In Living with Viola, Livy is going through a lot. She’s having trouble fitting in at her new school. She’s having trouble living up to her parents’ high expectations. And there’s Viola, a shadowy version of Livy that follows her everywhere, telling her she’s not good enough. Viola causes Livy self-doubt and even panic attacks.
Author Rosena Fung created Viola to give a voice to Livy’s anxiety. Fung was inspired by her own experiences. “When I have anxiety, I hear my own voice in my head, telling me bad things,” she told TFK. “It follows me everywhere I go.”
Livy learns to manage her anxiety using strategies like breathing exercises and cooking. “Not every coping strategy will work for everyone,” Fung says. “But I want kids to know that help is out there.”