YA ​Mental Health Books


Since May is National Mental Health Month, here are a couple of books that deal with mental health and how they affect people all over the world:

  1. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

In a totally insane satire, we get a protagonist who is definitely not going to save the world. Mikey is an ordinary teen dealing with anxiety. He manages to put into words what it’s like to live feeling constantly on edge.

2. Turtles all the Way Down by John Green

It’s the story of 16-year-old Aza who is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student—and maybe even a good detective. But she’s also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts, and her struggles with anxiety take the compulsions introduced in some of these other books to new extremes. It’s not always easy to read, but it’s hard not to feel for and fall for Aza as she struggles to live her life.

3. I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

In Gayle Forman’s novel, three teens meet by chance in Central Park. One of them is Nathaniel–visiting New York City for the first time with nothing but a backpack, a desperate plan, and nothing left to lose. Throughout the book, he grapples with coming to terms with his father’s mental illness and how it has affected his childhood.

4. Looking for Alaska by John Green

John Green’s 2006 Printz award winner follows Miles Halter’s relationship with Alaska Young and brings to light that we can never completely understand what someone with a mental illness feels inside.

5. I Was Here by Gayle Forman

After her best friend Meg takes her own life, Cody struggles to understand why – but through her journey to find out, she’ll discover that you can’t always know what’s inside the people closest to you.


By: Nitu Girish Mohan


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