Young, Janet 1957- (Janet Ruth Young)

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Young, Janet 1957- (Janet Ruth Young)


Born 1957. Education: Salem State College, B.A. (English), 1979; Boston University, M.A. (creative writing), 1987.


Home—Gloucester, MA.


Author and editor. Stet (literary magazine), former coeditor.


PEN New England.

Awards, Honors

Children's Book Discovery Award, PEN New England, 2007, for The Opposite of Music.


The Opposite of Music, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of travel articles and reviews to periodicals, including the Boston Globe.


Janet Young lives in Massachusetts, on the Atlantic coast, where she works as a freelance editor while also pursuing her career as an author. Her first novel, The Opposite of Music, was awarded the PEN New England Children's Book Discovery Award in 2007.

Geared for teen readers, Young's story centers on a fifteen-year-old boy who is trying to cope with the effect of his father's severe depression on his household. Billy's dad has stopped working, stopped sleeping, and stopped interacting with everyone in the family. Things start to look up after the man is diagnosed with depression, but the family's hopes are dashed when the medication required to combat Dad's condition proves worse than the disease itself. As his father's illness consumes all the family's energy, Billy finds his school work and social life starting to suffer. More than that, he worries that his father's disease will one day affect him as well. Noting that readers will identify with Billy's reaction and his wry take on several alternative therapies, School Library Journal contributor Vicki Reutter concluded of The Opposite of Music that Young's "attention to medical detail and advocacy for counseling will definitely put this title on bibliotherapy lists." Noting that the author "captures the reality" of serious mental illness, Frances Bradburn wrote in Booklist that The Opposite of Music offers teen readers "a well-written, starkly honest, important story."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, March 1, 2007, Frances Bradburn, review of The Opposite of Music, p. 80.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April, 2007, Deborah Stevenson, review of The Opposite of Music, p. 349.

School Library Journal, March, 2007, Vicki Reutter, review of The Opposite of Music, p. 222.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2007, Robyn Guedel, review of The Opposite of Music, p. 59.


Pulse Blogfest Web site, (March 28, 2008).