- Erin E. Moulton, librarian and author
"Finding YA books about mental illness that feature characters of color at the forefront is still lagging...it is promising, however, to see this number increase in the last few years. We can only hope this continues to trend upward and we see more and more depictions of teens of color grappling with and better understanding their mental health in YA books." - Blogger and librarian Kelly Jensen, in her 2018 article for Bookriot, "50 Must-Read YA Books About Mental Illness (Plus a Few More)"
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
Publication date: 2017-10-17
After Julia's "perfect" older sister Olga dies in a terrible accident, Julia feels overlooked by her grieving parents. But was Olga all she seemed? Julia and her best friend try to find out, as she weighs attending college and "abandoning" her traditional family against living up to her sister's example.
Turtles All the Way Down by
Publication date: 2017
Sixteen-year-old Aza and her best friend, Daisy, team up to unravel the mystery of a local billionaire for a massive cash reward. As Aza juggles roles and relationships in her life, she learns to cope with her obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Mashable hailed Turtles as delivering "a lesson that we so desperately need right now: Yes, it is okay not to be okay…"
Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Publication date: 2017
Kiko Himura thinks that getting into the art school of her dreams will mark the beginning of the life she's always wanted, and liberate her from her mother. But through disappointing circumstances, Kiko is forced to confront her identity and her past—and she learns how brave she is capable of being.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Publication date: 2015
This sci-fi satire chronicles Mikey and his friends in an doomed dystopian world ruled by the Chosen Ones. Saddled with anxiety and severe OCD, Mike just wants to to experience the cliché high school rites of passage. This is a novel about the everyday heroism it takes just to live our own lives.
Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
Publication date: 2018
After Moss' father is killed by a police officer, Moss faces recurring panic attacks. In spite of this, he and his diverse group of friends, each facing their own internal challenges, rise up together to defy the racism in their community.
From School Library Journal, 2014: "Bibliotherapy for Teens: Helpful Tips and Recommended Fiction"
From Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), 2016: "YA Mental Health Resources"
From Bookriot, 2018: "50 Must-Read YA Books About Mental Illness (Plus A Few More)"
From Buzzfeed, 2018: "16 Queer YA Books We Loved In 2018"
Disclaimer: This guide provides information for the Nobles community about where to go and who to talk to for support, and our counselors are always happy to help. That said, as with anything health-related, we urge you to seek professional advice. Some of the resources (books, multimedia, facts) may be triggering for individuals in the community. For assistance and advice, please reach out to a mental health professional.