Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura's dad left them. Convinced that "creative" equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.
"Breathtakingly, gut-wrenchingly authentic...A haunting, realistic view of the melding of art, creativity, and mental illness and their collective impact on a young person’s life."
—BOOKLIST, starred review
"Any story about mental illness will not be an easy read, but a very good one will reward those who stick with it. A Blue So Dark definitely falls in that category, so powerful is the empathy the author has built for her main character."—SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"An excellent first novel—a definite must-read. Schindler's debut novel is a lyrical tapestry...a work of poetry."—VOYA
"This story provides a realistic viewpoint of a teen living with a schizophrenic parent. Schindler shows how one teen copes with her ill mother, while trying to juggle the demands of school."—ALAN ONLINE
"A Blue So Dark is one of those rare books: It never shies away from the darkness yet still manages to find the light. A truly real, emotional, and honest read."
—Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of Pay it Forward and Love in the Present Tense
“Schindler’s lyrical debut explores the nightmare of mental illness in a voice that is sharp and funny and all her own. This is as real as teen fiction gets. A must-read."
—Crissa-Jean Chappell, author of Total Constant Order
"A Blue So Dark is a raw, compelling and eloquent portrayal of art and madness, and the freeing, healing gift of creativity. Schindler's voice is brilliant and true."
—Carrie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of Need and Captivate
GOLD MEDAL WINNER: IPPY Awards 2010 (Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction)
SILVER MEDAL WINNER: ForeWord Book of the Year Awards 2010 (Young Adult Fiction)