Mental Health Awareness Month Reading Recommendations

Mental Health Awareness Month Reading Recommendations

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 to 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 favorites can be found on our online catalogue. And for those interested, there is also an excellent curated Family Guide to Mental Health resources that can be accessed also be accessed through our online catalogue.

Book cover image of Everyone But Myself

Memoir: Everyone But Myself by Julie Chavez

Like so many mothers, Julie Chavez ran herself ragged trying to meet the needs of everyone else, until an unexpected panic attack forced her to find a new way. Funny, deeply honest, and inspiring for readers feeling overwhelmed in their own lives, this memoir reads like a best friend sharing how she pulled herself back to solid ground while embracing chaos along the way.

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Book cover image of Your Pocket Therapist

Non-Fiction: Your Pocket Therapist: Break Free from Old Patterns and Transform Your Life by Annie Zimmerman

From psychotherapist and TikTok personality Dr. Annie Zimmerman comes a toolkit to transform yourself and your relationships, with advice on how to heal past trauma, build sustainable connections, and take ownership of your mental health.

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Book cover image of The Anxious Generation

Non-Fiction: The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness by Jonathan Haidt

In this book social psychologist Jonathan Haidt lays out the facts about the epidemic of teen mental illness that hit many countries at the same time in the 2010s. He then investigates the nature of childhood, including why children need play and independent exploration to mature into competent, thriving adults and presents a plan for a freer, healthier childhood.

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Book cover image of At First Spite

Fiction: At First Spite by Olivia Dade

On the surface this is just another enemies to lovers small town romance from best-selling author Olivia Dade but in actuality there is a very relatable and exceptional mental health representation woven into the story. Our main character, Athena gets dumped at the alter and finds herself jobless at the same time, falling into a deep depression that only the man next door notices. With his help, she is able to embrace therapy and medication to manage her depression, finding an unexpected love along the way.

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Book cover image of Where to Start

YA Non-fiction: Where to Start: A Survivial Guide to Anxiety, Depression, and Other Mental Health Challenges compiled by Mental Health America

A resource specifically written for teens struggling emotionally and looking for help, from the nation’s leading community-based non-profit that addresses the needs of those living with mental illness.

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Book cover image of Absolutely Normal

YA Short Stories: Ab(solutely) Normal: Short Stories that Smash Mental Health Stereotypes

This collection of 16 short stories, while fictional, were all carefully chosen based on the contributing authors’ own experiences related to mental health challenges either as a lived experience or similar experience that is noted in the introduction by the editors. The stories cover a range of mental health conditions from OCD and PTSD to anxiety and the rarely discussed premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Each author also wrote a note that appears after their story to share their personal connection – a personal touch that gives each story extra weight and strengthens the collection as a whole.

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Book cover image of Stay with my heart

YA Fiction: Stay With My Heart by Tashie Bhuiyan

A South Asian American teen girl grapples with anxiety and depression following her high school graduation and mother’s recent death. Struggling in the face of her father’s absenteeism and neglect, Liana tries to please him by focusing on her new internship at his Music Recording company only to find herself getting tangled up with an aspiring band and its friendly, yet complex members.

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Book cover image of Buzzing

Middle Grade Graphic Novel: Buzzing by Samuel Sattin; Illustrated by Rye Hickman

An excellent #ownvoices middle grade graphic novel about Isaac, a young neurodivergent boy struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and negative self thoughts. When the strict therapy his mother insists on doesn’t seem to be working, Isaac finds solace in a group of friends who invite him to join their after-school role-playing game Not long after the thoughts in his head start to feel a little less loud and the world feels a little brighter. This is a must-read with multi-dimensional therapy representation and beautiful illustrations.

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Book cover image of Louder Than Hunger

Middle Grade Novel-In-Verse: Louder than Hunger by John Schu

Revered teacher, librarian, and story ambassador, John Schu explores anorexia—and self-expression as an act of survival—in a wrenching and transformative novel-in-verse story. This fictionalized account of the author’s experiences and emotions living in residential treatment facilities as a young teen with an eating disorder, Louder than Hunger is a triumph of raw honesty. With a deeply personal afterword for context, this book is a powerful model for muffling the destructive voices inside, managing and articulating pain, and embracing self-acceptance, support, and love.

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Book cover image Deep Water

Middle Grade Novel-In-Verse: Deep Water by Jamie Sumner

Previously highlighted in our Middle Grade Fiction recommendation guide, this latest novel-in-verse story from author Jamie Sumner is a great look at a young girl struggling to cope with an absentee parent trying to deal with their own depression.

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Book cover image of Marley's Pride

Picture Book: Marley’s Pride by Joëlle Retener; illustrated by DeAnn Wiley

Marley is a little nonbinary kid with big anxieties. Crowds? Pass. Loud noises? No, thanks. When their Zaza is up for an award at Pride, they want to go to the parade for the first time with their beloved grandparent. But can Marley overcome their fears? Highlighting the joyful experiences of a queer Black family finding community at Pride, this story features back matter about the history of Pride, a glossary of LGBTQ+ terms, and a list of resources. 

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Most Anticipated Releases of 2024

Most Anticipated Releases of 2024

There are SO many great books coming out in 2024! The following are just a few of Huron County Library staff’s most anticipated upcoming titles across a variety of genres and reading levels.

A staff-created list with even more recommendations can be found on our online catalogue.

Book cover image of Closer Together

Non-fiction: Closer Together by Sophie Grégoire Trudeau

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau invites readers on a deeply personal journey toward self-knowledge, acceptance, and empowerment, drawing on the expertise of top psychologists, psychiatrists, scientists, and thought leaders. Release: April 23

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Book cover image of Expiration Dates

Fiction: Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle

Told with her signature warmth and insight into matters of the heart, Rebecca Serle’s newest book is a gripping, emotional, passionate, and (yes) heartbreaking novel about what it means to be single, what it means to find love, and ultimately how we define each of them for ourselves. Release: March 5

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Book cover image of Secret Keeper

Historical Fiction: The Secret Keeper by Genevieve Graham

From bestselling Canadian author Genevieve Graham comes a gripping World War II novel about two sisters who join the war effort—one as a codebreaker and the other as a pilot—and the secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Perfect for fans of The Rose Code and The Nightingale. Release: April 2

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Book cover image of This Summer Will Be Different

Romance: This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune

A nostalgic, moving second chance love story set on Prince Edward Island that is sure to be in everyone’s beach bag this summer! This is Carley Fortune at her best and one not to miss for romance lovers and fans of Emily Henry. Release: May 7

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Book cover image of The Grey Wolf

Mystery: The Grey Wold by Louise Penny

The highly anticipated nineteenth book in the best-selling Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. Plot details themselves are still a mystery! Release: Oct. 29

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Book cover image of Murder Road

Horror/Suspense: Murder Road by Simone St. James

A young couple find themselves haunted by a string of gruesome murders committed along an old deserted road in this terrifying new novel. Release: March 5

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Book cover image of Somewhere Beyond the Sea

Fantasy: Somewhere Beyond the Sea by TJ Klune

The hugely anticipated sequel to the bestselling, The House in the Cerulean Sea, is a story of resistance, lovingly told, about the daunting experience of fighting for the life you want to live and doing the work to keep it. Release: Sept. 10

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Book cover image of Annie Bot

Science Fiction: Annie Bot by Sierra Greer

For fans of Never Let Me Go and My Dark Vanessa, a powerful, provocative novel about the relationship between a female robot and her human owner, exploring questions of intimacy, power, autonomy, and control. Release: March 19

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Book cover image of Ace and the Misfits

Young Adult: Ace and the Misfits by Eddie Kawooya

In his debut novel, Eddie Kawooya presents a fish-out-of-water story of immigration and the pains and joys of integration into a new and sometimes frightening environment. Arriving in Canada, Ace finds himself living in a basement apartment, having to integrate into a new community where he is the “African.” This book tackles self esteem and how it can be easily lost when one feels alone. At the core of this story is the isolation a child feels after his world is snatched from him, and the journey of self worth and self confidence he must undertake to rise above it. Release: Feb. 13

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Book cover image of Tree. Table. Book.

Middle Grade Fiction: Tree. Table. Book. by Lois Lowry

Eleven-year-old Sophia endeavors to prevent her increasingly forgetful 88-year-old neighbour and best friend Sophie from entering assisted living, and in the process, uncovers unexpected stories of war, loss, and hope. From two-time Newbery medalist Lois Lowry comes this warm and resonant story of an unlikely friendship, which unfolds as a revelation on how we hold on to – and pass on – what matters most. Release: April 23

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Book cover image of There's No PLace Like Hope

Picture Book: There’s No Place Like Hope by Janet Lawler; Illustrated by Tamisha Anthony

This sweet, rhythmic picture book is a gentle yet powerful exploration of how hope makes us loving, courageous, and connected to one another. Release: Jan. 30

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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Huron County Library Staff have compiled a list of 100 books to read in honor of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day on Sept. 30. These stories highlight and explore the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences and stories of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The full list can be found here and the following are some of the most recent titles added to the Library’s collection.


Book cover for Our Voice of Fire

Memoir – Our Voice of Fire: A Memoir of a Warrior Rising by Brandi Morin

A wildfire of a debut memoir by internationally recognized French/Cree/Iroquois journalist Brandi Morin. Known for her clear-eyed and empathetic reporting on Indigenous oppression in North America. She is also a survivor of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis and uses her experience to tell the stories of those who did not survive the rampant violence. This book chronicles Morin’s journey to overcome enormous adversity and find her purpose, and her power, through journalism.

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Book cover for Valley of the Birdtail

Non-fiction – Valley of the Birdtail: An Indian reserve, a white town, and the road to reconciliation by Douglas Sanderson and Andrew Stobo Sniderman

A heart-rending true story about racism and reconciliation that explores the history of two families, one white and one Indigenous, across multiple generations and weaves their lives into the larger story of Canada, ultimately offering hope for the future.

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Book cover for Scars & Stars

Poetry – Scars and Stars by Jesse Thistle

A beautiful and moving new collection of poems and stories from the author of the #1 bestselling memoir, From the Ashes.

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Book cover for The Theory of Crows

Fiction – The Theory of Crows by David A. Robertson

A beautifully moving and heartfelt story about an estranged father-daughter relationship, the importance of being there for those you love and the healing power of the land.

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Book cover of The Summer of Bitter and Sweet

Young Adult Fiction – The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson 

A wonderful debut YA novel featuring Lou, a demi/asexual Métis girl living on the Canadian prairies. Ferguson masterfully balances the light with the dark as Lou struggles with generational trauma, family secrets and her sexuality over a summer working with her friends at the family creamery. CW: violence against Indigenous women, rape, racism

Content warning: Violence against Indigenous women, rape, racism

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Book cover for Finding My Dance

Picture Fiction – Finding My Dance by Ria Thundercloud; illustrated by Kalila J. Fuller

In her debut picture book, professional Indigenous dancer Ria Thundercloud tells the true story of her path to dance and how it helped her take pride in her Native American heritage.

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Disability Pride Month

Disability Pride Month

July is Disability Pride Month, originating in the United States after the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990. It has since expanded into a global movement that recognizes those who face barriers every day due to a variety of conditions.

The Disability Pride flag was first designed by Ann Magill and has recently been refined by the Disabled Community to be more visually accommodating. Each element of the flag represents something different:

The Black Field represents mourning and rage; for those who are victims of Ableist violence, and also rebellion and protest.

The Five Colours represent the variety of needs and experiences (Invisible and undiagnosed disabilities, physical disabilities, neurodivergence, psychiatric disabilities, sensory disabilities).

The Parallel Stripes represent solidarity within the Disability Community and all its differences.

The Diagonal Band represents “Cutting across” barriers that separate disabled people; creativity and light cutting through the darkness.

The books listed below reflect just some of the many disabled experiences and/or call for greater disability justice and are amazing resources to help better understand those facing everyday challenges. Visit our online catalogue for a full list of recommended reads related to Disability Pride Month.

Book cover of Disability Visibility

Essays – Disability Visibility edited by Alice Wong

A groundbreaking collection of first-person writing on the joys and challenges of the modern disability experience highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this very diverse community.

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Book cover of What Doesn't Kill You

Non-fiction/Memoir – What Doesn’t Kill You by Tessa Miller

A riveting and candid account of a young journalist’s awakening to a life of chronic illness, weaving together her personal story with reporting to shed light on how Americans live with long-term diagnoses today.

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Book cover of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

General Fiction – Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

The new book by the bestselling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, is a moving tale of friendship, success and the costs of fame. Sadie and Sam bond over a shared love of videogame design only to find success isn’t always what it seems. There is great disability and chronic pain representation through Sam, whose foot is mangled in a car accident and eventually needs to be amputated.

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Book cover of You, Me, and Our Heartstrings

Young Adult Fiction – You, Me, and Our Heartstrings by Melissa See

A beautiful YA story about Daisy, a violinist with cerebral palsy and Noah a cello prodigy with anxiety. The two fall in love while auditioning for Julliard only to have their relationship scrutinized by the press that sees Daisy as an inspiration because of her disability and Noah as a “saint” for seeing past it.

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Book cover of Fight & Flight

Middle Grade – Fight + Flight by Jules Machias

A powerful middle grade book about two friends who undergo a traumatizing experience at school. The book has great disability and mental health representation for anxiety and panic attacks and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Content warning: Active shooter drill  in school

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Book cover of Sam's Super Seats

Children – Sam’s Super Seats by Keah Brown; illustrated by Sharee Miller

A joyful picture book about a disabled girl with cerebral palsy who goes back-to-school shopping with her best friends, from #DisabledandCute creator and The Pretty One author, Keah Brown.

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