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Libraries tackling mental illness with 35 book long must-read list


Mental illness is starting to affect more people than ever before – our friends, our families, our boyfriends, our girlfriends – and it can be tough to work out what’s going on and how to help. As is usually the case, it’s books and libraries to the rescue.

Public libraries up and down the country launched an amazing new scheme this week: Reading Well. This will mean more access to books tackling all manner of mental health issues and other pressures we experience while navigating the minefield that is being a teenager!

We’ve got our fingers crossed that it will help to stop people from drawing negative conclusions about what it means to have a mental illness and how to help the people that do.

Self Esteem Team

There’s going to be a core reading list for Reading Well and this is what’s on it:

1.       ‘Stuff That Sucks: Accepting What You Can’t Change and Committing to What You Can’ by Ben Sedley (Robinson, Little Brown)

2.       ‘Mind Your Head’ by Juno Dawson (Hot Key Books)

3.       ‘The Self-Esteem Team’s Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFs?!!’ by The Self-Esteem Team (John Blake Publishing)

4.       ‘Blame My Brain: The Amazing Teenage Brain Revealed’ by Nicola Morgan (Walker Books)

5.       ‘Quiet the Mind’ by Matthew Johnstone (Robinson, Little, Brown)

6.       ‘I’ll Give You the Sun’ by Jandy Nelson (Walker Books)

7.       Kite Spirit by Sita Brahmachari (Macmillan Children’s Books)

8.       House of Windows by Alexia Casale (Faber)

9.       ‘Every Day’ by David Levithan (Electric Monkey, Egmont)

10.   ‘Putting on the Brakes: Understanding and Taking Control of Your ADD or ADHD’ by Patricia Quinn and Judith Stern (Magination Press, American Psychological Association)

11.   ‘My Anxious Mind: A Teen’s Guide to Managing Anxiety and Panic’ by Michael Tompkins and Katherine Martinez (Magination Press, American Psychological Association)

12.   ‘The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens: CBT Skills to Overcome Fear, Worry and Panic’ by Jennifer Shannon (New Harbinger Publications, Little, Brown)

13.   ‘The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens’ by Jennifer Shannon (New Harbinger Publications, Little Brown)

14.   ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky (Simon & Schuster)

15.   ‘The Reason I Jump’ by Naoki Higashida (Sceptre, Hodder)

16.   ‘Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User’s Guide to Adolescence’ by Luke Jackson (Jessica Kingsley)

17.   ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ by Mark Haddon (Vintage)

18.   ‘Teen Life Confidential: Bullies, Cyberbullies and Frenemies’ by Michele Elliott (Wayland, Hachette Children’s)

19.   ‘Vicious: True Stories by Teens about Bullying’ ed. Hope Vanderberg (Free Spirit Publishing)

20.   ‘Banish Your Self-Esteem Thief: A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook on Building Positive Self-Esteem for Young People’ by Kate Collins-Donnelly (Jessica Kingsley)

21.   ‘Teen Life Confidential: Self-Esteem and Being You’ by Anita Naik (Wayland, Hachette Children’s)

22.   ‘Face’ by Benjamin Zephaniah (Bloomsbury)

23.   ‘Am I Depressed and What Can I Do About it?’ by Shirley Reynolds and Monika Parkinson (Robinson, Little, Brown)

24.   ‘I Had a Black Dog’ by Matthew Johnstone (Robinson, Little, Brown)

25.   ‘Can I Tell You About Depression?’ by Christopher Dowrick and Susan Martin (Jessica Kingsley)

26.   ‘Can I Tell You About Eating Disorders?’  by Bryan Lask and Lucy Watson (Jessica Kingsley)

27.   ‘Banish Your Body Image Thief’ by Kate Collins-Donnelly (Jessica Kingsley)

28.   ‘Tyranny’ by Lesley Fairfield (Walker Books)

29.   ‘Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life for Teens’  by Sheri van Dijk (New Harbinger Publications, Little, Brown)

30.   ‘Touch and Go Joe’ by Joe Wells (Jessica Kingsley)

31.   ‘Breaking Free from OCD: A CBT Guide for Young People and their Families’ by Jo Derisley, Isobel Heyman, Sarah Robinson, Cynthia Turner (Jessica Kingsley)

32.   ‘The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B’ by Teresa Toten (Walker Books)

33.   ‘The Truth About Self-Harm’ by Celia Richardson (Mental Health Foundation)

34.   ‘Fighting Invisible Tigers: A Stress Management Guide for Teens’ by Earl Hipp (Free Spirit Publishing)

35.   ‘Teenage Guide to Stress’ by Nicola Morgan (Walker Books)

We think that this is a completely brilliant scheme and we hope it’ll be successful!

Are there any books featuring mental health that you’d add to this list? Let us know at @maximumpopbooks!

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Written by Sophie Waters

Sophie is the Head of Commercial at Maximum Pop! Having studied English Lit and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, she came to MP! to satisfy her passion for books. Sophie is a diehard Hufflepuff and feminist. She's also a huge cat lover, and can often be found rocking her socks off at a gig.

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