Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mental Health Awareness Month: General Mental Illness Fiction

This last list deals with teens living or having a parent with different types of mental illnesses.

Dawn, Sasha. Oblivion. Egmont, 20145.
Sixteen-year-old Callie Knowles fights her compulsion to write constantly, even on herself, as she struggles to cope with foster care, her mother's life in a mental institution, and her belief that she killed her father, a minister, who has been missing for a year.

Easton, Kelly. To Be Mona. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008.
High school senior Sage tries to hide her mentally ill mother and get a popular football player to go out with her, but eventually she realizes that abandoning her real friends and letting herself be manipulated by others does not make her feel better after all.

Harrar, George. Not as Crazy as I Seem. Houghton Mifflin, 2003.
As fifteen-year-old Devon begins mid-year at a new prestigious prep school, he is plagued by compulsions such as the need to sort things into groups of four.

Hopkins, Ellen. Impulse. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007.
Three teens who meet at Reno, Nevada's Aspen Springs mental hospital after each has attempted suicide connect with each other in a way they never have with their parents or anyone else in their lives.

Kuehn, Stephanie. Delicate Monsters. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015.
Three psychologically damaged teenagers uncover dark secrets and even darker truths about themselves.

Leveen, Tom. Shackled. Simon Pulse, 2015.
Six years after her friend Tara disappeared from a shopping mall during a game of hide-and-seek, prickly, anxious Pelly thinks she spots her buying coffee with her captor. Pelly, who has an unnamed mental illness, goes to online rather than traditional school and works as a barista. When she serves coffee to the girl she thinks is Tara, she thinks she sees the girl mouth the words "Help me." Pelly calls the police, but they are unconvinced by her story, and Pelly instead begins following leads on her own.

McCormick, Patricia. Cut. Front Street, 2000.
While confined to a mental hospital, thirteen-year-old Callie slowly comes to understand some of the reasons behind her self-mutilation, and gradually starts to get better.

Nolan, Han. Crazy. Harcourt, 2010.
Fifteen-year-old loner Jason struggles to hide father's declining mental condition after his mother's death, but when his father disappears he must confide in the other members of a therapy group he has been forced to join at school.

Phillips, Linda Vigen. Crazy. Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers, 2014.
While growing up in the 1960s, Laura uses art to cope with her mother's mental illness.

Polsky, Sara. This is How I Find Her. Albert Whitman &Company, 2013.
High school junior Sophie has always had the burden of taking care of her mother, who has bipolar disorder, but after her mother's hospitalization she must learn to cope with estranged family and figure out her own life.

Scelsa, Kate. Fans of the Impossible Life.  Balzar + Bray, 2015.
At Saint Francis Prep school in Mountain View, New Jersey, Mira, Jeremy, and Sebby come together as they struggle with romance, bullying, foster home and family problems, and mental health issues.

Shaw, Susan. Black-Eyed Suzie. Boyd Mills Press, 2002.
Suzie's stay in a mental hospital helps her tear down the walls of a devastating psychological prison she calls "the box".

Smith, Hilary T. Wild Awake. Katherine Tegen Books, 2013.
The discovery of a startling family secret leads seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd from a protected and naive life into a summer of mental illness, first love, and profound self-discovery

Vaught, Susan. Freaks Like Us. Bloomsbury, 2012.

A mentally ill teenager who rides the "short bus" to school investigates the sudden disappearance of his best friend.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Mental Health Awareness Month: Fiction about Schizophrenia

This week's list is books about teens living with or who has a parent with schizophrenia. next week, I'll post a list of varied books on mental illness.

Anderson, Jessica Lee. Border Crossing. Milkweed Editions, 2009.
Manz, a troubled fifteen-year-old, ruminates over his Mexican father's death, his mother's drinking, and his stillborn stepbrother until the voices he hears in his head take over and he cannot tell reality from delusion.

Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia. Persistence of Memory. Delacorte Press, 2008.
Diagnosed with schizophrenia as a child, sixteen-year-old Erin has spent half of her life in therapy and on drugs, but now must face the possibility of weird things in the real world, including shapeshifting friends and her "alter," a centuries-old vampire.

Averett, Edward. Cameron and the Girls. Clarion Books, 2013.
A boy suffering from Schizophrenia falls into a love triangle with a girl in his junior high class--and a girl in his head.

Axelrod, Kate. The Law of Loving Others. Razorbill, 2015.
After Emma returns home from boarding school, she realizes her mother is suffering from a schizophrenic break, and suddenly, Emma's entire childhood and identity is called into question, pushing her to turn to her boyfriend, Daniel, for answers, but perhaps it is the brooding Phil who Emma meets while visiting her mother at the hospital who really understands her.

Barkley, Brad. Jars of Glass. Dutton Children’s Books, 2008.
Two sisters, aged fourteen and fifteen, offer their views of events that occur during the year after their mother is diagnosed with schizophrenia and their family, including a recently adopted Russian orphan, begins to disintegrate.

Bock, Caroline. Before My Eyes. St. Martin’s Grifffin, 2014.
Told in three separate voices, dreamy Claire, seventeen, with her complicated home and love life, shy Max, also seventeen, a state senator's son whose parents are too focused on the next election to see his pain, and twenty-one-year-old paranoid schizophrenic Barkley teeter on the brink of destruction.

Carlson, Melody. Finding Alice. WaterBrook Press, 2009.
On the surface, Alice Laxton seems no different from any other college girl: bright, inquisitive, excited about the life ahead of her. But for years, a genetic time bomb has been ticking away. Because of Alice's near-genius intelligence, teachers and counselors have always made excuses for her "little idiosyncrasies." But during a stress-filled senior year at college, a new world of voices, visions, and unexplainable "knowledge" causes Alice to begin to lose her grip on reality.

Cronkhite, Lisa M. Disconnected. Poisoned Pen Press, 2014.
Seventeen-year-old Milly is being bullied by Amelia Norris, but she can't tell a soul. Milly's reasoning, she does not want anyone to know where her tormentor lives. They share one thing in common. Both coexist as one in the same body.

Denman, K.L. Me, Myself, and Ike. Orca Book Publishers, 2009.
Seventeen-year-old Kit is paranoid, confused and alone, but neither he nor his family and friends understand what is happening to him.

Ellison, Kate. Notes from Ghost Town. Egmont USA, 2014.
Young artist Olivia Tithe struggles to keep her sanity as she unravels the mystery of her first love's death through his ghostly visits.


Fensham, Elizabeth. Helicopter Man. Bloomsbury, 2005.
A homeless Australian boy sticks by his schizophrenic father as their fragile world disintegrates in this moving story of courage and devotion.

Firmstom, Kim. Schizo. James Lorimer, 2011.
Dan is a fairly normal fifteen-year-old, but at home, things aren't normal at all. His mother is schizophrenic, and her behaviour is only getting more and more erratic. Dan could just run away, but he's worried about what would happen to the nine-year-old brother he's fought so hard to protect.

Fuqua, Jonathan Scott. King of the Pygmies. Candlewick Press, 2005.
After hearing what he believes are other peoples' thoughts, high school sophomore Penn learns that he may have schizophrenia and makes some important decisions about how to live his life.

Gonzalez, Ann. Running for My Life. WestSide Books, 2009.
Andrea faces the challenges of high school as her relationship with her schizophrenic mother crumbles, and she searches for support for her own mental illness through her therapist, family, friends, and running.

James, Brian. Life is But a Dream. Feiwel & Friends, 2012.
When fifteen-year-old Sabrina meets Alec at the Wellness Center where she is being treated for schizophrenia, he tries to persuade her that it is the world that is crazy, not them, and she should defy her doctors rather than lose what makes her creative and special.

Leavitt, Martine. Calvin. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2015.
Born on the day the last Calvin and Hobbes comic strip was published, seventeen-year-old Calvin, a schizophrenic, sees and has conversations with the tiger, Hobbes, and believes that if he can persuade the strip's creator, Bill Watterson, to do one more strip, he will make Calvin well.

Price, Charlie. Lizard People. Roaring Brook Press, 2007.
While visiting his mentally ill mother at a psychiatric hospital, high school junior Ben Mander starts talking to a young man who claims that he travels back and forth between the present and the year 4000, searching for a cure for mental illness.

Prinz, Yvonne. If You’re Lucky. Workman, 2015.
Determined to clear the fog from her mind in order to uncover the truth about her brother's death, seventeen-year-old Georgia secretly stops taking the medication that keeps away the voices in her head.

Schantz, Sarah Elizabeth. Fig. Margaret K. Eldeberry Books, 2015.
In 1994, Fig looks back on her life and relates her experiences, from age six to nineteen, as she desperately tries to save her mother from schizophrenia while her own mental health and relationships deteriorate.

Schindler, Holly. A Blue So Dark. Flux, 2010.
As Missouri fifteen-year-old Aura struggles alone to cope with the increasingly severe symptoms of her mother's schizophrenia, she wishes only for a normal life, but fears that her artistic ability and genes will one day result in her own insanity.

Sheff, Nic. Schizo. Philomel Books, 2014.
A teenager recovering from a schizophrenic breakdown is driven to the point of obsession to find his missing younger brother and becomes wrapped up in a romance that may or may not be the real thing.

Shusterman, Neal. Challenger Deep. HarperTeen, 2015.
Suffering from schizophrenia, Caden's internal narratives are sometimes dreams, sometimes hallucinations, and sometimes undefinable, dominated by a galleon and its captain, sailing with an enormous, sullen crew to the deepest point of the Marianas Trench, Challenger Deep.

Suma, Nova Ren. 17 & Gone. Dutton Books, 2013.
Seventeen-year-old Lauren has visions of girls her own age who are gone without a trace, but while she tries to understand why they are speaking to her and whether she is next, Lauren has a brush with death and a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

Trueman, Terry. Inside Out. HarperTempest, 2003.
A sixteen-year-old with schizophrenia is caught up in the events surrounding an attempted robbery by two other teens who eventually hold him hostage.

Vaught, Susan. Freaks Like Us. Bloomsbury, 2012.
Jason is "Freak" to his peers and even his ADHD friend Drip, but not to Sunshine, who--though selectively mute--shares her thoughts and feelings with him. Now she's vanished, and Jason, whose schizophrenia has shaped his life, is a suspect in her disappearance

Wray, John. Lowboy. Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2009.
Possessing paranoid schizophrenic beliefs that he can save the planet from climate change by cooling down his own overheated body, sixteen-year-old New York youth Will Heller pursues a terrifying and delusional odyssey through the city's tunnels and backalleys.

Zappia, Francesca. Made You Up. Greenwillow Books, 2015.

Armed with her camera and a Magic 8-Ball and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Teen Review: Minecraft

Minecraft by MB

Do an of you readers have any game consoles? Well if your answer is yes, then you're in for a treat. The game I want to talk about is Minecraft. Let me guess, you were either shocked or surprised by this. This game however is a good game in my opinion.

Many think it's lame, but to be honest it's good for an architecture project. If you actually think about it, Minecraft has many settings to help you with your gaming experience. This game has settings like survival which lets you have a real life experience of building your life but with the threat of being killed by a creature like a zombie.

On the other hand though, the other setting is creative which lets you build what you want and you don't have the risk of dying. There are also settings that are more in depth like infinite, flat, and old.

Infinite is when the world is never ending and goes on forever. The second setting flat is the architecture experience that I was talking about earlier, this is where your imagination goes wild to build anything. Finally, old is a setting of the original Minecraft land.

Over the years, Minecraft has gained a modern look and with the new settings of changing the world from a creative world to survival. For most, many believe that this game is boring because of the building that is the base of this thing, but if you really look at it in a different perspective, you can absolutely see that this game is more than just building.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

School Library Journal Writing Resources

Below is a list of resources recommenced by School Library Journal

Tools To Spark Writing: Fiction
The Young Writer’s Program challenges kids to write a novel in the 30 days of November. The site offers workbooks and resources that will motivate your students and allow them to unleash their inner novelist. Grades 4–12

Tools To Spark Writing: Nonfiction
KQED Do Now allows students to respond to a current issue each week using social media. The issues range from politics to the arts and sciences. In this age of fractured political discourse, Do Now helps students practice constructive online conversation. Grades 8–12
National Geographic Education Who doesn’t love National Geographic’s images, videos, and articles? Kids can use the vast resources at this site to spark their imaginations and get their writing juices flowing. Grades 1–8
Newsela Offering daily news stories, differentiated by reading level, Newsela is a popular resource for  teachers seeking to help keep students stay current. Have your students use these high-interest pieces as a jumping off point for argumentative blog posts. Grades 2–12
New York Times Learning Network Though primarily a space to find lessons related to New York Timescontent, the Learning Network’s high-interest pieces lend themselves to writing assignments. Additionally, the Learning Network periodically runs writing contests for young people. Grades 7–12

Publishing Platforms for Kids
Figment This teen writing space (you need to be at least 13 years old to register) provides a community of peers who support one another as they go through the writing process. Figment offers the opportunity to join groups and enter contests. Grades 8–12
Kidblog Younger students can hone their blogging skills at this safe, closed platform. A student’s Kidblog experience is moderated and managed by a teacher. Grades 1–8
Wattpad My 13-year-old niece turned me onto Wattpad, where she writes fan fiction about her favorite novel, S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. This is a great and popular place for teens to share their stories with peers. Beware of inappropriate content however; teachers should manage carefully. Grades 8–12
Youth Voices This vibrant online community allows students to write and communicate about issues that are important to them in a variety of formats, from blog posts to videos. The space has a long history as a publishing platform and social networking space, along with committed educator involvement. Grades 8–12

Reference Tools
Dictionary.com and Thesaurus Rex If your students need to look up the definition of a word, Dictionary.com is a handy online resource. Not only does it provide definitions, it pronounces words and has fun features such as a word of the day. Thesaurus Rex is an app, so it’s only available on mobile devices, but it will give your kids synonyms and pronunciations of words, and it can also sort synonyms by relevance. Grades 6–12
EasyBib makes it, well, easy for students to cite sources and create bibliographies in a variety of formats. One caution: the free version includes ads. Grades 9–12
Wikipedia, as I’m sure most of you know, is an online collaborative encyclopedia written by those who use it. It is one of the most visited sites in the world. And it trades on the idea that the crowd will get it right more often than not. Your kids probably already use it, so why not help them understand the pitfalls and how they can contribute to the building of a knowledge base for others to use? It’s translated into multiple languages and has a Simple English Wikipedia version for users whose first language isn’t English. Grades 8–12
Zotero A free, open-source research tool, Zotero helps you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. It doesn’t have the most user-friendly interface, but its features are robust. Grades 9–12

Stories That Inspire
StoryCorps is an oral history project, a treasure trove of compelling one-to-one interviews between people who know each other. I’ve more than once shed a tear listening to a StoryCorps piece—your students will find a story that moves them, too. Grades 4–12
TED Playlist for Kids Various TED talks can work with different ages groups. That said, the good people at TED have curated videos they think are especially relevant to young people. Some of the TED talks are given by teens, others simply focus on issues that young people will likely find fascinating. Grades 9-12
Youth Radio If you listen to National Public Radio, you’ve probably heard a piece narrated by a Youth Radio reporter. Youth Radio provides well-researched stories of interest to teens, produced and reported by teens. Grades 9–12

Online Identity and Digital Citizenship
OK, so this isn’t a site devoted to writing. But if you want your kids to write online, they need to understand what it means to create and value their online identity, and how to interact responsibly with others—particularly if they expect to give or receive feedback. K–Grade 12


Monday, May 9, 2016

Mental Health Awareness Month: Fiction about Depression


This week's book list are books about someone dealing with or living with a parent that suffers from depression.


Adoff, Jamie. The Death of Jayson Porter. Hyperion Books for Children, 2008.
In the Florida projects, sixteen-year-old Jayson struggles with the harsh realities of his life which include an abusive mother, a drug-addicted father, and not fitting in at his predominately white school, and bring him to the brink of suicide.

Borris, Albert. Crash into Me. Simon Pulse, 2010.
Four suicidal teenagers go on a "celebrity suicide road trip," visiting the graves of famous people who have killed themselves, with the intention of ending their lives in Death Valley, California.

Cannon, A.E.   Amazing Gracie.  Delacorte Press, 1991.
A high school girl has a lot to deal with in her sophomore year when her beloved mother who is a victim of depression remarries, a new brother is acquired, and the family moves to Salt Lake City.

Carlson, Melody. A Not-So-Simple Life. Multnomah Books, 2008.
Maya keeps a journal the year following her aunt's death, in which she records her thoughts about her alcoholic and drug-addicted mother and her own feelings of depression, until she decides to give her heart to God.

Carter, Alden R. Walkaway. Holiday House, 2008.
Fifteen-year-old Andy, fed up with his alcoholic father and annoying older brother, leaves their northern Wisconsin cabin on his version of a walkabout, leaving his medications to combat depression, anxiety, and delusions behind.

Cook, Trish. A Really Awesome Mess. Egmont, 2013.
An angry girl and a depressed boy, both sixteen, are sent to a therapeutic boarding school

Crane, Rebekah. Aspen. In This Together Media, 2014.
A teenage girl's mistake on a Boulder, Colorado road left a popular teen soccer player dead. Now the deceased is following the driver around and only her boyfriend and her therapist understand her and can keep her from heading further into a deep depression.

Dellasega, Cheryl. (NuGrl90) Sadie. Marshall Cavendish, 2007.
Fifteen-year-old Sadie writes on her blog about having to move to a new high school at the beginning of sophomore year due to her parents' divorce, finding and losing a true love and a best friend, and being in therapy and taking antidepressants.

Dreyer, Ellen. Glow Stone. Peachtree, 2006.
Sixteen-year-old Phoebe cannot help but wonder if she will suffer chronic depression like her mother and her recently-deceased uncle, who shared her passion for rock-collecting, until the terrifying experience of being lost in a cave provides the answer.

Ellis, Ann Dee. Everything is Fine. Little, Brown, 2009.
When her father leaves for a job out of town, Mazzy is left at home to try to cope with her mother, who has been severely depressed since the death of Mazzy's baby sister.

Frank, E.R. America. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002.
Born to a drug-addicted mother, 15-year-old America had been lost in the child-welfare system for years before he finally wound up in a residential treatment center. There, over a period of several more years, a capable therapist coaxes him out of his anger and suicidal depression.

Franklin, Kristine. Eclipse. Candlewick Press, 1995.
When Trina's father falls into a severe depression after losing his job and her mother becomes pregnant at forty-eight, Trina faces a difficult summer even with the help of her good friend Miranda.

Fritz, April Young. Waiting to Disappear. Hyperion Books, 2002.
After the death of her brother two years ago, Buddy's mother hasn't been the same, and when her depression leads to a mental breakdown, Buddy's hopes of a relatively peaceful summer are dashed.

Going, K.L. Fat Kid Rules the World. Speak, 2003.
Seventeen-year-old Troy, depressed, suicidal, and weighing nearly 300 pounds, gets a new perspective on life when a homeless teenager who is a genius on guitar wants Troy to be the drummer in his rock band.

Hiranandani, Veera. The Whole Story of Half a Girl. Delacorte Press, 2012.
When Sonia's father loses his job and she must move from her small, supportive private school to a public middle school, the half-Jewish half-Indian sixth-grader experiences culture shock as she tries to navigate the school's unfamiliar social scene, and after her father is diagnosed with clinical depression, she finds herself becoming even more confused about herself and her family.

Holeman, Linda. Mercy’s Birds. Tundra Books, 1998.
As her mother sinks into depression and her aunt turns to alcohol, fifteen-year-old Mercy tries to keep up with school and her job, until help comes for them from an unexpected source.

Holms, Sarah. Letters from Rapunzel. Harper Collins, 2006.
Through a series of letters written to a post office box, twelve-year-old Cadence describes her father's hospitalization for depression, her subsequent problems at school, and her hope that the mysterious recipient will help her find a happy ending.

Hubbard, Jennifer R.  Try Not to Breathe. Viking, 2012.
The summer Ryan is released from a mental hospital following his suicide attempt, he meets Nicki, who gets him to share his darkest secrets while hiding secrets of her own.

Hurwitz, Laura. Disappear Home. Albert Whitman and Company, 2015.
In 1970, fourteen-year-old Shoshanna, six-year-old Mara, and their mother escape from Sweet Earth Farm, a declining commune run by their tyrranical and abusive father, but after finding peace and stability at Avery Elliot's farm, their mother's crippling depression returns.

Jenkins, Amanda. Damage. HarperCollins, 2001.
Seventeen-year-old football hero Austin, trying to understand the inexplicable depression that has drained his interest in life, thinks that he has found relief in a girl who seems very special.

Littman, Sarah. Backlash. Scholastic, 2015.
For sophomore Lara Kelly, things are finally looking up—she's feeling more confident after losing weight and she made the varsity cheerleading team, which she never would have imagined two years earlier when she was overweight and severely depressed. Best of all, Lara has caught the attention of a cute guy on Facebook, and he has been hinting at asking her to the homecoming dance. But when she sees horrible comments from her crush on social media, she spirals into a dangerous mental state and suicide seems like the only escape.

Loughead, Deb. Beyond Crazy. James Lorimer and Company, 2014.
For Stelle, being drummer in a band is what helps her cope with her mother's depression and the problems her bandmates face with their families, until some conversations with her grandmother provide clues to the source of her mother's condition.

Marchetta, Melina. Saving Francesca. Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.
Sixteen-year-old Francesca could use her outspoken mother's help with the problems of being one of a handful of girls at a parochial school that has just turned co-ed, but her mother has suddenly become severely depressed.

Newbery, Linda. Flightsend. Random House Children’s Books, 2010.
When Charlie's depressed mother decides to start over, they move to a ramshackle cottage in the country, where Charlie struggles to make friends and develop her artistic skills while her mother tries to launch a business.

Niven, Jennifer. All the Bright Places. Alfred A. Knopf, 2015.
Told in alternating voices, when Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school--both teetering on the edge--it's the beginning of an unlikely relationship, a journey to discover the "natural wonders" of the state of Indiana, and two teens' desperate desire to heal and save one another.

Oseman, Alice. Solitaire. HarperTeen, 2015.
Tori Spring is a disaffected teenager: She can almost never finish a film in one sitting, she's smart but can't care about school anymore, and she dislikes her friends but is unwilling to forgo their company. About the only thing she cares about is her brother Charlie, who's recovering from an eating disorder. When a mysterious blog called Solitaire  starts triggering pranks at her school, Tori isn't too interested, even if strange new boy Michael Holden tries to make her be.

Peters, Julie Ann. Define Normal. Little, Brown, 2000.
When Antonia is assigned to Jazz as a peer counselor, she figures there is no way she can help her. They are complete opposites. Antonia is a straight-A student whose parents are divorced and she is struggling to keep what's left of her family together as her mother battles depression. Jazz's family is wealthy and seemingly perfect. As they continue through the 15 hours of peer counseling, it becomes clear that both girls have issues they need to work through

Quick, Matthew. Sorta Like a Rock Star. Little, Brown, 2010.
Although seventeen-year-old Amber Appleton is homeless, she is a relentless optimist who visits the elderly at a nursing home, teaches English to Korean Catholic women with the use of rhythm and blues music, and befriends a solitary Vietnam veteran and his dog, but eventually she experiences one burden more than she can bear and slips into a deep depression.

Rodriguez, Cindy L. When Reason Breaks. Bloomsbury, 2015.
A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz's English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson

Roskos, Evan. Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets. Houghton Mifflin, 2013.
A sixteen-year-old boy wrestling with depression and anxiety tries to cope by writing poems, reciting Walt Whitman, hugging trees, and figuring out why his sister has been kicked out of the house.

Sappenfield, Heather. The View From Who I Was. Flux, 2015.
As part of herself observes, eighteen-year-old Oona Antunes attempts suicide, tries to pull her family and her life back together, and begins to understand her own problems and those of her parents before finally becoming one with herself again.

Stella, Leslie. Permanent Record. Amazon Children’s, 2013.
Having left public school under mysterious circumstances, sixteen-year-old junior Badi Hessamizadeh enters Magnificat Academy, where he struggles with his Iranian-American identity, his clinical depression, and bullies.

Stork, Francisco X. The Memory of Light. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2016.
Waking up in the mental disorders ward after a suicide attempt, Vicky makes friends with other at-risk kids, who under the guidance of a compassionate doctor help her through the first steps towards self-acceptance and confronting the challenges that prompted her depression.

Vizzini, Ned. It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Miramax Books, 2006.
A humorous account of a New York City teenager's battle with depression and his time spent in a psychiatric hospital.

Waite, Judy. Shopaholic. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2003.
Tired of household responsibilities and her mother's depression, Taylor allows a new friend to persuade her to buy things she can't afford, but soon discovers that Kat has even more secrets than she has.

Walton, K.M. Empty. Simon Pulse, 2013.
Deeply depressed after her father cheated on and divorced her mother, seventeen-year-old Adele has gained over seventy pounds and is being bullied and abused at school--to the point of being raped and accused of being the aggressor.

Warga, Jasmine. My Heart and Other Black Holes. Balzar + Bray, 2015.
Seventeen-year-old Aysel's hobby--planning her own death--take a new path when she meets a boy who has similar plan of his own.

White,Tracy. How I Made it to Eighteen: A Mostly True Story. Roaring Brook Press, 2010.
How do you know if you're on the verge of a nervous breakdown? For seventeen-year-old Stacy Black, it all begins with the smashing of a window. After putting her fist through the glass, she checks into a mental hospital. Stacy hates it there but despite herself slowly realizes she has to face the reasons for her depression to stop from self-destructing.

Wittlinger, Ellen. Blind Faith. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.
While coping with her grandmother's sudden death and her mother's resulting depression and fascination with a spiritualist church, whose ministers claim to communicate with the dead, fifteen-year-old Liz finds herself falling for a new neighbor whose mother is dying of cancer.

Young, Janet. The Opposite of Music. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2007.
With his family, fifteen-year-old Billy struggles to help his father deal with a debilitating depression.

Young, Janet. My Beautiful Failure. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012.

Billy's family is still recovering from last winter, when the teen's father sank into a deep depression that he's only now just coming out of. Billy, 16, channels his frustrations and worry about his father's mental health into his sophomore-year project, volunteering as a friendly, welcoming ear for the depressed, lonely, and/or bored callers to the Listeners hotline.

Monday, May 2, 2016

May is Mental Health Awareness Month: Fiction about Anxiety


I recently was a guest blogger on Teen Librarian Toolbox. The site is creating posts by authors and bibliographies all about mental health awareness. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so I will post my three bibliographies that I made for the site each week and create another one for the last week of May.

The first bibliography is about Anxiety. In these novels, the main character either has anxiety disorder or is living with a parent with the disorder.

Caletti, Deb. The Nature of Jade. Simon & Schuster Book for Young Readers, 2007.
Seattle high school senior Jade's life is defined by her anxiety disorder and dysfunctional family, until she spies a mysterious boy with a baby who seems to share her fascination with the elephants at a nearby zoo.

Colasanti, Susanne. Waiting for You. Viking Children’s Book, 2009.
Fifteen-year-old high school sophomore Marisa, who has an anxiety disorder, decides that this is the year she will get what she wants--a boyfriend and a social life--but things do not turn out exactly the way she expects them to.

Halpern, Julie. Get Well Soon. Feiwel & Friends, 2007.
When her parents confine her to a mental hospital, an overweight teenage girl, who suffers from panic attacks, describes her experiences in a series of letters to a friend.

Halpern. Julie. Have a Nice Day. Feiwel & Friends, 2012.
When Anna returns from a three-week stay in a mental hospital she struggles to resume a normal life in the face of her parents' arguments and peers who are afraid to ask her what happened.

Jones, Patrick. Barrier. Darby Creek, 2014.
A new, alternative high school, psychotherapy, a romantic interest, and a manga club help tenth-grader Jessica cope with her social anxiety disorder.

Kaplan, Isabel. Hancock Park. HarperTeen, 2009.    
While attending an exclusive prep school in Los Angeles, a smart but anxiety-ridden high school junior tries to deal with boys, popularity, and her parents' divorce.

Kinsella, Sophie. Finding Audrey. Delacorte Press, 2015.
Fourteen-year-old Audrey is making slow but steady progress dealing with her anxiety disorder when Linus comes into the picture and her recovery gains momentum.

Lockhart, E. The Boyfriend List. Delacorte Press, 2006.
A Seattle fifteen-year-old explains some of the reasons for her recent panic attacks, including breaking up with her boyfriend, losing all her girlfriends, tensions between her performance-artist mother and her father, and more.

Martinez, Jessica. Virtuosity. Simon Pulse, 2011.
Just before the most important violin competition of her career, seventeen-year-old prodigy Carmen faces critical decisions about her anti-anxiety drug addiction, her controlling mother, and a potential romance with her most talented rival.

Reichardt, Marisa. Underwater. Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2016.
Morgan hasn’t left her apartment in months, not since the terrible thing. She takes online classes, receives house calls from her therapist, gazes at the pool in her apartment complex, and tries to avoid succumbing to crushing panic. When cute Evan moves in next door, however, Morgan starts to consider stepping outside.

Sugg, Zoe. Girl Online. Keywords Press, 2014.
Penny has a secret. Under the alias GirlOnline, Penny blogs her hidden feelings about friendship, boys, high school drama, her crazy family, and the panic attacks that have begun to take over her life.

Wilson, Rachel M. Don’t Touch. HarperTeen, 2014.

16-year-old Caddie struggles with OCD, anxiety, and a powerful fear of touching another person's skin, which threatens her dreams of being an actress--until the boy playing Hamlet opposite her Ophelia gives her a reason to overcome her fears.

Friday, April 15, 2016

2016 Teens' Top Ten Nominations

The Young Adult Library Association released the nominees for the 2016 Teens Top Ten Award. Voting begins August 15 and the winners will be announced in August.


Baker, Chandler. Alive. Disney/Hyperion.
Stella Cross has received a heart transplant, but it has not stopped her emotional suffering.
Then a mysterious boy named Levi Zin comes into her life. Stella’s pain goes away whenever she’s
around Levi. However, Stella finds out a terrible secret about Levi. Can it be true?

Bardugo, Leigh. Six of Crows. Macmillan/Henry Holt & Co.
Young criminal genius Kaz Brekker is offered the chance to pull off a dangerous theft that can make him rich. He recruits a gang of six dangerous misfits to help him with the heist.

Black, Holly. The Darkest Part of the Forest. Little, Brown & Co.
In Fairfold, a place where both humans and Faeries live, siblings Hazel and Ben have grown up telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin in the woods. Of course, they’ll never know because the boy will never wake.Then, unexpectedly, he does . . .

Broecker, Virginia. The Witch Hunter. Little, Brown & Co.
Elizabeth Grey is a witch hunter who is suddenly accused of being a witch. She is arrested and sentenced to burn. The only way for Elizabeth to avoid this fate is to help out her former enemy Nicholas Perevil, the most dangerous wizard around.

Brockenbrough, Martha. The Game of Love and Death. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books.
Set in Seattle in the 1920s, a romance develops between Flora, who is African American, and Henry, who is white. Despite some differences, the pair has much in common, including a shared love of jazz music. However, it turns out that Flora and Henry actually are pawns in a game played by two other characters– Love and Death.

Childs, Tera Lynn, and Tracy Deebs. Powerless. Sourcebooks Fire.
In a world full of powerful heroes and villains, Kenna is just a regular, powerless teenager who works in a lab. Then, three villains break into the lab, and Kenna decides to fight back. In the midst of this battle, Kenna is saved by a villain. Suddenly, she is forced to rethink her beliefs.

Cornwell, Betsy. Mechanica. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt /Clarion Books.
A new take on the classic story of Cinderella. Mechanica uses her wit and her mother’s old engineering textbooks to try to escape her stepmother and stepsisters.

Dinnison, Kris. You and Me and Him. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion Books.
Maggie is overweight. Nash is out of the closet. They are the best of friends. But that friendship is tested when they both develop feelings for the same boy, a new kid named Tom.

Doktorski, Jennifer Salvato. The Summer After You & Me. Sourcebooks Fire.
Lucy Giordano lives on the Jersey Shore and has a crush on a boy named Connor Malloy, whose family spends many summer weekends at the home next door. The pair eventually shares an unexpected romance. Lucy and Connor go their separate ways. But several months later, Connor is scheduled to return to The Shore, which should definitely make for an interesting summer.

Doller, Trish. The Devil You Know. Bloomsbury.
Arcadia, or Cadie for short, is 18 years old and has been longing for something more in life ever since her mother died. Then she meets two handsome boys, cousins to one another, and they invite her and a friend on a camping trip. What seems like innocent fun takes a negative turn when Arcadia discovers one of the boys is hiding a terrible secret.

Heltzel, Anne. Charlie, Presumed Dead. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Charlie Price is presumed dead after his plane crashes. However, his body is never found. At his funeral, Lena and Aubrey meet and discover both were his girlfriend. Lena believes Charlie is still alive, and she and Aubrey set out on a journey across Europe and Asia to expose Charlie’s deceit.

Kaufman Amie, and Jay Kristoff. Illuminae. Random House/Alfred A. Knopf.
Kady and Ezra have just broken up, and then their planet is bombed by a megacorporation. The pair
escapes to a government ship, but must put their differences aside in order to survive and stop a plague that has resulted from the use of a bioweapon.

Laurie, Victoria. When. Disney/Hyperion.
High school junior Maddie Fynn has special powers that allow her to see numbers above a person’s
forehead, which she soon discovers are death dates. She identifies the death date of a young boy, but is unable to prevent his disappearance. Then, Maddie becomes a suspect in a homicide investigation.

Matharu, Taran. The Novice: Summoner: Book One. Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends.
A blacksmith’s apprentice named Fletcher discovers he can summon demons from another world. He
soon gets chased out of his village for a crime he did not commit, ending up at an academy for adepts, where he is trained to serve as a Battlemage in the Empire’s war against the savage Orcs.

Nielsen, Jennifer. A. Mark of the Thief. Scholastic/Scholastic Press.
Set in Ancient Rome, a young slave named Nic finds an amulet that gives him magic powers usually
reserved for the Gods. After discovering a conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and start a war, Nic is
forced to use the magic within to defeat the empire’s most ruthless leaders and save Rome.

Niven, Jennifer. All the Bright Places. Random House/Alfred A. Knopf.
Death plays a big role in the lives of high schoolers Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. He is constantly on the verge of suicide, and she is battling grief after her sister’s death. The Indiana teens come together to work on a project and soon develop a bond, showing each other what it’s like to live.

Priest, Cherie. Illustrated by Kali Ciesemier. I Am Princess X. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine.
When they were young, best friends Libby and May created a comic character named Princess X. Then Libby was killed in a car accident. Lonely and grieving, May soon discovers an underground culture centered around a web comic at IAmPrincessX.com. The similarities between those stories and Libby’s own stories are striking. Could her friend still be alive?

Schmidt, Tiffany. Hold Me Like a Breath. Bloomsbury.
Penelope Landlow has an autoimmune disease that forces her to remain indoors. She is also the
daughter of a notorious crime family that is involved in the black market for organ transplants. Penelope soon gains her independence and is forced to survive on her own in the big city.

Schreiber, Joe. Con Academy. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Will Shea is a con man who has scammed his way into Connaughton Academy, an exclusive school for the American elite. He soon meets Andrea Dufresne, who also has conned her way into the school. The pair soon makes a bet to see who can con the school bully, Brandt Rush, out of thousands of dollars.

Sedgwick, Marcus. The Ghosts of Heaven. Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press.
An epic story about the journey of discovery told in four episodes.

Simmons, Kristen. The Glass Arrow. Tor Teen.
Set in the future, Aya is a 15-year-old girl who has spent her life hiding in the mountains in order to
avoid the fate of most women, who are treated like property and auctioned off for breeding. Then, she
is caught. Desperate to escape, she relies on the assistance of a wolf and a mute boy in her search for
freedom.

Stohl, Margaret. Black Widow Forever Red. Disney/Marvel Press.
Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, is one of the world’s most lethal assassins, and she once rescued young Ava Orlova from being subjected to a series of military experiments. Now, Black Widow and Orlova team up again to stop Widow’s former teacher from wreaking havoc on the children of Eastern Europe.

Stone, Tamara Ireland. Every Last Word. Disney/Hyperion.
Samantha McAllister seems to have it all: she is beautiful, bright and part of the popular crowd in high school. But looks can be deceiving, and she is hiding the fact she has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Westerfeld, Scott, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti. Zeroes. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse.
Six California teens have special powers that aren’t always welcome. Like Ethan, known as Scam, who has a voice inside of him that will sometimes speak out when it’s not the right time to do so. When that “power” gets Ethan in trouble, the other Zeroes are the only ones who can rescue him. However, the members of this group are not exactly the best of friends.

Weingarten, Lynn. Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse.
June and Delia were best friends who grew apart. Then, Delia commits suicide. Or, at least that’s what others have been told. June believes her former best friend has been murdered, and she goes on a quest to find the truth . . . which, it turns out, is very complicated.

Yoon, Nicola. Everything, Everything. Random House/Delacorte Press.
Maddy is a teenager with a serious autoimmune disease that prevents her from leaving the house. Yet,
she seems content to stay home and read books. That is until a boy named Olly moves in next door. The two meet, and their quirky relationship is chronicled through emails, journal entries, IMs and old notes.