The Language of Goldfish

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The Language of Goldfish
The Language of Goldfish.jpg
First edition
Author Zibby Oneal
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young adult fiction
Publisher Viking Press
Publication date
April 14, 1980
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 179
ISBN 9780670417858 (hardcover edition)

The Language of Goldfish is a young adult novel by Zibby Oneal, first published in 1980. It chronicles the mental breakdown of a young teenage girl.

Plot summary[edit]

Carrie Stokes, age 13, is suffering a mental breakdown due to her fear of change. She is growing up without realizing it, or perhaps blatantly ignoring it, until it gets too hard for her to pretend that everything is the same as it was when she was a young girl. Carrie is a skilled artist and takes lessons with the art teacher at her school. Carrie's parents do not show much support for Carrie's passion for art; every time Carrie shows her parents an art piece, they seem unimpressed. Moira, Carrie's older sister, is a constant reminder that she inevitably has to grow up. She has an anxiety disorder because she is worried about the social graces and rites of passage – such as going to school dances – that growing up entails.