May Book Recommendations: Mental Health

May is National Mental Health Month

According to the National Institute of Mental Health…
  • 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have, or will have a serious mental illness.
  • 11% of youth have a mood disorder
  • 8% of youth have an anxiety disorder
  • 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in youth ages 10 – 24.

Want more information or need help?

Helplines:
https://www.crisistextline.org/
https://suicidepreventionhotline.org
https://thetrevorproject.org
https://www.2ndfloor.org/
Local Organizations:
Rutgers Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth – http://ubhc.rutgers.edu/tlc/
Richard Hall Community Health Center Children’s Hope After School Program (CHAP) https://www.co.somerset.nj.us/government/human-services/mental-health

 

If your interested in reading fictional portrayals of those experiencing and/or recovering from mental illness, please check out the titles below as well as the display in the Teen Room.

 

100 Days of Cake by Shari Goldhagen

Every other senior at Coral Cove High School might be mapping out every facet of their future this summer, but not Molly Byrne. She just wants to spend time (and maybe the rest of her life) watching Golden Girls reruns and hanging out with her cute coworker at FishTopia. Some days, they are the only things that get her out of bed.  You see, for the past year, Molly’s been struggling with depression, and crushing on her therapist isn’t helping. But then again, neither is her mom, who is convinced that baking the perfect cake will cure her—as if icing alone can magically make her rejoin the swim team or care about the SATs.  So when Molly finds out FishTopia is turning into a lame country diner, her already crummy life starts to fall even more out of her control, and soon she has to figure out what—if anything—is worth fighting for.

 

 

Eliza and her monsters by Francesca Zappia

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, smart, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community. Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

 

 

Highly illogical behavior by John Corey Whaley

Sixteen-year-old Solomon has agoraphobia. He hasn’t left his house in 3 years. Ambitious Lisa is desperate to get into a top-tier psychology program. And so when Lisa learns about Solomon, she decides to befriend him, cure him, and then write about it for her college application. To earn Solomon’s trust, she introduces him to her boyfriend Clark, and starts to reveal her own secrets. But what started as an experiment leads to a real friendship, with all three growing close. But when the truth comes out, what erupts could destroy them all. Funny and heartwarming, Highly Illogical Behavior is a fascinating exploration of what makes us tick, and how the connections between us may be the most important things of all.

 

 

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she’s isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (as well as her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.  But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.

 

 

All the bright places by Jennifer Niven

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.  Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.  When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

 

 

I will save you by Matt de la Pena 

Kidd is running from his past and his future. No mom, no dad, and there’s nothing for him at the group home but therapy. He doesn’t belong at the beach where he works either, unless he finds a reason to stay.  Olivia is blond hair, blue eyes, rich dad. The prettiest girl in Cardiff. She’s hiding something from Kidd—but could they ever be together anyway?  Devon is mean, mysterious, and driven by a death wish. A best friend and worst enemy. He followed Kidd all the way to the beach and he’s not leaving until he teaches him a few lessons about life. And Olivia.

 

 

The Art of starving by Sam J. Miller

Matt hasn’t eaten in days. His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal, but Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.  Matt’s hardworking mom keeps the kitchen crammed with food, but Matt can resist the siren call of casseroles and cookies because he has discovered something: the less he eats the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see. The knack of tuning in to thoughts right out of people’s heads. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space.  So what is lunch, really, compared to the secrets of the universe?  Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life, then use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay. No problem. But Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of hunger…and he isn’t in control of all of them.

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