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Mental Health and Wellness at Nobles: Fiction

Find resources to promote wellness and mental health, especially for the Noble and Greenough School community. Your suggested additions, improvements and changes are always welcome.
"Fiction has a special magic to it—the ability to weave a world outside reality. To simulate experiences and outcomes. For someone who feels alone, a friend awaits within the pages—someone who says, 'Yes, I’ve been there. '" 

- Erin E. Moulton, librarian and author

Worth Noting

"Finding YA books about mental illness that feature characters of color at the forefront is still 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)"

YA Fiction about Mental Health and Wellness

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
ISBN: 9781524700485
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 John Green
ISBN: 9780525555360
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
ISBN: 9781481487726
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
ISBN: 9780062403162
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
ISBN: 9781250167026
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. 

For Immediate Help

If you or someone you know is in danger of self-harm, please call 911 or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline right away: 1-800-273-8255. Anxious about Covid-19? Text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

More YA Booklists about Mental Health

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.