Scowen, Kate

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Scowen, Kate


Married; children: three daughters. Education: Attended Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, and the London School of Economics, London, England.


Home—Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Writer, educator, counselor, and social worker. Worked as a counselor in a group home, in a residential program at the Children's Aid Society, and in a community-based program for high-risk youth in Toronto.


(Compiler, with Allen Flaming) My Crazy Life: How I Survived My Family, Annick Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.

My Kind of Sad: What It's Like to Be Young and Depressed, illustrated by Jeff Szuc, afterword by M. Korenblum, Annick Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006.


Kate Scowen is a youth counselor, educator, and author whose works focus on helping young people to recognize their problems, to realize that they are not the only ones experiencing emotional turmoil over them, and to seek help where it is necessary. My Crazy Life: How I Survived My Family, compiled with Allen Flaming, a social worker like Scowen, contains the stories of how ten teenagers faced and overcame turbulent and traumatic events within their families. With narratives that cover both male and female perspectives and experiences, the teens tell their own versions of events and how they coped with serious family troubles such as alcoholism, abuse, neglect, abandonment, death, and divorce. Each selection includes closing comments that explain how the young narrators moved past their family problems and forged a more positive future. "This volume will interest a general audience and be useful as a counseling resource," commented School Library Journal reviewer Vicki Reutter. Readers will "benefit from knowing that they are not alone, and that [there] is always another opportunity for change," noted Nancy Zachary, writing in Kliatt. Brenda Dillon, in Resource Links, concluded that the teen contributors' "message is a simple one: we made it and so can you. My Crazy Life is one of those books concerned, caring adults will want to recommend to troubled teens."

In My Kind of Sad: What It's Like to Be Young and Depressed, Scowen carefully examines "what depression is and how it affects young people," commented Kristin M. Todd in School Library Journal. The book is "sympathetic" but not "preachy or condescending," observed Booklist reviewer Hazel Rochman. Scowen looks at numerous aspects of depression as it affects young people and teens, making a careful distinction between normal shifts in mood and genuine depression. She provides detailed information on different types of depression, gender differences in manifestation of depression, and the many types of treatments that are available, including medication and psychotherapy. She describes the kinds of behavior that depression can sometimes bring on in young people, including self-cutting, eating disorders, and suicide. Scowen also includes lengthy reports from teens who have actually experienced the effects of depression, and who have recovered through treatment. For those seeking more information or help, she presents an extensive list of Web sites, organizations, hotlines, and other resources. Scowen's compassionate message rests on her ongoing encouragement for readers to know and respond to the warning signs of depression. Teen readers will find no easy answers, "just realistic advice—especially about seeking help," Rochman concluded.



Booklist, September 1, 2002, Jean Franklin, review of My Crazy Life: How I Survived My Family, p. 73; September 15, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of My Kind of Sad: What It's Like to Be Young and Depressed, p. 54.

Kliatt, September, 2002, Nancy Zachary, review of My Crazy Life, p. 33.

Resource Links, April, 2002, Brenda Dillon, review of My Crazy Life, p. 45; June, 2006, Joan Marshall, review of My Kind of Sad, p. 35.

School Library Journal, July, 2002, Vicki Reutter, review of My Crazy Life, p. 133; October, 2003, review of My Crazy Life, p. 64; February, 2007, Kristen M. Todd, review of My Kind of Sad, p. 145.


Annick Press Web site, (August 2, 2007), biography of Kate Scowen.

CM Magazine, (March 31, 2006), Val Ken Lem, review of My Kind of Sad.