Some Kind of Happiness by Claire LeGrande
In Some Kind of Happiness a young girl, Finley Hart, who is suffering from crippling anxiety, invents her own world, Everwood. She is surprised to find that Everwood is a real place, the woods behind her Grandparents’ house. While this could have been a simple story about magic, LeGrande’s story alternates between fantasy and Finley’s real-life traumas.
Finley has been sent to her grandparents’ house for the summer because her parents are having marital problems. Though Finley has never met her Dad’s family, she agrees to spend a summer with them.
Finley finds her Grandparents, Aunts and cousins, collectively known as The Harts, fascinating and intimidating at the same time. She longs to be accepted by them because they seem to be the perfect family who are charitable, fun, and outgoing. They don’t have the anxiety problems that haunt her.
In her Everwood journal, Finley images herself to be an orphan girl who must keep the dark away from her precious woods. She wants to protect the Harts from the darkness but does not realize they are hiding their own dark secrets.
Brilliantly realized, this is a great story for young adults or middle schoolers.