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Mental Health in Teen Fiction

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Go Ask Alice
Based on the diary of a fifteen-year-old drug user chronicling her daily struggle to escape the pull of the drug world.
Letting Ana Go
Required by her cross-country coach to keep a food diary, an insecure teen finds that writing helps organize her thoughts, especially about issues that she, her best friend, and her mother face related to weight and eating.
The Impossible Knife Of Memory
Anderson, Laurie Halse.
"Hayley Kincaid and her father move back to their hometown to try a "normal" life, but the horrors he saw in the war threaten to destroy their lives"-- Provided by publisher.
Speak
Anderson, Laurie Halse.
A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect of Melinda's freshman year in high school.
Wintergirls
Anderson, Laurie Halse.
Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend's death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.
Cameron And The Girls
Averett, Edward, 1951-
A boy suffering from Schizophreniform disorder falls into a love triangle with a girl in his junior high class--and a girl in his head.
Compulsion
Ayarbe, Heidi.
Poised to lead his high school soccer team to its third straight state championship, seventeen-year-old star player Jake Martin struggles to keep hidden his nearly debilitating obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Anything But Typical
Baskin, Nora Raleigh.
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.
Perfect Escape
Brown, Jennifer, 1972-
Seventeen-year-old Kendra, living in the shadow of her brother's obsessive-compulsive disorder, takes a life-changing road trip with him.
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Chbosky, Stephen.
A coming of age novel about Charlie, a freshman in high school who is a wallflower, shy and introspective, and very intelligent. He deals with the usual teen problems, but also with the suicide of his best friend.
What Happens Next : A Novel
Clayton, Colleen.
The stress of hiding a horrific incident that she can neither remember nor completely forget leads sixteen-year-old Cassidy "Sid" Murphy to become alienated from her friends, obsess about weight loss, and draw close to Corey "The Living Stoner" Livingston.
Something Like Normal
Doller, Trish.
When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother has stolen his girlfriend and car, and he has nightmares of his best friend getting killed but when he runs into Harper, a girl who has despised him since middle school, life actually starts looking up.
I Was Here
Forman, Gayle, author.
In an attempt to understand why her best friend committed suicide, eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds retraces her dead friend's footsteps and makes some startling discoveries.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Green, John, 1977- author.
When two teens, one gay and one straight, meet accidentally and discover that they share the same name, their lives become intertwined as one begins dating the other's best friend, who produces a play revealing his relationship with them both.
The Rule Of Thirds
Guertin, Chantel, 1976- author.
"Sixteen-year-old Pippa Greene never goes anywhere without her camera. She and her best friend Dace long ago mapped out their life plan, but ever since last spring, things have changed for Pippa--and her junior year at Spalding High proves to have its own set of challenges. Not only is the statewide photography competition in 16 days, but her mandatory volunteering placement lands her at St. Christopher's Hospital, a place Pippa never wanted to set foot in again. Can Pippa juggle it all--and the two boys vying for her affection? With humor and pluck, Pippa navigates a life a lot more complicated than a photograph"--P. [4] of cover.
Paperweight
Haston, Meg, author.
Enduring regimented and intrusive treatment at an eating-disorder center, seventeen-year-old Stevie is haunted by guilt for her brother's fatal accident and secretly plans to commit suicide on the anniversary of his death.
Ocd Love Story
Haydu, Corey Ann.
In an instant, Bea felt almost normal with Beck, and as if she could fall in love again, but things change when the psychotherapist who has been helping her deal with past romantic relationships puts her in a group with Beck--a group for teens with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Dark Dude
Hijuelos, Oscar.
In the 1960s, Rico Fuentes, a pale-skinned Cuban American teenager, abandons drug-infested New York City for the picket fence and apple pie world of Wisconsin, only to discover that he still feels like an outsider and that violent and judgmental people can be found even in the wholesome Midwest.
Crank
Hopkins, Ellen.
Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter, gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina. Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul - her life.
Impulse
Hopkins, Ellen.
Three teens who meet at Reno, Nevada's Aspen Springs mental hospital after each has attempted suicide connect with each other in a way they never have with their parents or anyone else in their lives.
Try Not To Breathe
Hubbard, Jennifer R.
The summer Ryan is released from a mental hospital following his suicide attempt, he meets Nicki, who gets him to share his darkest secrets while hiding secrets of her own.
And We Stay
Hubbard, Jenny.
Sent to an Amherst, Massachusetts, boarding school after her ex-boyfriend shoots himself, seventeen-year-old Emily expresses herself through poetry as she relives their relationship, copes with her guilt, and begins to heal.
Silhouetted By The Blue
Jones, Traci L.
After the death of her mother in an automobile accident, seventh-grader Serena, who has gotten the lead in her middle school play, is left to handle the day-to-day challenges of caring for herself and her younger brother when their father cannot pull himself out of his depression.
Reality Boy : A Novel
King, A. S. (Amy Sarig), 1970-
An emotionally damaged seventeen-year-old boy in Pennsylvania, who was once an infamous reality television show star, meets a girl from another dysfunctional family, and she helps him out of his angry shell.
Finding Audrey
Kinsella, Sophie.
Fourteen-year-old Audrey is making slow but steady progress dealing with her anxiety disorder when Linus comes into the picture and her recovery gains momentum.
Charm & Strange
Kuehn, Stephanie.
A lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy must either surrender his sanity to the wild wolves inside his mind or learn that surviving means more than not dying.
Virtuosity
Martinez, Jessica.
Just before the most important violin competition of her career, seventeen-year-old prodigy Carmen faces critical decisions about her anti-anxiety drug addiction, her controlling mother, and a potential romance with her most talented rival.
Cut
McCormick, Patricia, 1956-
While confined to a mental hospital, thirteen-year-old Callie slowly comes to understand some of the reasons behind her self-mutilation, and gradually starts to get better.
A Trick Of The Light
Metzger, Lois.
Fifteen-year-old Mike desperately attempts to take control as his parents separate and his life falls apart.
Colin Fischer
Miller, Ashley Edward.
"A boy with autism teams up with the high school bully to get to the bottom of a cafeteria crime"--Provided by publisher.
All The Bright Places
Niven, Jennifer, author.
Told in alternating voices, when Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school--both teetering on the edge--it's the beginning of an unlikely relationship, a journey to discover the "natural wonders" of the state of Indiana, and two teens' desperate desire to heal and save one another.
Stronger Than You Know
Perry, Jolene B. (Jolene Betty), 1976-
After fifteen years of horrific abuse and neglect by her mother and her mother's boyfriends, Joy struggles to understand and accept a normal life with relatives, at school, and with a boyfriend.
This Is How I Find Her
Polsky, Sara.
High school junior Sophie has always had the burden of taking care of her mother, who has bipolar disorder, but after her mother's hospitalization she must learn to cope with estranged family and figure out her own life.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock : A Novel
Quick, Matthew, 1973-
A day in the life of a suicidal teen boy saying good-bye to the four people who matter most to him.
Gabi, A Girl In Pieces
Quintero, Isabel, author.
Sixteen-year-old Gabi Hernandez chronicles her senior year in high school as she copes with her friend Cindy's pregnancy, friend Sebastian's coming out, her father's meth habit, her own cravings for food and cute boys, and especially, the poetry that helps forge her identity.
Stained
Rainfield, C. A. (Cheryl A.)
A teenaged girl bullied for her port-wine stain must summon her personal strength to survive abduction and horrific abuse at the hands of a deranged killer.
Clean
Reed, Amy Lynn.
A group of teens in a Seattle-area rehabilitation center form an unlikely friendship as they begin to focus less on their own problems with drugs and alcohol by reaching out to help a new member, who seems to have even deeper issues to resolve.
Crazy
Reed, Amy Lynn.
Connor and Izzy, two teens who met at a summer art camp in the Pacific Northwest where they were counselors, share a series of emails in which they confide in one another, eventually causing Connor to become worried when he realizes that Izzy's emotional highs and lows are too extreme.
The Things A Brother Knows
Reinhardt, Dana.
Although they have never gotten along well, seventeen-year-old Levi follows his older brother Boaz, an ex-Marine, on a walking trip from Boston to Washington, D.C. in hopes of learning why Boaz is completely withdrawn.
Last Night I Sang To The Monster : A Novel
Sáenz, Benjamin Alire.
Eighteen-year-old Zach does not remember how he came to be in a treatment center for alcoholics, but through therapy and caring friends, his amnesia fades and he learns to face his past while working toward a better future.
This Song Will Save Your Life
Sales, Leila.
Nearly a year after a failed suicide attempt, sixteen-year-old Elise discovers that she has the passion, and the talent, to be a disc jockey.
Fig
Schantz, Sarah Elizabeth, author.
In 1994, Fig looks back on her life and relates her experiences, from age six to nineteen, as she desperately tries to save her mother from schizophrenia while her own mental health and relationships deteriorate.
Skin & Bones
Shahan, Sherry, author.
Jack, who is sixteen and has anorexia, spends the summer in an eating disorder ward for teenagers and befriends both his overweight roommate and a dangerously thin dancer.
Far From You
Sharpe, Tess. author.
"After Sophie Winters survives a brutal attack in which her best friend, Mina, is murdered, she sets out to find the killer. At the same time she must prove she is free of her past Oxy addiction and in no way to blame for Mina's death"-- Provided by publisher.
Schizo
Sheff, Nic, author.
A teenager recovering from a schizophrenic breakdown is driven to the point of obsession to find his missing younger brother and becomes wrapped up in a romance that may or may not be the real thing.
Challenger Deep
Shusterman, Neal, author.
"A teenage boy struggles with schizophrenia"-- Provided by publisher.
More Happy Than Not
Silvera, Adam, 1990- author.
After enduring his father's suicide, his own suicide attempt, broken friendships, and more in the Bronx projects, Aaron Soto, sixteen, is already considering the Leteo Institute's memory-alteration procedure when his new friendship with Thomas turns to unrequited love.
Bruised
Skilton, Sarah.
When she freezes during a hold-up at the local diner, sixteen-year-old Imogen, who always believed that her black belt in Tae Kwan Do made her better than everyone else, has to rebuild her life, including her relationship with her family and with a certain boy.
Wild Awake
Smith, Hilary T.
"The discovery of a startling family secret leads seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd from a protected and naive life into a summer of mental illness, first love, and profound self-discovery"-- Provided by publisher.
Faking Normal
Stevens, Courtney C., author.
Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.
Every Last Word
Stone, Tamara Ireland.
"Consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off, a girl coping with Purely-Obsessional OCD learns to accept herself and take control of her life through her experiences in poetry club"-- Provided by publisher.
Marcelo In The Real World
Stork, Francisco X.
Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.
The Unlikely Hero Of Room 13b
Toten, Teresa, 1955-
Adam not only is trying to understand his OCD, while trying to balance his relationship with his divorced parents, but he's also trying to navigate through the issues that teenagers normally face, namely the perils of young love.
Ocd, The Dude, And Me : A Novel
Vaughn, Lauren Roedy.
Danielle Levine stands out even at her alternative high school--in appearance and attitude--but when her scathing and sometimes raunchy English essays land her in a social skills class, she meets Daniel, another social misfit who may break her resolve to keep everyone at arm's length.
It's Kind Of A Funny Story
Vizzini, Ned, 1981-2013
A humorous account of a New York City teenager's battle with depression and his time spent in a psychiatric hospital.
Miles From Ordinary
Williams, Carol Lynch.
As her mother's mental illness spins terrifyingly out of control, thirteen-year-old Lacey must face the truth of what life with her mother means for both of them.
Belzhar : A Novel
Wolitzer, Meg, author.
Jam Gallahue, fifteen, unable to cope with the loss of her boyfriend Reeve, is sent to a therapeutic boarding school in Vermont, where a journal-writing assignment for an exclusive, mysterious English class transports her to the magical realm of Belzhar, where she and Reeve can be together.
The Museum Of Intangible Things
Wunder, Wendy, author.
Best friends Hannah and Zoe, seventeen, leave their down-and-out New Jersey town and drive west chasing storms, making new friends, and seeking the intangibles--audacity, insouciance, happiness--that their lives have lacked.
Made You Up
Zappia, Francesca, author.
Armed with her camera and a Magic 8-Ball and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college.