8 Conversation-Starting Books for Teens
Life Inside My Mind
Edited by Jessica Burkhart
Thirty-one YA authors share their experiences with everything from depression to body dysmorphia to mourning a loved one. They tackle stigmas and discuss what it’s like to see a therapist. Kids who aren’t struggling will gain insight into what friends
- RELATED: The Best Books of Summer 2018
My Anxiety Handbook
By Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher and Phoebe McEwen
Anxiety can help when it enables us to handle threats. (If your teen wasn’t anxious about that exam, they might not study!) This guide digs into the science of anxiety, stressors and coping strategies like mindfulness, exposure and better sleep. Plus, tips for real-life situations, such as taking exams and moving.
Boy Meets Depression
(Full title: Boy Meets Depression: Or Life Sucks and Then You Die Live)
By Kevin Breel
After his TED Talk took off in 2013, Breel decided to turn his experience as a stand-up comic struggling with depression into a memoir to help others who might be suffering. He talks about bullies, heartbreak, grief, societal pressures and how he got through it all. Young guys often feel pressure to tune out and ignore their emotions, but Breel hopes his book can help change that.
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened
By Allie Brosh
Brosh mixes personal stories with humor and fun illustrations. Some essays are silly while others touch on serious topics like her battle with depression, but she covers both in a down-to-earth way that won’t make anyone feel uncomfortable.
All the Ways the World Can End
By Abby Sher
Lenny suffers from OCD and is also reeling from the realization that her father is dying at the same time that her best friend is moving away. While the book is a novel, it’s influenced by the author’s experience losing her dad when she was just 11 years old and focuses on the importance of self-care and acceptance.
Turtles All the Way Down
By John Green
Aza is on a mission to find a billionaire who went missing amidst fraud investigations. She also suffers from several anxiety disorders. The author’s own challenges with OCD lend an interesting perspective to what Aza is going through.
By Laurie Halse Anderson
A tragic competition to be the skinniest turns deadly and one teenager is left to deal with both her grief and her eating disorder. The story is serious and eye-opening but the issues it addresses are more common than we like to think. If this one intrigues your teen, check out Anderson’s other bestseller Speak also details an adolescent’s difficult journey.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
By Stephen Chbosky
This book originally came out in 1999 and was transformed into a movie in 2012, but addresses issues that teens still face today. Charlie (the protagonist) tries to navigate the pressures of high school—like sex, drugs, love and friendships—as an introvert dealing with familial issues on top of it all.