Mental Health Awareness for Children

In May, Children's Mental Health Awareness Week promotes positive youth development, resiliency, and recovery, along with the transformation of mental health service delivery for youth, adolescents, and their families.

A Boy and a Jaguar

Alan Rabinowitz
(Juvenile Nonfiction – J 921 Rabinowitz)

The renowned cat conservationist reflects on his early childhood struggles with a speech disorder, describing how he only spoke fluently when he was communicating with animals and how he resolved at a young age to find his voice to be their advocate. Suggested for ages 7–11.

Anxiety and Phobias

Carrie Iorizzo
(Juvenile Nonfiction – J 616.8522 Iorizzo)

This informative title examines different anxiety disorders, including their causes, symptoms, effects, and treatment options. A chapter on caring for others discusses how anxiety and phobias affect young people with siblings and parents who have the disorder. Suggested for ages 10–13.

Calm Girl: Yoga For Stress Relief

Rebecca Rissman
(Juvenile Nonfiction – J 613.7046 Rissman)

Presents various yoga poses and breathing techniques designed to promote stress relief and a calm state of mind. Suggested for ages 12 and up.

Keep Calm! My Stress Busting Tips

Gina Bellisario
(Juvenile Nonfiction – J 155.9042 Bel)

A busy girl who feels stressed by her full schedule of school, soccer, piano lessons, homework, and chores learns from her parents ways to deal with her stress. Suggested for ages 6–10.

Learning to Slow Down and Pay Attention

Kathleen Nadeau
(Juvenile Nonfiction – J 616.8589 Nadeau)

Offers guidelines for children with ADHD to help them improve their coping skills, and includes tips and resources for parents. Suggested for ages 6 and up.

Let’s Talk About Feeling Nervous

Susan Kent
(Juvenile Nonfiction – J 155.46)

Discusses how new experiences can make a child nervous, how a person physically manifests anxiety, and tips on reducing nervous feelings. Suggested for ages 6–10.

Manage Feelings

Sara Tieck
(Juvenile Nonfiction – J 152.4 Tie)

Examines ways to manage and process emotions effectively, including writing a journal, talking to an adult, or seeking professional help. Suggested for ages 6–9.

School Made Easier: A Kid’s Guide to Study Strategies and Anxiety-Busting Tools

Wendy Moss
(Juvenile Nonfiction J 371.3028 Moss)

The authors focus on how to manage that academic stress and the emotions that might interfere with academic success. They teach students ways to reduce their anxiety, increase their confidence in school, and study more effectively. Also includes case studies of real kids, self-assessment checklists, and lots of quick tips to help you stay calm on test day. Suggested for ages 913.

The Emotions Survival Guide

(Juvenile Nonfiction – J 152.4 Emotions)

Girls and boys ages 8 to 12 will love this nonfiction feelings survival guide featuring advice from the Emotions. Suggested for ages 8–12.

The Princess and the Fog

Lloyd Jones
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 618.9285 Jon)

Explains what depression is and how it affects people through a story about a princess and a fog around her that she cannot get rid of on her own. Suggested for ages 5-8.

What To Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety

Dawn Huebner
(Juvenile Nonfiction – J 155.4124 Huebner)

Teaches school-age children cognitive-behavioral techniques to reduce and overcome anxiety and fears, through writing and drawing activities and self-help strategies. Suggested for ages 6 and up.

What To Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming OCD

Dawn Huebner
(Juvenile Nonfiction – J 6148.9385 Huebner)

Describes what obsessive-compulsive disorder is and how it works, and teaches young readers techniques to reduce and overcome it through writing and drawing activities and self-help exercises and strategies. Suggested for ages 8 and up.

Juvenile Fiction

Anything but Typical

Nora Baskin
(Juvenile Fiction – J Baskin)

Jason, a twelve-year-old autistic boy who wants to become a writer, relates what his life is like as he tries to make sense of his world. Suggested for ages 9–13.

Footer Davis Probably is Crazy

Susan Vaught
(Juvenile Fiction – J Vaught)

Eleven-year-old Footer and her friends investigate when a nearby farm is burned, the farmer murdered, and his children disappear, but as they follow the clues, Footer starts having flashbacks and wonders if she is going crazy like her mother, who is back in a mental institution near their Mississippi home. Suggested for ages 10–13.

Hurt Go Happy

Ginny Rorby
(Juvenile Fiction – J Rorby)

When thirteen-year-old Joey Willis, deaf since the age of six, meets Dr. Charles Mansell and his chimpanzee Sukari, who use sign language, her world blooms with possibilities but that of the chimp begins to narrow. Suggested for ages 11–15.

Nobody’s Perfect: A Story for Children about Perfectionism

Ellen Flanagan Burns
(Juvenile Fiction – J Burns)

Sally overcomes her perfectionism when her teachers and mother help her realize that making mistakes is a part of learning, and that doing her best is good enough. Suggested for ages 8–11.


Wesley King
(Juvenile Fiction – J King)

A thirteen-year-old boy's life revolves around hiding his obsessive compulsive disorder until a girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time and he gets a mysterious note that changes everything. Suggested for 8–12.

Reaching for the Sun

Tracie Zimmer
(Juvenile Fiction – J Zimmer)

Josie, who lives with her mother and grandmother and has cerebral palsy, befriends a boy who moves into one of the rich houses behind her old farmhouse. Suggested for ages 12 and up.


Cynthia Lord
(Juvenile Fiction – J Lord)

Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic. Suggested for ages 9–13.


Brian Selznick
(Juvenile Fiction – J Selznick)

Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City. He meets Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben's story is told in words; Rose's in pictures. Suggested for ages 9–14.

Juvenile Picture Books

Back to Front and Upside Down

Claire Alexander
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Alexander)

While the rest of the class makes birthday cards for the principal, Stanley struggles with his words and letters. Suggested for ages 4–7.

Free Association: Where My Mind Goes During Class

Barbara Esham
(Juvenile Picture Books – EJ Esham)

Emily, a very creative thinker, finds it difficult to pay attention in science class. Her teacher, Mrs. Freedman, tries to help Emily with her "daydreaming," only to find that Emily's creative thinking skills are quite advanced for a student her age! Suggested for ages 5–10.

I Don’t Want to Go

Addie Meyer Sanders
(Juvenile Picture Books – EJ Sander)

Joey is visiting his grandparents on his own for the very first time and is nervous about being far from home. He is sure this will be the worst trip ever. Suggested for ages 5–10.

Jack's Worry

Sam Zuppardi
(Juvenile Picture Book - Ej Zup)

Jack has been looking forward to playing the trumpet in his first concert, but on the morning of the big day, Jack becomes anxious about performing and his worry starts to grow. Suggested for ages 4-8.

Jake Starts School

Michael Wright
(Juvenile Picture Books – EJ Wright)

No one can pry a frightened Jake away from his parents on the first day of school, and so the three must watch as his classmates have fun until, at the end of the day, his teacher finally gets him to let go. Suggested for ages 4–7.

Little Owl Lost

Chris Haughton
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Haughton)

While his mother is away finding food, a newborn owl falls out of his nest and anxiously tries to find her, receiving help from various forest animals. Suggested for ages 3–6.

Mr. Worry: A Story About OCD

Greg Swearingen
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Swearingen)

Eight-year-old Kevin is frustrated by his need to check things and repeat actions over and over until a counselor diagnoses obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and teaches him ways to manage this condition. Includes a note for parents and teachers explaining OCD. Suggested for ages 5–10.

Mrs Gorski, I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets

Barbara Esham
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Esham)

David Sheldon finds it difficult to pay attention and follow directions. His teacher, Mrs. Gorski, has had enough of David's brainstorms, but David "brainstorms" a way to manage his "wiggle fidgets.” Suggested for ages 5–10.

Noni is Nervous

Heather Hartt-Sussman
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Hartt-Sussman)

This is the story of a lovely little girl who is nervous about many things. Noni finds a way to control her nerves and work through her anxiety, making life much more bearable for everyone! Suggested for ages 3–7.

Ready for Anything

Keiko Kasza
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Kasza)

Raccoon is nervous about all of the things that could spoil a picnic, from bees to dragons, until Duck convinces him that surprises can be fun. Suggested for ages 4–8.

Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn : for Kids

John Maxwell
(Juvenile Picturebook Ej Max)

Wendy and Wade are finally old enough to play Woggleball and consult their Papa about how to win, but his advice about starting well and staying positive is not easy, at first. Suggested for ages 4-8.

The Big Test

Julie Danneberg
(Juvenile Picture Books – EJ Dan)

Mrs. Hartwell is concerned that preparing her students to take the Big Test is only making them nervous, and so she thinks of a way to help them relax. Suggested for ages 5–8.

Juvenile DVD

(Juvenile DVD – J 152.46 Start)

Anxiety is just part of being a teenager. In this program, viewers will learn five coping skills that will help them to manage their feelings of anxiety. When Claire has to make a presentation in front of her class, she learns that planning and preparation can assist in managing anxiety levels. When Kyle learns his parents are divorcing, he comes to understand that he does not have control over the situation. Suggested for ages 12 and up.