May is Mental Health Awareness Month and staff have compiled a great list of recent reads that highlight ways to check in on your mental health or read about other people who are also struggling. Above all remember it’s okay to not be okay and there’s no shame in asking for help!
A staff-created list with even more of our recent recommendations can be found on our online catalogue.
Memoir – Radical Love: Learning to Accept Yourself and Others by Zachary Levi
Radical Love combines witty, touching, and powerful commentary with relatable illustrations to help you on your own path toward mental wellness. With vulnerability and humor, Zac relates the valuable lessons and insights he’s learned so that you can rise from the ashes of trauma and pursue a meaningful life of gratitude.
Non-Fiction – Tell Me What You Want by Charlotte Fox Weber
Written with warmth and compassion, full of dramatic, intimate, and moving personal stories, and based on careful research as well as firsthand observations. For fans of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and Group, this inspiring and moving exploration of the twelve fundamental psychological needs we all share goes behind the closed doors of therapy to guide us in navigating our deepest longings.
Non-Fiction – Generation Dread by Britt Wray
Climate and environment-related fears and anxieties are on the rise everywhere. As with any type of stress, eco-anxiety can lead to lead to burnout, avoidance, or a disturbance of daily functioning. In Generation Dread, the author seamlessly merges scientific knowledge with emotional insight to show how these intense feelings are a healthy response to the troubled state of the world.
Graphic Novel/Memoir – Feelings: A Story in Seasons by Manjit Thapp
Articulating and validating the range of feelings we all experience, this is a book that allows us to feel connected and comforted by the experiences that make us human. Told over the course of a year, the author shares the ups and downs of her feelings across all four seasons, from the highs of spring and summer to the lows of winter.
Fiction – Adelaide by Genevieve Wheeler
With unflinching honesty and heart, this relatable debut from a fresh new voice explores grief and mental health while capturing the timeless nature of what it’s like to be young and in love—with your friends, with your city, and with a person who cannot, will not, love you back.
Young Adult Novel-inVerse – Forever is Now by Mariama J. Lockington
A poignant and lyrical young adult novel-in-verse about a Black teen coming of age in an anxiety-inducing world that tackles teen activism, agoraphobia and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Young Adult Fiction – Chaos Theory by Nic Stone
A gripping romance about two BIPOC teens: a certified genius living with bipolar disorder and a politician’s son who is running from his alcoholism and grief. This is a gut punch of a novel about about living with grief, prioritizing mental health, and finding love amid the chaos.
Middle Grade Graphic Novel – Living with Viola by Rosena Fung
Forest of Reading nominated debut author, Rosena Fung draws on her own early experiences with anxiety and the pressures of growing up as the child of Chinese immigrant parents to craft a personal story that explores mental health, cultural differences, and the trials of middle school.
Middle Grade Novel-in-Verse – Iveliz Explains it All by Andrea Beatriz Arango; illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez
A powerful and compassionate, novel-in-verse debut that navigates mental health, finding your voice, and discovering that those who really love you will stay by your side. The author does an excellent job exploring PTSD, grief, therapy, medication and suicidal ideation in a young child in this incredible #ownvoices story.
Picture Book – Dark Cloud by Anna Lazowski; illustrated by Penny Neville-Lee
In this sensitive picture book, symbolic imagery perfectly captures how depression can look and feel as a little girl visualizes her depression as a way of learning to cope. The lyrical text and expressive drawings provide young children with a way to understand and talk about their own feelings. The repetition in the text and the visual narrative pull readers in, making this an excellent read-aloud pick to spark discussions about feelings.