: Margo Lanagan

Impossibly beautiful, life-affirming, profound. This is not a book; it is a work of art.

Quote: Kerry Kletter

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