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Please welcome Louise Gornall! Her debut Young Adult book, Under Rose-Tainted Skies, is about a girl called Norah, who is suffering with agoraphobia, OCD and anxiety. She is sharing eight YA books with characters who suffer from mental illness. We are giving away a copy of her book as well! Please go to the bottom to enter!
The CBC has very kindly asked me to create a list for their Multicultural Children’s Book Day series. I’ve decided to focus my list on young adults who are suffering from mental illness. The characters in these books have two things in common. Firstly, they are all teenagers. Secondly, they all suffer with chronic illness, but their illnesses are what some might refer to as invisible. That is, they don’t bleed, or blister, or bruise. The source of their pain and torment is internal.
YA Suffering From Mental Illness Books
1. OCD Love story by Corey Ann Haydu
Here we have Bea, a girl who is suffering from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and her boyfriend, Beck, who also suffers from OCD, though both cases present very differently. This book is a raw, and often uncomfortable look, into a mind that blurs boundaries in order to placate mental illness. (ages 13+)
2. Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley
This is the story of Solomon, a teen who suffers from agoraphobia, and Lisa, the girl who wants to use Solomon as a case study so she can get onto a prestigious psychology program. This book focuses heavily on friendships, and explores serious mental health issues with a seamless sense of humour. (Ages 13+)
3. Whisper To Me by Nick Lake
This story is unique in delivery as well as premise. Whisper to Me is a highly detailed apology, written by our protagonist, Cassie, to a boy who’s heart she broke, when she listened to the voice in her head. (Ages 13+)
4. Underwater by Marisa Reichardt
In Underwater, Morgan, our main character, believes she is responsible for a tragedy that took place at her school, a life changing tragedy, which has left her struggling with PTSD, anxiety, and agoraphobia. This book follows Morgan as she embarks on an emotional and powerful journey of acceptance, healing and forgiveness. (Ages 13+)
5. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak is the heart-squeezing story of Melinda, who we witness slowly and subtly disappear beneath a blanket of depression when she is unceremoniously ostracized by her peers for calling the police to a high school party. But what her peers don’t know is that Melinda had to call the police because something horrific and ultimately life changing had happened to her. (Ages 13+)
6. Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne
Another amazing story that dives deep inside the mind of OCD sufferer, Evie, during her transition from high school to college. Thick with feminism, Am I Normal Yet? is a great infusion of secrets, expectations, and above all, friendship. (Ages 13+)
7. When A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
A middle grade book that everyone should read, When A Monster Calls tells the heartbreaking story of 13-year old Conor and the Monster (tree) that visits him just after midnight. In under 300 pages, Patrick Ness manages to deliver a truly unique insight into adolescent grief. (Ages 13+)
8. Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
This is a story about a girl called Norah, who is suffering with agoraphobia, OCD and anxiety. Trapped in her house for the foreseeable future, Under Rose-Tainted Skies gives the reader an unflinching glimpse into how debilitating mental illness can be. (Ages 13+)
Under Rose-Tainted Skies GIVEAWAY
We are giving away a copy of Louise Gornall’s debut book, Under Rose-Tainted Skies. Please enter by using the Rafflecopter below. We can only ship to U.S. addresses due to the high cost of shipping.
Louise Gornall lives in England. She is YA aficionado, film nerd, junk food enthusiast, and rumored pink Power Ranger. Under Rose-Tainted Skies is her first novel, and she can usually be found on Twitter @Rock_andor_roll.
To find more diverse and multicultural books for children, please check out our Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents. We also have Pinterest board full of ideas: